Spanish question ordenar vs orinar

When i go on websites it tells me to basically say these the same way. Is there any major differences is the first R rolled on one and not the other? What is the difference or does it just rely on context of the situation?

“R” en ”ordenar” suena fuerte porque va delante de una consonante. En “orinar” suena suave porque va entre vocales.

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Si te he entendido bien, la diferencia entre ambas palabras es que la primera r si va entre vocal y consonate suena fuerte: Orrrrrrrdenarrrrrr, Orrrrrgullo. Por el contrario si va entre dos vocales suena débil: Orinar, oruga, orégano. La última R suena siempre fuerte.


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They sound absolutely different. No native speaker would mistake one for the other even on the sole basis of sound, without any context whatsoever.
However, the difference is not the “r”. In most cases they would be pronounced the same in both of those words. The problem for American English speakers is the “d”.
Let me explain, in American English “ds” and “ts” in the middle of words are often pronounced as “flap ds”, in fact, very similarly to Spanish “single rs”. As I explained in another thread, that makes learners sound as if they said “r” instead of “d”. “Toros” (bulls) instead of “todos” (all of them).
In a word such as “ordenar” this is particularly noticeable because American speakers tend to think that both “r” and “d” sound similar when that is not the case! They are two clearly different sounds, whereas in “orinar” there’s only one consonant in the middle.
The bottomline is “Do not pronounce d’s (or t’s) in the middle of words as in fast spoken American English!!!” Make sure you pronounce them full. If you find it difficult, it is way better for you to pronounce that “d” as “th” in “the”:
or-the-nar vs o-ri-nar, the “ri” sounds similar to American “flap d”: O-di-nar

So American d = Spanish tapped r (technically “alveolar flap”)
Important! this is the “single or soft Spanish r”, as in “toro” or “pero”, NOt the rolled one! as in “perro”

Besides, notice that the vowels in the middle of those words are also very distinct
“ri” in “orinar” has a "ee"sound
“de” in “ordenar” is similar to English “long A”, as in “lAte” but without the final glide. If you find this difficult, you can also pronounce it as “e” in “bed” but never as “ee”.

IMO, this “flap d/t” pronunciation is the main problem for American speakers to be understood, much more so than the pronunciation of “r”, so it is worth getting straight. For more context, here you have a video that explains the “flap d” pronunciation and how it differs from normal “d” in American English. It also addresses the fact that it is similar to the pronunciation of “tapped rs” in languages such as Spanish:

@ftornay So ordenar would be said Or-tenar but that t sounding like a t/d mix? instead of a hard d noise? And then Orinar would be said Or-ei-nar? The video you posted talked about tap ds/ts being like the spanish r so this is the case with every r? Quiero is that r more of a d or t sound? or doesnt it not matter? Also @peikse lo siento pero mi espanol es muy horrible pero Ordenar deciria Orrrdenar y entonces orinar deciria orinar con un suave R? Gracias por todo de ambos de tus amigos.

O-ree-nar, rather than or-ei-nar (with flap d)

In Spanish there are two different “r” sounds:
Taps/flaps, that we native speakers call “r suave” or “r débil”, those sounds as American “flap ds” Always! So, yes “quiero” is “quiedo”. Then there are the “rolled rs” (rs fuertes or dobles), such as in “perro”, which sound differently.
“D” in “ordenar” is not a mixture of t and d. It is similar to English “full d” as in the beginning of a word, as in “Dad” (vs da_DD_y) but not as explosive a in English. Anyway, “d” is often pronounced as “th” in “the” in the middle of words, which is your safer bet IMO. They are never pronounced as flap d’s, which really sound as Spanish “r”.

As for when to pronounce one kind of r or the other, the rules are like this:
-Beginning of word: always rolled: rey, ratón, …

  • Written double: always rolled: perro, carro, cerro
  • Not double, between vowels: always “soft” (as American flap d): caro, pero, cero [Notice the difference with those above)
  • In other positions (for example, end of word, after consonant): both ways are correct, but the “normal” way would be to pronounce them “soft” (flap D), rolled rs in those positions are for emphasis. “orrdenarr” pronounced with rolled rs sounds over the top in most contexts.
    Notice that in this I do not agree with what Peikse and vero2019 have written. They say that “rs” in “ordenar” are usually pronounced “strong” but that is not the case and, at any rate, this is not the essential difference between “ordenar” and “orinar”. As I explained the differences are:
    a) there is a “d” sound in ordenar, distinct from the “r” (flat D), or-the-nar, but not in “orinar”
    b) Middle vowel is distinct in both words

Oh-ree-nar es orinar y ohr-deh-nahr es ordenar? eso es que spanishdict esta deciendome. Ordenar | Spanish to English Translation -
Orinar | Spanish to English Translation -
Ordenar is sound how its spelled and orinar es said O-dee-nar thank you so everyone much subtle difference but very obvious and impactful difference. @ftnoray you gave so many examples thank you especialmente.

Yeah! correct. I’m glad it was helpful. This is certainly a tricky point.
Te deseo mucho éxito