Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

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Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby rikenwa » 2014-05-25, 13:14

Dear Latvians and Latvian learners,

I'm really curious about this question...
I can't roll the letter "R",I have tried it by lots of ways for several months,but it doesn't work...
I'm afraid of that maybe I can't pronounce it,if I don't roll it,will it sound weird?Will Latvians understand my sentences?

I need your advice and help...it made me feel confusing... :cry:

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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-25, 19:13

How do you pronounce it (i.e. what sound you use instead) ? And what are methods of pronouncing it have you have tried? I think recently in a discussion about rolled R in another language somebody thought that they need to roll their tongue to do it (which is wrong and impossible)
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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby rikenwa » 2014-05-26, 12:38

Sol Invictus wrote:How do you pronounce it (i.e. what sound you use instead) ? And what are methods of pronouncing it have you have tried? I think recently in a discussion about rolled R in another language somebody thought that they need to roll their tongue to do it (which is wrong and impossible)

Thanks for your reply.
I have watched some courses about rolling R on Youtube,but I didn't get any useful ideas from these videos...
There were some articles said people should speak "butter" as fast as they can,or some pronunciations like "dr" "tr".So I can only pronounce it replaced by "ri" in Japanese or English now.
What can I do with that in the future?

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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-26, 17:16

I am not sure, it might result in it sounding like you have a lisp and make it hard to understand what you are saying. Mispronunciation of R in itself is a bit more common than other pronunciation problems among native speakers, because it is a hard sound and parents sometimes force their kids to learn it too early (about age of 5 is fine).

I guess trying to get there by fast speaking English words and sounds instead might not work, because it relies on you pronouncing as a native English speaker would. I looked at advice for Latvian parents, which also suggests pronouncing t and d fast (in their version if you say ti and di, you should eventually get ti-di-ri), but it most likely works because r is articulated at spot between where those two sounds are articulated in Latvian, so that way you are bound to accidentally make the move which makes r with your tongue.

Since that is not working for you, just try to replicate how it supposed to do be articulated. The spot where your tongue is supposed to be is behind your front teeth, slightly before the spot at which the roof of your mouth starts to arch (if your tongue is in the right place, but you can't get vibration of r, you should get something like l instead). Lightly press the tip of your tongue against that spot and then move the tip of the tongue just a little bit so that air can escape over it. Try to repeat that movement very quickly, while exhaling to voice the sound. Technically r is pronounced by obstructing the air flow 2-3 times, but it is a sound you can make as long as you like, so I suggest you just try to do the move with your tongue for as long as you can exhale, instead of making other sounds. According the parental guide and a book on Latvian phonetics you should smile when pronouncing it (I don't think I do, but I guess it makes it easier).
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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby Thon » 2014-05-26, 23:25


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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby rikenwa » 2014-05-27, 1:48

Sol Invictus wrote:I am not sure, it might result in it sounding like you have a lisp and make it hard to understand what you are saying. Mispronunciation of R in itself is a bit more common than other pronunciation problems among native speakers, because it is a hard sound and parents sometimes force their kids to learn it too early (about age of 5 is fine).

I guess trying to get there by fast speaking English words and sounds instead might not work, because it relies on you pronouncing as a native English speaker would. I looked at advice for Latvian parents, which also suggests pronouncing t and d fast (in their version if you say ti and di, you should eventually get ti-di-ri), but it most likely works because r is articulated at spot between where those two sounds are articulated in Latvian, so that way you are bound to accidentally make the move which makes r with your tongue.

Since that is not working for you, just try to replicate how it supposed to do be articulated. The spot where your tongue is supposed to be is behind your front teeth, slightly before the spot at which the roof of your mouth starts to arch (if your tongue is in the right place, but you can't get vibration of r, you should get something like l instead). Lightly press the tip of your tongue against that spot and then move the tip of the tongue just a little bit so that air can escape over it. Try to repeat that movement very quickly, while exhaling to voice the sound. Technically r is pronounced by obstructing the air flow 2-3 times, but it is a sound you can make as long as you like, so I suggest you just try to do the move with your tongue for as long as you can exhale, instead of making other sounds. According the parental guide and a book on Latvian phonetics you should smile when pronouncing it (I don't think I do, but I guess it makes it easier).

I have also read this article: http://www.wikihow.com/Roll-Your-%22R%22s
I can make a tongue vibration,but I think my pronunciation is incorrect...not similar as the CD speaks.
When I was pronouncing works like "brālis",it sounds really weird.I can't pronounce such words fluently and clearly even though I vibrated my tongue.

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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby rikenwa » 2014-05-27, 1:50

Thon wrote:Here's a nice video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BH2Q1tw-ms

Thank you.
I will try to learn from this video.

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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-27, 2:23

rikenwa wrote:I can make a tongue vibration,but I think my pronunciation is incorrect...not similar as the CD speaks.
When I was pronouncing works like "brālis",it sounds really weird.I can't pronounce such words fluently and clearly even though I vibrated my tongue.

Can you make a recording of how it sounds? If by saying you can make Ri before, you meant you used saying it to learn the sound like one method in Wikihow article you linked suggests, you probably are doing it right, since i is articulated at about same place where r (meanwhile, d which they use in a lot of examples isn't). If you have trouble saying it without i try some words that actually have ri first, not brālis where it is followed by open vowel for which you need to move your tongue to different part of your mouth
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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby rikenwa » 2014-05-27, 13:12

Can you make a recording of how it sounds? If by saying you can make Ri before, you meant you used saying it to learn the sound like one method in Wikihow article you linked suggests, you probably are doing it right, since i is articulated at about same place where r (meanwhile, d which they use in a lot of examples isn't). If you have trouble saying it without i try some words that actually have ri first, not brālis where it is followed by open vowel for which you need to move your tongue to different part of your mouth

I have recorded it by using my mobile phone yesterday,but the effect is terrible and it just made a wave distortion.So,its impossible to hear any vibrations when I was displaying these audio files...I'm trying to find better recorders now.

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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby OldBoring » 2014-05-27, 14:05

rikenwa wrote:
Can you make a recording of how it sounds? If by saying you can make Ri before, you meant you used saying it to learn the sound like one method in Wikihow article you linked suggests, you probably are doing it right, since i is articulated at about same place where r (meanwhile, d which they use in a lot of examples isn't). If you have trouble saying it without i try some words that actually have ri first, not brālis where it is followed by open vowel for which you need to move your tongue to different part of your mouth

I have recorded it by using my mobile phone yesterday,but the effect is terrible and it just made a wave distortion.So,its impossible to hear any vibrations when I was displaying these audio files...I'm trying to find better recorders now.

Try "Audition" on the PC, and record with a PC microphone.

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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-05-27, 15:57

Youngfun wrote:
rikenwa wrote:
Can you make a recording of how it sounds? If by saying you can make Ri before, you meant you used saying it to learn the sound like one method in Wikihow article you linked suggests, you probably are doing it right, since i is articulated at about same place where r (meanwhile, d which they use in a lot of examples isn't). If you have trouble saying it without i try some words that actually have ri first, not brālis where it is followed by open vowel for which you need to move your tongue to different part of your mouth

I have recorded it by using my mobile phone yesterday,but the effect is terrible and it just made a wave distortion.So,its impossible to hear any vibrations when I was displaying these audio files...I'm trying to find better recorders now.

Try "Audition" on the PC, and record with a PC microphone.

Also Audacity is poular sound recorder you can get for free. Anyway I'm sure, if the pronounciation is so terrible you should worry I will be able to tell even with some noise, but without it I can't tell anything. Also BTW, please, record some words in Latvian, not just the R sound alone
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Re: Will it sound weird if I can't roll "R" in Latvian?

Postby rikenwa » 2014-05-28, 11:53

Also Audacity is poular sound recorder you can get for free. Anyway I'm sure, if the pronounciation is so terrible you should worry I will be able to tell even with some noise, but without it I can't tell anything. Also BTW, please, record some words in Latvian, not just the R sound alone

I have sent the links of audio files,as a private message to you.
My spoken English is really bad...so if you can't understand what I said from my audio,please tell me...
Lies Paldies...


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