WATCH: Our Guide To Nordschleife Pronunciation Excellence


The Nürburgring-Nordschleife is hard to drive - and its sectors are also hard to pronounce for non-German speakers. To help you out, we have created a handy video guide.

With the iRacing Nürburgring 24 Hours Special Event happening this weekend and the real endurance classic being only two weeks away, the legendary Nordschleife is the main focus of many sim racers. And as hard as the track is to drive, it might be even harder to pron9unce its numerous section names correctly if you do not know German.

So, to point you in the right direction, we have created a video guide on how to do just that. Not to be condescending, of course, so we also threw in some trivia about the Nordschleife sections and how they got their names, plus some attempts at the correct pronunciation by Emily and Markus. All in good fun!


Whether or not this video helps you, we wish everyone who is taking part in this weekend's twice-around-the-clock contest a successful race - and most importantly: Have fun while tackling the Green Hell with your friends and teammates!

Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @OverTake_gg if some of the Nordschleife pronunciations surprised you - and how your Nüburgring 24 Hours Special Events went, of course!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

Premium
Love the vid, thanks. I've definitely being saying some of these wrong - but probably still will.

Being pedantic, while Flugplatz means airport, the "one-to-one" translation is flug = flight and platz = place. And "flight place" sort of makes more sense in English than 'airport' for a hill where gliders took off. (it's what I've always called it anyway).

And to fill in the missing / unofficial names as I know them:
The bends between Kallenhard andd Wehrseifen are the left-right mirror curve (Spiegel Kurve) and the triple apex right-hander miss-hit-miss ('cos that's how you want to take it in a tin top).

Mirror curve so named because apparently that's where you can see people behind in your mirror, though the left and right turns are, well, mirrored, so there's that.

After Wehrseifen you have to go over the Adenauer bridge (I think?) before you hit Ex-Muhle - one of several jumps in the original layout that were removed for safety reasons (but can be driven in AMS2 DLC).

Mr Lauder's suspension apparently failed at the left-hand kink before Bergwerk, hence that kink being called Lauder Links. (The actual crash was at Bergwerk, with lifelong consequences).

Between Klostertal and the carousel is the fast left hander called either courage curve or fear curve (Mutt / Angst in German?) and then the tight right and hill to the carousel is the Steep Track.

Between Brunchen and Pflanzgarten is the left-hander just before the crest called Ice Curve (very slippery).

Then the banked concrete left-hander between swallowtail and the final straight is the mini carousel, followed by the double right hander of Galgenkopf (Gallow's Hill I think?)

I'm not the experts you are, so please correct me if I've messed up.

ps sorry for bad spelling and no umlauts :( Your English is far better than my German.
 
OverTake
Premium
Oh yes, we did not cover every single part, like the Mutkurve or Steilstrecke you mentioned, but rather the sectors and names that also need some more explanation or have a deeper meaning. But that might require an extended 20 minute version! :D
 
OverTake
Premium
You've done well, actually! I can't imagine how hard some of these must be for non-native speakers.

The Flugplatz translation would indeed be "flight place" if done word-by-word, I think "airfield" would also work well for what it likely was back in the day.

And you are correct about the Lauda-Links. The suspension did break in the left kink, earning it its unofficial name, with the crash happening in between that and the actual Bergwerk corner, if I remember correctly.

Courage curve is probably the best translation for Mutkurve :) For Eiskurve and Galgenkopf, you are spot on as well :thumbsup: Only one to correct would be Brünnchen (missing one 'n'), really.
 
So, now we just need to learn all the Porsche owners in California to pronounce their car right :D

Regarding Sabine Schmitz Kurve naming or before more or less officially known as 'T13', it has also unofficially been named 'Nordkehre' (first 'e' pronounced flat as in 'belly' and second also spoken 'e' just pronounced like in 'person')

And as stated in this post, some crucial sections between Kallenhard and Ex-Mühle are missing. Spiegelkurve (miss-hit-miss) and slowest hard braking left corner Wehrseifen are mentioned, but just before Spiegelkurve there's the superfast on-the-limit esses (challenging especially in older heavy suspension vehicles with lots of power, where coast/lift is a neccessity 9/10 times, just as when the Raidillon Eau Rouge was more of a challenge) of which I have heard only one naming:
'Piff-Paff'
Anyone know if there's also a German name for those high speed on-the-limit esses, leading to the Miss-Hit-Miss Spiegelkurve section?

And Breidscheid coming down from Wehrseifen, often causing crashes entering the left hander just entering the bridge with too confident speed, I've also used as reference point.

And regarding Bergwerk and the run-up to here, Lauda Links (Lauda Left) kink should have a mention. The vid gives an incorrect impression that his infamous 1976 GP crash happened at Bergwerk (edit: ok sorry already menioned in this thread I see now).
And before Klostertal (I'm glad the name is mentioned in this vid, very rare this section - of which was my favourite in GPL days), Mutkurve ('courage curve') should certainly have a mention.

And just entering Klostertal, the Steilstrecke (Steep Section, 33% grade with cobbles) should have a mention, though just passing by in the right curve before entering Karussell-Carraciola.

Glad Sprunghügel is also mentioned - also quite decisive section speaking negotiation upcoming corner.

Regarding Pflantzgarten I've always devided it into "Pflantzgarten I" and "Pflantzgarten II" as to devide the hairy series of corners, leading to Bellof S. Again in older cars with far from optimal suspension and zero aerodynamics but lots of power this really have always been a rollercoaster section to me, both on location and in sims, the latter requiring really confidence going flat out in Bellof's 1983 #2 Rothman Porsche 956.

But nice intro to the German language (as a Dane, German being my 3rd language, however a lot of my countrymen not doing use of it, but due to several vacations and the need of speaking to locals with German as being single spoken language, besides previous colleagues with German nationality, in fact I like the language).

So. Now I'm looking forward to next article:
Learning the Brits French track names and sections, without the sound of an upset stomach :D

(Well, I'm not perfect neither. My wife with distant Italian relatives and some familiar with Italian and on occasions too confident I think I can speak Spanish when I am at Iberia peninsulvania. Apparently people there also being worried about my health when trying to pronounce rightly :roflmao:).
 
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of which I have heard only one naming:
'Piff-Paff'
Anyone know if there's also a German name for those high speed on-the-limit esses, leading to the Miss-Hit-Miss Spiegelkurve section?
Haha, oh so embarrassing. Just so great with articles delivering right focus. I feel so stupid now, in my eager to catch up. Always regarded Piff-Paff and Spiegelkurve as two consecusive sections.
So thanks, OverTake. Now you forced me to correct +30 years of mistakes :D
 
As somebody who speaks German as a second language the one thing that infuriates me is the Umlaut.

Yes I know what it means, and what it does to to the word - it simply indicates an "e" after an "o" or "a" or "u". However as I tend to read by the overall shape of the word, as I think many do, I find that the 2 dots above the vowel fails to convey the difference, especially to a native English speaker.

I've placed myself in trouble with this. For example:

Schwul and Schwül mean entirely different things, and honestly I need to avoid this word when attempting to describe the weather.

If it was Schwul and Schwuel then I'd have no problem.
 
Between Klostertal and the carousel is the fast left hander called either courage curve or fear curve (Mutt / Angst in German?) and then the tight right and hill to the carousel is the Steep Track.
I would rather translate it to "Dare Curve", "Nerve Curve" or "Boldness Curve".
You have to have "courage" to push it there, but courage is a bit too heroic. It's more the kind of courage that you need to jump from a mountain with your wingsuit. Being a daredevil :D
Bravery and being a daredevil can both be called having "Mut" or being "mutig", while English has way more words depending on the context.

Galgenkopf (Gallow's Hill I think?)
Yep! Although I don't really know where it originates from. Might be the shape or because there actually was a gallow..
just before Spiegelkurve there's the superfast on-the-limit esses (challenging especially in older heavy suspension vehicles with lots of power, where coast/lift is a neccessity 9/10 times, just as when the Raidillon Eau Rouge was more of a challenge) of which I have heard only one naming:
'Piff-Paff'
Anyone know if there's also a German name for those high speed on-the-limit esses, leading to the Miss-Hit-Miss Spiegelkurve section?
It's Piff-Paff in German :)
I know the Miss-Hit-Miss as "Dreifach-Rechts" (triple right), but Miss-Hit-Miss seems to become the German name too.
 
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if you ain't heel 'n toeing this track in a group C car, you're not a race car enthusiast.
I've been driving this track in a Sauber C11 for years, and it's so intoxicating.
C'mon, let's make a league, club racing out of that.
I dare you.
rF2 for that matter.
 
I've purposely not learned the Nordschleife, except for a couple blind corners you really have to, so I can still drive it like a country road, purely visually!
 
Premium
Oh yes, we did not cover every single part, like the Mutkurve or Steilstrecke you mentioned, but rather the sectors and names that also need some more explanation or have a deeper meaning. But that might require an extended 20 minute version! :D
If you made a feature length film it probably wouldn't cover every bit of history, notable incident or interesting anecdote you could relate around a single lap - but I'd like to see that film!

If you just want the corner names I posted a vid on YT about 18 months ago with every official and unofficial corner name - in English and German - it's not a very good lap and it's under five minutes long :) Admittedly I'm in an F1 car , there's no interesting history and the corner names are in subtitles - my pronunciations would make a native German speaker cringe. I make Ex-Muhle sound like I'm talking about a deceased donkey. (Not sure if that joke translates).

I suppose I could have set the names to the vid of my sub-four minute lap in the RB X2010 in AC, but you probably wouldn't have time to read the subtitles!

You've done well, actually! I can't imagine how hard some of these must be for non-native speakers.

The Flugplatz translation would indeed be "flight place" if done word-by-word, I think "airfield" would also work well for what it likely was back in the day.

If it was an actual airfield (runway / hangars / terminal etc) then I defer to your expertise. The description I read years back when I was learning the official names was almost word for word as used in your video "a hill where gliders used to take off". The only gliders that take off from hills afaik are hang gliders. Towed gliders take off from runways. Which are always flat, never on hills. And airports are usually in flat valleys away from hills. So I think of Flugplatz = flight place for the corner, even if it means airport in every other context.

Before I learnt the 'proper' names I gave every single corner, sequence and feature around the circuit my own names, and Flugplatz was The Terrifier, followed by Long Lefty (the hill), Look I Can Fly (the crest), Trust Me Hard Left (Schwedenkreuze), the Windup (Aremberg) and Squeaky Bum Hill (foxhole). I find this helps me learn new circuits, though now I drive mainly open-wheelers the names aren't very accurate - I'm flat in top gear from the exit of Hocheichen to Aremberg nowadays.

I also named the Ice Curve crest Sabine's Knees in her honour - this was some time before she died and probably sounds better in English than German, and since T13 got renamed is a bit unnecessary. I've tried a 10 minute lap in a transit van (in a sim) - and it's impossible. But I'm not the queen of the ring I suppose.

Or anywhere else, for that matter :)

Finally, to refer to a recent article of yours Yannik, you are probably familiar with more circuits, tracks and layouts than I am. Can you think of a single track that is either better for hot lapping or worse for actual racing than the North Loop? The only thing I can think of are the historic South and North Loops / Gesamstrecke in AMS2, which are even more challenging (and thus fun) for a single lap, but even worse with more than one car on the road. What do you think?
 
OverTake
Premium
I know it's being nit-picky, but I can't help finding it ironic how, in an article about correct pronunciation, the word "pronunciation" is misspelled throughout both the headline and article.
Woof. I would've bet my house that this is the correct spelling, but you are right - thanks for pointing that out! So much for the topic of non-native speakers and native speakers :D

my pronunciations would make a native German speaker cringe. I make Ex-Muhle sound like I'm talking about a deceased donkey. (Not sure if that joke translates).
This mule has ceased to be! :D
If it was an actual airfield (runway / hangars / terminal etc) then I defer to your expertise. The description I read years back when I was learning the official names was almost word for word as used in your video "a hill where gliders used to take off". The only gliders that take off from hills afaik are hang gliders. Towed gliders take off from runways. Which are always flat, never on hills. And airports are usually in flat valleys away from hills. So I think of Flugplatz = flight place for the corner, even if it means airport in every other context.
That does make sense, so you might be correct with the type of aircraft (flight equipment?) that took off from there. It's probably going to be hard to find anything about it, but I shall investigate!
Finally, to refer to a recent article of yours Yannik, you are probably familiar with more circuits, tracks and layouts than I am. Can you think of a single track that is either better for hot lapping or worse for actual racing than the North Loop? The only thing I can think of are the historic South and North Loops / Gesamstrecke in AMS2, which are even more challenging (and thus fun) for a single lap, but even worse with more than one car on the road. What do you think?
Tough call, but the first one that came to mind would be the Targa Florio circuit, as that is even tighter and slower in many places, and it's near impossible to learn, too.

Other than that, Sonoma/Sears Point always struck me as a place where hotlapping is fun, but racing is not. Though I struggle to rank it above or below the Ring.
 
Club Staff
Premium
And you are correct about the Lauda-Links. The suspension did break in the left kink, earning it its unofficial name, with the crash happening in between that and the actual Bergwerk corner, if I remember correctly.

If i remember the movie rush correctly he didn't really turn left much at the kink at all and went fairly straight off into the barrier. Is there any footage or reports from real life?

Edit.. Mixing them up. Irl the suspension goes on the kerb and the the car steers back right and straight into the barrier.

Looks different in the movie he more looses control when the suspension goes and does crash between the 2 corners .
 
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OverTake
Premium
It's amazing that there is footage of the accident at all, as handheld film cameras for everyone weren't really that wide-spread at the time. And Bergwerk isn't exactly the best spectator area either - the odds that someone with a camera was right there must have been extremely low.
 
It's amazing that there is footage of the accident at all, as handheld film cameras for everyone weren't really that wide-spread at the time. And Bergwerk isn't exactly the best spectator area either - the odds that someone with a camera was right there must have been extremely low.
I grew up in the '70s and they were far more widespread than you think. Super 8 film cameras were pretty popular in the '70s and a good proportion of families had one, meaning a lot of people who were seriously into spectating live motorsports would also likely have had one.

The downside is of course that there was often only one copy of the footage that existed, and that to send that to somebody else would mean that you no longer have it. It wasn't like today where you can simply and quickly send a copy to somebody and still retain the original.

Admittedly it was possible to copy the footage, but there were costs involved. Therefore the majority of important footage was never really shared with media outlets unless there was a convincing amount of money involved.

Edited to add: I'm fairly sure that the video I posted above is actually TV footage rather than amateur footage, but I'm prepared to be corrected on that.
 
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Premium
To 'repay' Yannik / Michel / everyone for such a handy video and thread I thought I'd demonstrate why such a video is needed!


I definitely haven't corrected my Swedish Cross pronunciation (the 'ch' in the German throws me for some reason),but I hope most of the others aren't too bad.

Posted a bit later than I wanted as I tried to comment on my wr lap, then found the video hadn't recorded the sound - doh. And of course I couldn't beat my ghost when the sound was working. I'll have another go when my hands and wrists recover, as I've definitely left a second or two out there.

And I can't have that :)
 
Premium
Being pedantic, while Flugplatz means airport, the "one-to-one" translation is flug = flight and platz = place. And "flight place" sort of makes more sense in English than 'airport' for a hill where gliders took off. (it's what I've always called it anyway).
I know there was the airfield for gliders, but honestly I always thought it was called that because the cars tend to get some air time over the crest :)
 
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