Question about the letter r

I am Australian and I consider the trilled r extremely disgusting when spoken in English. With this mindset, should I learn another language (slavic, italian, greek, etc) and use my own Australian r instead? Would it only be acceptable learning a language in this way if I don’t plan to leave Australia?

I can do a bad version of a rolled r (not tapped) but I also want zero-net immigration in Australia. Why should someone learn English if they are not an Anglo. What would a language speaker think of me when I use my own r. Will they vomit? Let me know what your own reaction would be too. I am prospecting before I confirm learning a language.

I don’t know. The difference between a rolled r and not a rolled r in Spanish would be the difference between a dog and a conjunction. It has nothing to do with disgust or vomiting or xenophobia.

In Russia 80% of the population speak a ‘thrilled R’ and 20% not - it doesn’t matter at all and it doesn’t disturb us to understand each other.

‘Dislike or prejudice against people from other countries’.

This isn’t the definition of not wanting immigration into your country so please stop misusing words.

What is commonly known as “the letter r” is actually pronounced in various ways in the European languages. The r’s in British English, American English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian are all quite distinct. But usually we recognize the letter anyway.

In Italy, similar to what Evgueny describes for Russia, there is a number of people not able to produce the rolled Italian “r”, and they usually use more of a French back-of-the-throat “r”, the “erre moscia”. This is sometimes considered a speech impediment (but is is part of some dialects), and although some simple minds make fun of it, nobody is disgusted by it.

In Germany, it is just the other way around.

You might want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why are you disgusted by the rolled r in English?
  • Would you be disgusted by the same r in a language where it is considered standard?
  • Or would you be disgusted by the “wrong” English r in those languages instead?
  • Would other people?
  • What does your bad rolled r have to do with your stance on immigration (you made that connection).
  • Why do you want to learn foreign languages?
  • Why do you think non-anglos should not learn English?

As for my own reaction: I am always impressed when a foreigner speaks German. Correct grammar makes it more impressive, and finally a good accent is the icing on the cake.

The only accent that really annoys me is a German accent in any foreign language (including my own accent), probably due to my self-consciousness. But I’m working on my tolerance in that department.

Short answer to your question: Don’t worry, most people in the world are way more tolerant than you appear to be from your post.

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Very well explained, +svenreichard. Exactly my thoughts! (except for the German accent part, of course :slight_smile: )

scottish people are the only english speaking people that i know that roll their r ,it’s a difficult sound to produce if you are not used to doing it

There is actually a regional dialect in Germany that uses an “American” r. (Not far from where I live, in the corner of the country bordering on Poland and the Czech Republic.)

There are also varieties of Brazilian Portuguese that use an English-like “retroflex” r