The Russian R. I can't roll my tongue

To other Russian speaking people out there that are learning: Do any of you have trouble rolling your r? Or in this case I should say р. I find words like заткрывается relatively easy to pronounce once I got the phonetics right after lots of listening.

However, a simple word like ресторан is still a tongue tier for me. I can slightly roll the tongue but not like a native speaker or the trill/roll you can hear from a Spanish speaker (perro?) even after lots of practice and reading of guides to teach me. With quick practice I was able to pronounce the р’s not like the English r where it’s just flat with no tongue roll whatsoever.

Why is this? I was reading that it can be genetic which it seems true because I know some people that can roll without even trying.

I want to get this right so I can properly pronounce рь vs. a ръ

I can’t roll an ‘r’ to save my life. So I aim for ‘able to be understood’! Maybe you’re not utilizing enough of your dimethylamine as a pheromone for communication, like the German cockroach does… Haha! :slight_smile:

There’s no reason you can’t roll your r’s, unless you have a physiological condition. Ask someone who does it well to show you in person how it’s done. It’s the best way, IMO.

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I couldn’t roll my R’s until I was in college. During summer break, I spent every night looking up tips, and practicing. After about three weeks of work and feeling stupid, I was getting pretty good at it. My brother made fun of me a lot, my parents told me I just couldn’t do it, but I knew if I kept it up, I could learn it (mainly reading other testimonies online made me believe it was possible)

Things that helped while practicing is repeating (American pronunciation) butter butter butter butter. The tt sound that is almost like a d repeated is similar to where the rolled R position is. Also practicing “Drrrrrrrrracula” is a good word, because rolling an R off of a D is easier (at least it was for me) at the beginning. Anyway, google it, practice before going to sleep every night, and you’ll get it if you stick with it.

@djc - a sure way of getting divorced! :)~

When I first started Russian years ago I practiced like crazy and still couldn’t do it. I walked around the neighborhood for weeks practicing after work. No luck. I read articles, watched videos, etc on how to do it. Didn’t help. I was sure I had a genetic condition.

Then one day I got a little roll and I was able to do it. I realized I was holding my tongue way too tight. I just kept practicing and practicing until it got pretty good.

Just keep practicing and you will be able to do it.

This sound was difficult for me when I was a child, the same problem had my daughter. It seems, this sound is the most hard to understand. It seemed unbelievable difficult but the problem has gone after 1-2 visits of a speech therapist.
I know how my problem was fixed but I could not fix the daughter’s problem the same way. The video above shows some other ways to fix.
But I guess, it depends on technique how to catch the motion of the tongue, almost nothing genetic.

I cannot pronounce the German ‘R’ :frowning:
…yet :wink:

I can’t do the German R yet either. When I say ‘rot’ it is incomprehensible.

Dann wechsle doch einfach die Farbe!Wie wäre es mit grün? :wink: oder passt rosa besser? :wink:

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Hmm, ich habe nicht gemerkt, dass deine R inkorrekt oder seltsam ist.
Die Wörter “grün” und “rosa” haben doch R drin…

I have this problem, still can’t do it after 3 or so years of trying. We NEVER do this trill in the UK. I just accept I’ll probably never learn it. I saw some youtube videos to help learn, it helped me to get a trill my making a weird growling back of the throat sound, but that’s as far as it helped me…can’t do it in normal speech :frowning: Good luck!

The Scotch often do I think, but I grew up mostly in England so I never learned it.

Ruusian “r” is close to Spanish “r”. But even if you tell it like Engtlish “r”, you wiill be understood.
That’s why - no panic!
You can also use my course “Русское произношение” where one of the lessons gives the words with “r” and another lessons tell about the difference of Russian consonants in compare with other languages.

Are both “Р(ъ)” and “Рь” sounds rolled or is it only the “Р(ъ)” sound? I noticed that one you-tuber rolled her " Рь" just a little bit by itself but hardly did it at all when she went over the sound in actual words. You can listen to her discussion at Russian pronunciation. Sounds Р, Р', Л and Л' - YouTube.

P.S. On a good day I can come close to rolling the “Р(ъ)” sound but not the “Рь” the sound, but I’m not sure if I am supposed to roll “Рь” sound.

We have hard and soft consonants, not only Рь but also: Вь, Бь, Сь, Ть, Мь etc - they all are difficult because it’s only in some Slavic languages. You can speak a tiny ‘i’ after the consonants, it will be close to Ruaain soft consonants. But this ‘i’ must be really tiny.

I know this in theory. In practice, however, I find that many of my spelling mistakes are due to the fact that my ears are not fully tuned into the difference. Would it be correct сказать “Я знаю это, но не умею это.” But that is getting off point. The question is are both hard and soft R’s rolled or trilled?

Both Russian ‘R’ are rolled, but some Russians say them ‘trilled’. And some Russians can’t say them, they say instead ‘l’ or ‘g’ - it doesn’t matter because it’s possible to understand in the context.
And by a lot of listening and repeating your pronunciation would be better and better - it’s a law of praxis, of immersion. Just take it easy!

болшое oops большое спасибо

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