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How do I pronounce the letter 'R' in French?

I'm having trouble pronouncing words like merci, robe, rouge, and other words with the letter R. Any help?

November 4, 2017



It's kind of a back of the throat thing? Almost like clearing your throat, or a bit like saying the letter H in English except your mouth is kind of tighter and it's slightly more voiced, if that makes sense.

There's lots of youtube videos about it tho, here's one that might help? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hv5n2ntNDM


I was going to recommend language city too. That guy is amazing and I recommend him to everyone.


I made a post about this a while back.

The sound in question is /ʁ/, the voiced uvular fricative. Full description of how to make the sound in the post above, but here's the summary: try making the th sound in "father" and then pulling the back of your tongue up towards your uvula.

This works because both that th sound /ð/ and the French r sound /ʁ/ are voiced fricatives, and differ only in their place of articulation, and so you can just focus on getting that part right.


It's the same as with Madrid/Castellano spanish the sound with Gente, JorGe (good words cuz there's 2x the sound). Also brazilian portuguese has it. Dont think it as R sound. It's just clearing ur throat. Do first it with "dramatization" like say Gente (use any french word) but turn the G into clearing ur throat. When you learn it, it wont sound as dramatic :)) That's how I learned it.


Is not the trouble with the r mainly a problem in northern France (i.e. Paris area). I the south i have experienced they pronounce the r "normally".


Use your tonsils. lol


French has a few sounds that native english speakers find difficult. I am an advanced learner and I've been told my accent is near native. In order to develop a good accent I studied the French IPA and the anatomy of pronouncing certain sounds (where your lips and tongue should be for example). If you search 'French IPA' on youtube you will find many tutorials on this. In my opinion, the only way to correctly pronounce these sounds is through knowing the anatomy

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