https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrandApple

I'm still confused. How do I roll my French r's?

Do I put my tongue all the way at the back of my mouth and let air pass through? Or is it just like pronouncing an h? When I put my tongue at the back and let air pass, it sound unnatural and sounds like I'm going to spit mucus or something. The second one doesn't seem right either.

November 15, 2014

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thidrekr

If it helps for research, the French "rolled r" is called an "uvular trill." It's pronounced in the back of the throat and sounds "guttural."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uvular_trill

The fancier "machine gun" trill that's spoken in Spanish and Italian is called an "alveolar trill."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alveolar_trill

They both take practice, but I found the alveolar trill quite difficult to learn as a native English speaker. If you do a Google search, there are quite a few sites that try to teach people to speak them properly.

November 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lasoufriere

A lingot for you, not only because of your useful Wikipedia articles, but also because your default picture scares me to death.

November 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

> Thidrekrs's default picture . . .

Is it Vigo from Ghostbusters-II? He was so creepy!

November 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lasoufriere

I think that mucus sound is normal. The pronunciation will eventually grow on you, and you'll transition to something more subtle. I can only give you advice by offering my experience. At first, I always pronounced the "R" like "L", so I would say "il est tlès impoltant" instead of "il est très important".

My teacher recommended that I go into the shower and just gurgle, in order to practice, and either use an "L" or a "G" sound. Eventually, the sound roughened up to a very forced French R, before smoothing down to something more natural as I became used to it.

Another comparison is often made to the sound we make for babies, "goo goo gah gah". You often hear that sound made with some sort of soft gutteral noise, and if you know the sound I am referring to, and can replicate it, it might be of use for you, when comparing it to the French R.

November 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karimmusallam

I think the second one is the German 'ch'. The French 'r' is somewhat similar to that. What languages are you fluent in? Maybe I can find you an equilivent to the French 'r'. It's like saying an 'h' while closing your throat.

November 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karimmusallam

The sound of the French 'r' is also found in German, Arabic, Armenian...etc

November 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danaibalt

the same 'r' also exists in hebrew

April 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DXLi
Mod

    It's not a rolled R as much as a hawked R. It's a softer version of the sound you make when you're trying to hawk phlegm from the back of your throat. This is the video I used to learn it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ3jeAU3VDk

    November 15, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gavier

    I thought that this video was excellent. I shall endeavour to add it to my practice. Thanks!

    November 19, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danaibalt

    You dont roll them. The rolled r is what exists in spanish, italian and greek. the french r is completely different. Its gutteral. this means it needs to be kind of like a scraping at the back of your throat. Pretend you have something stuck there and try to get it unstuck. and listen to a lot of spoken french. hearing imrpoves pronounciation a lot

    November 16, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackmchugh12

    i think its kind of like drowning out the word 'air' and put a little emphasise on the r at the end

    November 15, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrandApple

    Hm... Thanks.

    November 15, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CamoH

    Thank you for posting the question. It's something I struggle with. Rolling R is hard !!

    November 15, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/myramalik

    it's easy once you get a hang of it

    November 15, 2014
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