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Russian R's

So I have trouble rolling my R's. I can do a tapped R and a French R but not a long trilling R like in Russian. I especially have trouble saying the R's when they are in the beginning of a word. Any suggestions on how to get better? I know it takes a lot of practice(thanks to many YouTube videos) but any specific tips would be great!


December 10, 2015



Well, not even all Russians can pronounce it correctly. I managed to when I was 5 years old, the speech therapist told me to say 'д' many many times in a row (this somehow puts the tongue in the right position). I still don't understand how it worked, but it did. It must be the Russian [д] sound, the English one is softer. My father still mispronounces it sometimes, my friend uses the English 'r' instead, and I know several people who cannot pronounce both [р] and [л]. We have a verb картавить which means "to pronounce something close to French [r] instead of the correct sound".


Yeah, I figured out that saying a D kind of sound before helps to get you started. That's how I can do a tapped R. ;)


JAJAJA That´s a long meaning for a verb.


Listen to your cat's purr and try to reproduce.

Also take a look at these videos


No. The cat's purring is a completely different method. Cat doesn't use the tongue for that!

The second video may be helpful.


:) How about a lion's roar?


I think the dog's growl is more like it ))


I had the same issue and it bothered me badly. But then I stumbled upon a rather funny hint for german speakers. I'm sure there are analogues for other languages.

Take the word 'Brot' or 'Brötchen'. Now replace the second letter 'r' by 'd' and try to pronounce the word just as you would as before - maybe a little faster. Do that a few times. Sound familiar? Eventually you should hear a trilled r or something close.

It seems rather shady but it worked for me after a few days. It was only then that I started understanding and tweaking my tongue work. From there on it was just a matter of practising words with certain combinations of vowels and consonants.


Of course it is better to pronounce all sounds correctly, but if you find yourself unable to, don't worry, even some native speakers can't do that. Good luck c:


The Р sound is problematic even to Russians. There's a lot of kids who cannot pronounce it, so they are directed to a speech therapist (логопед). You may wish to check the youtube videos and exercises for Russian kids. I understand, that they are in Russian and you will miss a lot of words, but still, give it a try.




Also, a person may have the lingual frenulum that is too thick or too short and doesn't allow the tongue to move as needed for the Р sound. In some cases the exercises help, in some cases one should see the doctor.


These videos are great! I think I've almost got it.


You have saved me from needing to create this post myself. Thanks to you and everyone who's answered!


No problem! Glad my question could also help someone else out. ;)


Thanks you guys. It helps to know that even native speakers can't always do it either. ;P


I was finally able to master "Р" when I was fifteen)

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