R in Norwegian.

I just watched a video about Norwegian R and the video shows that Norwegian has two R which are Rulle R and Skarre R. Since Norwegian has lots of dialects, I want to know is there other ways Norwegian pronounce their R? I usually hear tap r or roll r. I also want to know is it okay to not roll the R when speak in Norwegian also is there any dialects that actually not roll their r?

July 17, 2015

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As far as I know all Norwegian dialects have either skarre-r or rulle-r present.

Skarre-r is only found in the southern and western parts of the country, but it's been steadily spreading for decades, partially because rulle-r is a more challenging letter to pronounce even for Norwegians. It's not uncommon for children to still be struggling with it when they're starting school.

On the bright side the rulle-r in most Norwegian dialects is softer than the one you'll find in the Spanish 'perro' for example, so if you botch the R it won't be as noticeable. In your case it will probably just be seen as a slight accent, so don't be too self-concious about it. :)

If you want to practice rolling your Rs, a good tip is to start with words that have a D immediately before the R (like 'drille'). Pronouncing the D puts your tongue in almost the right position, so all you have to do is move it ever so slightly back, make sure it still touches the roof of your mouth gently, and then experiment with pushing air past it. The base of your tongue needs to be firm, while the very tip of your tongue should be kept a bit softer.

You can also practice by substituting the R in a word with a D the first time you say it (to put your tongue in the right position), and then repeating it with a proper R the second time you say it (bdille -> brille).

It's tricky, and it's going to feel awkward at first, but keep at it!
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The 'skarre-r' has trouble spreading into the Eastern parts of Norway, as their r's tend to blend with a following consonant to a single sound. (Værsågod -> Væsjegod")

I never know that rulle r is more chalenging than skarre r for Norwegians to pronounce, and thanks for the tip:)

I was wondering about the R roll as well.... I have a great deal of trouble rolling my R's, so I'm a tad concerned for my progression through the Norwegian course.... Are there any native Norwegians that have trouble rolling their R's? Or would I stick out like a sore thumb?

Norwegians who use the skarre-R often don't know how to pronounce the rulle-R. Some people (not many) can't pronounce R and use a J sound instead, but that sounds silly; it's way better to go for the English R, and try to eventually learn to rulle as you go. I wouldn't recommend using the skarre-R, as it often comes with some distinct dialect as well, and therefore is harder to master correctly.

We're kind of used to foreigners (especially Americans) not being able to pronounce the R's correctly, so most people probably won't even think about it unless the rest of your language is completely fluent. They will hear that you're not Norwegian because of it, but it'n not really a problem apart from that.

Thank you for the suggestion! I wouldn't think to try a J sound in place of the rolled R, that would definitely sound odd. I will continue to use the English R and do my best to try to learn how to make the correct sound in time.

It seems that half of my relatives have an inability to roll their R's as well. Ironically, that part of my family is of Norwegian descent... Two sets of my great-great Grandparents immigrated to America from Norway.

Glad that my pronunciation issues wouldn't be perceived negatively though. I had wondered if it would be difficult for Norwegian speakers to understand me, and if my pronunciation would come across as grating.

My Norwegian SO claims that many people will just find your accent endearing, since it "shows that you put effort into actually learning the language".

Thank you!!! Definitely glad it would come off as endearing rather than nails on a chalkboard!

So, is the skarre-r like the German r-sound? Like in words like "Brot" or "Ratte".

Pretty similar from what I've heard actually.

I've been (hopefully not mis-)hearing some Norwegians replace the Rs with a G sound, as in 'foran' and 'moro'. Does anyone know what dialect(s) this is typical of?

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