Faking the rolled R?

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Faking the rolled R?

Postby bluepeach » 2017-03-20, 10:37

Hello! :) I'm trying to learn Spanish, and although I can pronounce words with a rolled R, I've realized that I'm doing it in an odd way. Instead of lifting my tongue to the area behind my front teeth, I basically fold my tongue and lower it slightly, if that makes any sense. :? I think it's probably most similar to a German or French R, because even though there's an obvious trill sound that sounds like a rolled R, there's also a slight "ch" sound, like "ich bin."

So I have a couple of questions. First of all, is it obvious to native Spanish speakers when someone is basically faking the rolled R? The way I pronounce words with a rolled R doesn't really sound different to me from the correct pronunciation, but maybe that's just because I'm not a native speaker. Second of all, if it is important that I learn how to pronounce the rolled R in the same way native speakers do, what are some tips for learning how? Thank you!

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Re: Faking the rolled R?

Postby Babbsagg » 2017-03-20, 18:59

I can give a tip for learning how, at least that's how I learned it. Spanish "R" is very similar to a short English/German "D". The way I learned it was to say "Bödötchen" (instead of "Brötchen"). When it becomes "Bdötchen" you're pretty close. I think in English, "bdead" instead of "bread" would work just as well.

Once you've mastered that sound, you can try to give it a longer roll, like "bRRRRead". It takes some time, but you can learn it. Mind that in Spanish, a single R is only one tap as described above, a double RR is the longer roll. For example, "para" only has one tap, not a "RRR" roll that many might try to do. "Guerra" has the "RRR" roll because it's written with double R.

While English/German "D" is created by touching the palate with the tip of your tongue, I believe Spanish "D" is made with the tip of your tongue touching upper and lower teeth, giving it a sound that may sound slightly lisped to speakers of another language. I've read this can lead to some confusion among Spanish native speakers, because if you use "Germanic" D, e.g. in "todos", that may sound like "toros" to a Spanish native speaker.

I'm not an expert on Spanish, and some of this is knowledge obtained from other sources, but I hope this helps you. Spanish speakers, please correct me if I'm wrong.

edit: one more thing, from how you describe it I think you're mispronouncing German "ich". It seems you pronounce it [ɪx] (with the same sound as Scottish "loch"), but it's pronounced [ɪç]. I'm not sure if you do that, but it's a common pronunciation mistake.
Thank you for correcting mistakes!

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