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  5. how to do the french R ?


how to do the french R ?

September 1, 2017



Oh wow - what a GREAT question !


it's really diffiult , i got confused with e


In my opinion, you do not need to worry about accents to much. French People will not ridicule you because the english accent is the same with them. If you need to know, it isn't really something you ask in a discussion because I can't show the position of my mouth! What about visiting an expert?


An e has three different sounds in French.
And as for being confused with "e" , all I can equate that to is that the NAME of the letter, how you pronounce the name of the letter is different to how in English we pronounce the name of "r".

English say the name of "r" - more like a pirate would : arrrrrh

While French say the name of "r" more like : errh -

For both English and French, the name of the letter is different to the sound in many cases that the letter represents in a world.

That is why you are seeing comments here such that is more like a "gargled" R.

Often it is not gargled nearly as much as some other langues "gargle" their R.
However it is pronounced more at the back of the pallet, close to your throat. And often plays down your tongue in a delightful way.
While for English speakers - they say the "R" by almost closing their lips, and making the "R" sound at the front of their mouth, with the bottom lip touching the top lip.

You might like to check out other sounds of the French language here:

And perhaps others have other recommendations.


It's almost like you're gargling an English "r"


For english people this can be very difficult sometimes. Either you can do it or either you can't.


The 'French r' is actually the Parisian pronunciation of the r, which was imposed to the rest of France by the bourgeoisie, the national education, the radio and finally TV. When I was a child, it was not rare to find old people rolling their r's in the countryside. Because r's were rolled almost everywhere in France until the early 20th century.

The Parisian r is guttural. You do not that have to pronounce it that way. You can roll it or pronounce it the English way: you will be understood. It will not be confused with another letter. If you try to gutturalise your r's in French, though, you must not exaggerate, because it would sound bad. It must not sound like the Arabic 'kh'. It does sound like the Arabic 'gh', though (transcribed 'gh' but pronounced like the Parisian r).


Check out this video from the University of Michigan. https://youtu.be/oZ3jeAU3VDk

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.