I've noticed that the Bayern accent, or at least the München and Ansbach accents, have a hard roll of the 'R's. In addition, the DW newscast has the occasional R-roll. Yet the two other regions that I am familiar with, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, do not [rather, the speakers that I know from that region emphatically do not -- they've tried to break me of the habit].

My question is, how common is R-rolling and is it pleasing or irritating to most native Germans?

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    de.wikipedia.org/wiki/R#Aussprache_im_Deutschen second paragraph
    – Carsten S
    Sep 13, 2016 at 13:57
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    Swiss-Germans are also famous for their rolling R
    – tofro
    Sep 13, 2016 at 15:00
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    I can't understand people who are irritated by someone talking with an accent. Just enjoy the diversity!
    – user568
    Sep 13, 2016 at 15:17
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    In Ansbach they do not speak Bavarian!
    – Jan
    Sep 13, 2016 at 20:25
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    In some regions in Hessen the R is tounge-rolled, while in other regions it is not. Near Herborn, the R is even pronounced like in English. Sep 14, 2016 at 10:05

6 Answers 6


I'm from Northern Germany. I hardly pronounce the /r/ at all, instead I either lengthen the previous vowel (as in Arbeit: /a:beit/) or pronounce it almost as /x/ (the 'ch' sound), especially at the beginning of a word. Even in depressiv I would do that, as /depxesi:f/

In my own experience it is mainly the Southern dialects, including Austrian, which roll the 'r', I don't think I've ever come across it in a Northern speaker. I would find it slightly irritating, as it sounds grating to me, and putting too much emphasis on a sound that I almost not pronounce at all.

[The phonetic transcriptions are of course not accurate and only approximations]

  • Do you mean "Zäpfchen-R" (/ʁ⁠/)? I've never heard it pronounced /x/ (though I also haven't been to the North very much).
    – Owen
    Sep 13, 2016 at 16:32
  • @Owen Not quite. A bit like it, but only very faint. Almost like an aspiration. I once said romanistisch and someone misheard it as humanistisch, Very short /x/. Sep 13, 2016 at 16:34
  • I'm from Bavaria and I would say /a:beit/, but /depressiv/. And I also never heard the /x/ thing.
    – palsch
    Sep 13, 2016 at 18:23
  • I am from Salzburg, where a rolling "r" is uncommon. However, Upper Austria (especially Braunau, Vöcklabruck and Schärding) - quite close to Salzburg - use the rolling "r" in common. Note that this difference does not have to do anything with words like Arbeit, where the "r" is never spoken, /a:beit/. It is rather words like rollen, depressiv and the like, where the "r" cannot be suppressed. Sep 14, 2016 at 8:03
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    @Owen No, it's different from the "Zäpfchen-R". In Cologne for example, warte would almost be pronounced as wachte. Sep 14, 2016 at 10:03

I am from Düsseldorf (North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW) and I hear it very strongly when I hear someone who is from Franconia ("Franken", Northern Bavaria). Here in NRW we just roll it with certain words such as:




It's not pleasing to hear guys from Franconia. Because the R seems to sound so dominant when they speak. Because they roll it in every Word.

The regular Use is okay for me.

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    (I'm from Franconia) Hey, we don't roll every 'r'! For example, I would also find it annoying to hear A-R-beit. Btw., Franconian dialect is not the same everywhere in Franconia. People from Nuremberg seem to convert tkp to dgb and the other way around, while people from Wuerzburg just smoothen everything. :-)
    – palsch
    Sep 13, 2016 at 18:26
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    Hi palsch, sorry. I had any intentions to harm you, but you have to admit: The People In Franconia are rolling the R very often. :) Sep 13, 2016 at 18:33
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    Perhaps I made the comment sound too angry. Sorry! ( ;-) ) I don't feel harmed, and yes, I have to admit that we roll Rs very often.
    – palsch
    Sep 13, 2016 at 18:36
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    You did not. I didn't want to make it harsh ether. See? That's the reason i like this community. It's about consens. Thanks for your reply :) Sep 14, 2016 at 1:45
  • I'm from Wuerzburg and I must say that the most people I know roll the 'r' pretty often. Even those I know, that used to live in the northern and moved to Franconia quickly adapted the rolled 'r', also the "convert" from tkp to dgb. But it doesn't mind me, neither do I know somebody that feels unpleasant by the rolled 'r'.
    – KhorneHoly
    Sep 14, 2016 at 10:43

Another region where the people roll the 'R' is the southern and eastern part of the Upper Lusatia (Oberlausitz). There's an example in the German Wikipedia, if you are curious.

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    – Jan
    Sep 13, 2016 at 22:50

The "Wäller" dialect heavily rolls the r. Municipality of Rennerod in the Westerwaldkreis being a center of that dialect.

Listen to this guy:



People in the Wetterau Area (north of Frankfurt am Main) are said to roll the R. In the local dialect, the name of the region is Wetteraa/Wedderaa, with a rolled R.

That said, I am living not far from there and went there several times for hiking, but I never heard someone rolling the R. I guess the number of speakers of the original dialect has declined considerably.

Today the dialect is probably only spoken by older people. My father told me that he once was there as a schoolboy with his school class (must have been about 70 years ago) and that they had trouble understanding a farmer who spoke to them because the farmer's dialect differed a lot from the south Hessian dialect he was used to.


In upper bavaria you have the "Oberfranken", "Mittefranken", and "Unterfranken" dialects. I am from Berlin where slang we use "ike/icke" instead of "ich". "Pfankuchen" in Franconia is called "Krapfen". In Bavia "Pfandkuchen" is pancake but in Berlin they call it "Eierkuchen". It's like on part says "Brötchen" other parts call "Semmel", "Weck", or in Berlin we say "Schrippe".

  • 1
    This does not answer the question.
    – Carsten S
    Sep 8, 2020 at 9:04

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