HomeQ&AMy tongue won't do that. Now what?

My tongue won't do that. Now what?

3
votes

Ok...I'm trying to pronounce 'el cocodrilo' and it's not working out very well. That 'dr" coming after the long 'o' just doesn't want to form.

I can say dragón, dril, and drástico. But cocodrilo, not so much. Well, if I jerk my head I can get it to come out a little bit. LOL

If I am talking to someone and struggling to roll the Rs, is it better for me to give an English pronunciation, not rolling the 'r' ?

Or should I stick to my attempts at it, even though it doesn't come out correctly?

3744 views
updated JUN 4, 2012
posted by Goyo
Good question! - --Mariana--, SEP 2, 2009
That word certainly is rather awkward to pronounce. - randomraccoon, SEP 2, 2009
I found murciélago to be quite difficult. That and generador. Both of them I would just say over and over and over (when alone). - webdunce, AGO 31, 2011

8 Answers

5
votes

Update! Wow... it was almost exactly 2 years ago that I posted this question. I find it really funny that I couldn't pronounce 'cocodrilo'. LOL That seems so easy to me now!

The lesson: Keep working. Little by little, you will learn it all.

La lección: Sigue trabajando. Poco a poco vas a aprenderlo todo.

updated AGO 31, 2011
posted by Goyo
Yeah!! - Silvia, AGO 30, 2011
Je je. =) - webdunce, AGO 31, 2011
nice! - patch, AGO 31, 2011
2
votes

I normally do not have a problem rolling "r" or "rr" but with this word, for some reason, I am having to force myself into not pronouncing the "l" as a "ll". Really weird.

updated AGO 31, 2011
posted by Eddy
You know, I have the same problem!!! Just seems like it oughta be cocodrillo for some reason. - webdunce, AGO 31, 2011
I have the same problem. Weird. - MrSillyInc, AGO 31, 2011
0
votes

Quote from Lazarus Try this (I know it is too abstract): Put the tip of your tongue on your upper teeth, roughly between your teeth, and move it as if you were about to pronounce a typical American D/T. That'll give you the Spanish "DR..." part. After that (and I've talking milliseconds), you need to get your mouth ready for a Spanish "a". Try it."

I can do it that way, and I can make the R sound about right, I think.. But then the D is more like the way I would pronounce a hard "TH". Is that correct?

updated SEP 2, 2009
posted by Goyo
0
votes

I usually pronounce my single 'r's somewhat like I pronounce a d, perhaps a little softer.

So drástico comes out phonetically dedástico, or close to it, with that e an extremely short sound.

Am I doing that incorrectly?

Not really. My mistake. The Spanish single R is similar to the American D/T. Maybe the problem is that in "dr", the tongue goes from the teeth (something English speakers never get right) to the alveolar ridge, before pronouncing the vowel ("a"). The English "d" is already alveolar, so going from alveolar to alveolar, you get nothing. If you try to get a vowel in between ("d-ed-r..."), the result is even worse, because you are moving the tongue away.

Try this (I know it is too abstract): Put the tip of your tongue on your upper teeth, roughly between your teeth, and move it as if you were about to pronounce a typical American D/T. That'll give you the Spanish "DR..." part. After that (and I've talking milliseconds), you need to get your mouth ready for a Spanish "a". Try it.

updated SEP 2, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
Ooo you are right! I can't do it either if I don't make the D with my tongue by my teeth. Until I tried it with an "american" D, I thought the dr was easy! - Valerie, SEP 2, 2009
0
votes

Can you say-

the dilo ?

notice how your tongue moves from your upper teeth ("the") across that "ridge" on the roof of your mouth. Practise making it faster and faster. Let us know how you get on.

updated SEP 2, 2009
posted by patch
0
votes

Quote from Lazarus If you don't mind my asking: how are you trying to pronounce the Spanish thrilled R? (ie. what do you do with your tongue, the air,...)

I usually pronounce my single 'r's somewhat like I pronounce a d, perhaps a little softer.

So drástico comes out phonetically dedástico, or close to it, with that e an extremely short sound.

Am I doing that incorrectly?

updated SEP 2, 2009
posted by Goyo
0
votes

Listen: 99.999 percent of the people who are born in a Spanish speaking language can make that sound, so, most likely, there is nothing wrong with your mouth.

If you don't mind my asking: how are you trying to pronounce the Spanish trilled R? (ie. what do you do with your tongue, the air,...). Maybe I can help you here (the more detail you give me, the more I'll be able to help you).

updated SEP 2, 2009
edited by lazarus1907
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Try just taking a bit longer to say the "R" - that way the Spanish speaker will hear it even if it is not "rolled" I used to have this problem.

updated SEP 2, 2009
posted by ian-hill
What do you mean, Ian? - lazarus1907, SEP 2, 2009
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