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Pronunciation of 'ר' in Hebrew

How do we pronounce 'ר' in Hebrew exactly? (Especially when it is at the beginning of a word like 'רוצה'). Is it similar to the way the french r is pronounced?

June 23, 2016



It's R with your throat rather than your tongue. https://youtu.be/yossvO7Mdc8?t=18s


There seems to be some variation depending on the speaker and its position in the word. Word initial seems to be more like an alveolar tap (רוצה), whereas at the end of word it seems lateralized (אור).


There are roughly two allophones that depend on the speaker (free variant). What you say is incorrect.


I'm sure you're right.


(It is like the french R, but it is always voiced. Many people retain a pronunciation like Spanish R, which is "preferable".


No, don't get confused, the Spanish R is used in Arabic, not Hebrew.


If I remember correctly, when Modern Hebrew was at its early stage of existence, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda favored the Sephardic pronunciation of the resh (ר) which was like the Spanish R. However, since Ashkenazi Jews made up a majority of the migrants who mass migrated to Israel, they learned to speak Hebrew with a Germanic/Yiddish influence, therefore pronouncing the resh with a voiced uvular fricative sound. This transformed into the normal pronunciation of the Modern Hebrew that is spoken today. Using the Spanish R is considered "more classical", but if you want to sound like a Modern Hebrew Speaker, you should pronounce it with a voiced uvular fricative sound.


I've heard this consonant compared to the French "r", but I don't speak any French and I am quite familiar with German. German has an "r" that is also quite gutteral. They sound similar but they don't sound exactly the same. The German "r" sounds gentler to me and it sounds like it's maybe not quite as far back in the throat...

Is there anyone here who knows both German and Hebrew who can explain or compare these two for me?


I would say that the R in German is much softer, more breathy, and further back in the throat than the R in Hebrew. The R in hebrew is more 'abrasive', and like so many people pointed out, voiced. It's also not breathy, unlike the german R.


Linguistix has best how to I've ever used on resh https://youtu.be/yNJtAibUeOc I'm not the only on Duolingo whose used his method.

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