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  5. Rolling R in "farfalle" versu…


Rolling R in "farfalle" versus "burro"

Thanks to repeated practices and help from this discussion board, I can trill the R now.

In words like "burro", the trilled 'r' is longer than, say, the 'r' in "farfalle" or "buongiorno". It seems that the 'r' in "farfalle" is so short and brief that it no longer trills and sounds like the English 'r'. Any opinions on this? Is the 'r' still trilled in such cases? It sounds really odd if I try to "fully" trill the 'r' in these cases.

June 21, 2017



Is the 'r' still trilled in such cases?

Yes, always. Check out this video about the Scottish accent, it's basically the same thing!

June 21, 2017


There is a distinction in Spanish between the rolled r and the tapped r. Based on the TTS on the Italian course, it seems that there may be something similar for Italian. (The Wikipedia page on Italian phonology should have the more detailed information.

The tapped, or “short”, r is very similar to the tt or dd in words like bitter and muddy in some dialects of English. In IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), this tapped r sound is represented by / ɾ /, so farfalla would be pronounced / faɾ . ˈ fal . la /, and the English bitter would be pronounced / ˈbɪ.ɾəɹ/ (in American English). I don't know if the Italian single r is tapped or trilled, but it sounds like a tap in the TTS.

The trilled, or “long”, r is the familiar rolling sound. Its IPA letter is /r/. Burro would be pronounced / ˈbur.ro/. Because it's not native to many dialects of English, it can sometimes be hard to pronounce without being clumsy, especially in consonant clusters or fast speech. It might sound odd with the trilled r in words like farfalla because it is taking you longer to trigger the sound, so it could be messing up the rhythm of the speech.

The r sound of American English (and many dialects) is neither of these. It is an entirely separate sound (/ ɹ /). The American English /ɹ/ does not exist in Italian.

June 21, 2017


In burro, carro, etc. the R has a longer duration (being double), but it is trilled also in farfalle!
Here you can clearly hear the trill:


June 21, 2017


What the Italians told me was when you you see two identical consonants together, pay attention, and make sure you give them the attention they deserve.

June 21, 2017


Ha ha, that's good!

June 21, 2017


As far as I have learnt, you should pronounce both consonants in Italian if there is a double. Try it. You can often just pronounce one at the end of a syllable, then the other at the start of the next. You kind of 'rest' at the double consonant and keep on pronouncing it.

It feels odd, and I'm just trying it out, but that is what I've been informed.

June 21, 2017

  • 1869

Simply, in burro there are two R and the sound is more marked.

June 22, 2017
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