I know a similar question has been asked many times before, but I haven't found an exact answer.

I have seen and heard the "R" pronounced both as a uvular trill and as a uvular fricative. It seems, from other answers here, that the fricative is more common. Is using the trill wrong? I find it easier to pronounce, but will it sound odd/give me a slight unwanted accent, or is there enough variation in pronunciation that it won't be a problem?

Edit: Here's what I've seen so far:

Pronunciation of 'r' in German - Discusses the Uvular trill, but says it is not used because it is difficult to pronounce, which is the opposite of my case

R's: Trilled R, Uvular Fricative R, and Uvular Trill R - Seems to be more focused on the alveolar trill, not the uvular trill, but perhaps I just read it wrong


2 Answers 2


Standard German in Germany uses that uvular fricative 'R'. The 'R' with an uvular trill is used in dialects, and if you use it, you are either received as appropriate dialect or accent from a foreign country.


Standard is /ʁ/,

although, /r/ isn't uncommon either. /r/ is characteristic of dialects, however.

From de.wikipedia.org:

Im Deutschen gibt es mehrere Möglichkeiten der Aussprache des /r/: Es kann u. a. mit der Zungenspitze einfach oder mehrfach gerollt oder am Zäpfchen reibend erzeugt werden. Heute wird /r/ meist als Zäpfchen-R ​[⁠ʁ⁠]​ (stimmhafter uvularer Frikativ oder Approximant) ausgesprochen. Ursprünglich wurde der R-Laut als „gerollter“ Zungenspitzlaut ​[⁠r⁠]​ (stimmhafter alveolarer Vibrant) gesprochen. In Bayern, Franken, in ländlichen Regionen Deutschlands (Ostfriesland, Siegerland, Mittelhessen) und Österreichs sowie großmehrheitlich in der Deutschschweiz (außer in deren Nordosten sowie Basel) überwiegt diese Aussprache immer noch, wie auch in übrigen europäischen Ländern (außer in Frankreich, Belgien und Dänemark sowie in Westnorwegen und Südschweden).

Rough translation in English:

In German, there are several ways of pronouncing /r/: Among other things, it can be produced with the tip of the tongue rolled once or several times or rubbing against the uvula. Today, /r/ is mostly pronounced as uvular R [ʁ] (voiced uvular fricative or approximant). Originally, the R sound was pronounced as a "rolled" lingual vowel [r] (voiced alveolar vibrant). In Bavaria, Franconia, rural regions of Germany (East Frisia, Siegerland, Central Hesse) and Austria, as well as in the majority of German-speaking Switzerland (except in its north-east and Basel), this pronunciation still predominates, as it does in other European countries (except in France, Belgium and Denmark, as well as in western Norway and southern Sweden).

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