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Thread: Do Germans roll their r's?

  1. #1
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Do Germans roll their r's?

    All German language mediums that I've been using have been teaching German in which the "r's" are rolled. However, my father is German (from Berlin) and he tells me that he doesn't ever remember knowing anyone in Germany that rolls the "r".

    Is not rolling just common in Berlin (as in a dialect thing), or are the books and tapes incorrect? I don't remember any of my family rolling either, i'm a little confused.

  2. #2

    I'm not a native German (I'm British), but I've been learning German for about seven years now. I would hesitate to generalise, however in all the years I've been listening to German, I have never really heard anyone roll their "r", apart from in songs here and there, however I think this is probably just for effect. That's my opinion, however if I were you I'd wait for a further native's opinion before you take my (and your dad's) word as given. In short, I agree with your dad. My German teacher is from a little town in Bavaria which, I believe, is very near Munich. He doesn't roll his "r"s. I'll ask him his opinion and hopefully post it on here soon. All welcome to disagree with me


  3. #3
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    Die Vereinigten Staaten Соединённые Штаты Америки
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    Based on my experiences, Rs are not rolled by most native German speakers. It is important to note, that the position in the word changes the pronunciation of an R.

    Here is a video that illustrates that concept pretty well: ... re=related

    On a side note, I have heard instances where German speakers did roll their Rs though, but not like you would in Russian. The rolling is actually produced in the back of the throat in the same manner as you would gargle. One of the instances was a Swiss German speaking. With that said, I am not sure how common rolling Rs like that is or which dialects it is common in.
    jetzt, teraz, сейчас, зараз is the time to learn, but I never will. (I have skype)

  4. #4
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    Re: German pronunciation

    I know this is a late reply, but I wanted to chime in (albeit a few months late).

    In western Germany, where I lived, no. My German teacher would occasionally roll her R's as sort of a purposeful embellishment, but I've never encountered ANY native Germans who've done such. The R, from my experience, is gutteral.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2005
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    Re: German pronunciation

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