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> The French R, That most evil of letters
Fluffy
post Aug 11 2006, 01:50 AM
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Can anyone tell me how to make the French R sound properly? I have a choice between taking Spanish or French next year, and I'd really rather know French (I really like Jules Verne). So, I figured I should at least look into a bit of it before I take the class (especially since at the moment I'm still waiting for my Heisig kanji books to come in). Anyway, I haven't yet been able to pronounce the R. I think I probably shouldn't take a language I can't even pronounce properly, and I can roll my R's quite well, if I do say so myself (rolled R's are almost exactly the same as the "tt" in "butter" or "dd" in "ladder" in American English anyway). Ergo, switching to Spanish would be an option, but I'd really rather not. Any pointers? Thank you.


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Tantei Sayumi
post Aug 11 2006, 04:26 AM
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Um... you roll it in the back of your throat... kind of like gargling... well, Scots can do it... it's in a number of languages, including Persian and Russian... need I record it for you?

IDK... it's probably something that'll be hard for you to imitate on your first try, like rolling your tongue in Spanish. It's more of something that you have to do a number of times if you're just learning it, because it's more of the physical shape of your mouth, not what you hear by ear.
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Daria
post Aug 13 2006, 01:00 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it if I were you- I can speak French to a pretty good standard (have finished my A-level in it and about to move to Paris) and I can't roll my Rs for anything. I am trying to think of a word that specifically needs a rolled R in it, and I can't. I have found that the language is spoken further back in the mouth than English, and that you use your lips far more expressively, but apart from that *shrugs*


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I_am_the_best
post Aug 20 2006, 07:16 PM
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Ever heard a Hebrew 'r'? Thought not. But it's similar to it anyway. You need to sort of let your soft palette flop about onto your tongue. Try it with gargling water.


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Mutilation
post Aug 22 2006, 03:54 PM
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First off, try gargling with water. Then try gargling with air. Try and almost make a snoring sound, but with any noise.
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elphaba2
post Aug 24 2006, 02:49 PM
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Ehh, how you say, to " 'ock up a loogie?" To be crude, that's the right kind of motion to make--air coming up through the throat but impeded by your soft palette and tongue. As you practice, try and make it more subtle as you go. In the first few months of speaking French it will probably be exagerrated as you're not used to making the noise.


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Daria
post Sep 8 2006, 07:17 AM
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QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Aug 24 2006, 02:49 PM) *
Ehh, how you say, to " 'ock up a loogie?" To be crude, that's the right kind of motion to make--air coming up through the throat but impeded by your soft palette and tongue. As you practice, try and make it more subtle as you go. In the first few months of speaking French it will probably be exagerrated as you're not used to making the noise.

You got it! Without that ckkkkkkkkk sound, you end up having very flat r's and sounding awfully English.
It's silly, I get told I sound English when speaking French, I get told I sound posh (i.e very English) when speaking English.
I wonder why? tongue.gif


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