HomeQ&ADoes it matter if you cant roll your R`s?

Does it matter if you cant roll your R`s?

7
votes

does it matter if you cant roll your R`s

17643 views
updated JUN 3, 2011
edited by 00494d19
posted by floawuah

22 Answers

7
votes

Yes, it does... It is important to be able to correctly pronounce words in any language-- rolling the r's is one of those correct pronunciations.... Sometimes, the rolling of the r's can differentiate words such as:

pero (but) and perro (dog)

buro (chalk) and burro (donkey)

maron (sturgeon[type of fish]) and marrón (brown)

careta (mask) and carreta (cart/wagon)

caro (expensive) and carro (car)

coro (chourus) and corro (ring/circle)

ahora (now) and ahorra [form of verb ahorrar] (she saves)

garo (type of lobster) and garro [form of garrar] (I drag)

bario (barium) and barrio (neighborhood)

....


See? The meanings change when there is "rr" instead of "r", just as the meaning (and the sound) of words change when there is an accent or an "ñ". It would be a good idea to get in the habit now of saying words correctly now instead of not doing it or waiting until later.

updated JUN 3, 2011
edited by MeEncantanCarasSonrisas
posted by MeEncantanCarasSonrisas
Great post!! - Benz, MAY 1, 2010
gracias, Benz! - MeEncantanCarasSonrisas, MAY 1, 2010
As far as I know, "garrar" is not a verb in spanish language, nor the word "garro" . Would you tell me where did you get that information ? - Agora, ENE 10, 2011
5
votes

Reviving this one a little, with some good news..

My trill is coming along, I thought I would never ever ever ever get it, I'm 51 and have never been able to copy that sound when others make it. I could manage a single 'r' easily (my daughter says it sounds like a 'D' which is how I've seen it described elsewhere) but I was blaming my inability to trill on a small degree of 'tongue-tie'.

I so much want to do it correctly, I started to try super-hard when I was alone in the car and could put some force into my breath, thinking of words ie perro, marrón, carro, corre, burro, aburrida.

Sudenly it started to come, now I can often manage 1 or 2 seconds of trill, and I'm going to work and work on it.

I increased to sentences I could think of, one is:

Mis perritos marrones corren en el campo junta al burro, no están aburridos.

Los perros salieron corriente.

El perro corre en el ferrocarril! (I love Benz!! Thanks for the Youtube linkx)

Please correct my practice sentences if they need it!

Don't give up!!!!! ¡Nunca te des por vencido!

updated ENE 10, 2011
posted by galsally
Definately worth a vote - well done, Sal !!! - patch, MAY 1, 2010
3
votes

Sure, differentiating pero from perro is extremely important if you want to communicate in one-word utterances. For the rest of us, within the context of sentences, mispronunciations of only one or two sounds can be figured out by listeners.

updated ENE 11, 2011
posted by Sabor
2
votes

Lazarus explains how to make the RR sound.

Issa explains RR.

Webdunce explains RR.

For some reason, webdunce explains RR again.

Most important thing, it is all about the tongue's tip resisting air flow and a balancing of those two opposing forces resulting in the vibration of the tongue's tip. There is no way a person can move their tongue fast enough by way of muscular up-and-down movements. I feel most people who struggle with this sound are trying to move their tongue fast enough some kind of way, which not even the most gifted Spaniard can do.

Cheers.

updated ENE 11, 2011
edited by webdunce
posted by webdunce
I think Lazarus's explanation is the most complete as far as tongue posturing goes, which is why I've listed his first. Issa's is the most concise and simple. Mine are rambling "essays" that say the same thing as the other two. - webdunce, ENE 10, 2011
So many threads lol. This being the most current, I'll say here -yes, I definitely have tongue-tie, I'm a midwife so I know what it is. But I think I will get somewhere eventually because I feel a trill when it's working at its best, - galsally, ENE 11, 2011
it's just weak, unpredictable, and often I'll have to have 2 attempts at the word to get it at all. Thanks for all your helpful writing! :) - galsally, ENE 11, 2011
2
votes

Make flashcards with Rolling R words so you can practice, practice, practice. It is how I solved that problem.

updated ENE 11, 2011
posted by Ann-Frances
Good for you!!!! - margaretbl, ENE 10, 2011
2
votes

There are also some Puerto Ricans and Cubans who pronounce R as L: "doctoL" instead of "doctoR".

updated ENE 10, 2011
posted by jaimetayag
2
votes

I think it does, since it determines which word you're saying. For example, there is a big difference between pero (but) and perro (dog).

Try to think of it as kind of like Elmer Fudd's speech impediment. Yes, you can understand what he's saying, but to an English speaker it doesn't sound quite right.

updated FEB 9, 2010
posted by CrazyDiamond
2
votes

Hi floawuah and Welcome to the Forum! grin

I had the same concern when I first started learning the Spanish language. There are several threads that are devoted to this topic that may be very helpful for you! In fact, I posted this one Pot of Tea...or Ladder not too long ago. I hope you'll find it useful! smile

Stay encouraged, keep practicing, and before too long, you'll be sharing your success story with others!

In the meantime, continue to visit SpanishDict.com and the Forum for information, motivation, practice, and lots of Fun!

Hang in there~~you can do it! Be sure to update us on your progress! wink

updated FEB 9, 2010
posted by Dee914
1
vote

If it helps, I heard that in Costa Rica, they don't (or barely) roll their R's. If they can pass, so can you wink

Anyone correct me if I'm wrong...

updated ENE 11, 2011
posted by Goldie_Miel
1
vote

I have always found the pronunciation of Spanish to be easy. The multi-tap "r" is the sound that we used when I was a child to represent a machine gun. (in my childhood, cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians were still politically correct).

Despite suc contrasting (minimal) pairs as "perro" and "pero". in actual conversation there is little likelihood of confusion. Your listener will, probably, notice the difference (incorrectness) of your pronunciation but you will, nonetheless, be understood.

Bottom line, will you be understood? Probably. Will your listener notice your mistake? Probably. Will it matter much? Probably not.I have known a variety of people who could communicate quite effectively in Spanish but who rarely uttered a sentence without some sort of "error". It makes sense to "strive" for perfection but it is unreasonable to settle for anything less than perfection.

updated ENE 11, 2011
posted by samdie
1
vote

Does it matter?

In the way that you can't speak Spanish perfectly without being able to do it, Y E S

Looking at the broader picture, and assuming you have tried/are trying your very best, N O

I'm bumping again because I although can do something sort-of trill-like, the more I listen to people who can do it correctly the more I know I'm not doing the same thing as most Spanish speakers!

Talking with friends last week....

  • One of them, a native speaker from Ecuador, tells me that when he's 'at home' in Quito he pronounces it differently, I don't know how to describe it, but he says it's the 'city' pronunciation, it's almost like a soft buzz rather than a trill. When he goes to the coast he trills properly, because if he doesn't they make fun of him!

    • His son says he can't trill at all, he's in his 20's now. He is fluent in both Spanish and English, and doesn't have trouble being understood, which I guess equates to some problems people have with English pronunciation.

My friend from Granada has trouble with 'volleyball', it will come out like 'vollyvall' most times, but it's not hard to understand her.

I'll never stop trying, but I'm not going to give myself a hard time about it.

Although, I confess I have researched 'division of tongue-tie' on the Internet....

updated ENE 10, 2011
posted by galsally
If you can pronounce T and exhale, it is unlikely there is any physical hindrance to the RR sound (however, ankyloglossia certainly might be...if you actually have that). See the links in my post. They may be helpful. - webdunce, ENE 10, 2011
What post, where? - Sabor, ENE 10, 2011
My post: http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/125904/does-it-matter-if-you-cant-roll-your-rs/newest#a353769 - webdunce, ENE 10, 2011
1
vote

I've never figured out how to roll my RRs, but one comment on a youtube video suggested repeating the word 'butter' to get your tongue used to the motion. In the second syllable of 'butter' your tongue flips up against the roof of your mouth the same way it does during a trill. I'm already getting some trills for the first time after practicing with 'butter'. Exciting!

updated ENE 10, 2011
posted by tabbyj1
The pronunciation of 'butter' has nothing to do with the thrilled R, so disregard that advice. Can you do the sound BRRRRR (like when you are cold) with your lips? Well, try the same with your tongue: it should block the air, but not too tight. - lazarus1907, ENE 10, 2011
I used the words "marrón" and "burro" to practice my trills. - athegr8, ENE 10, 2011
It is not helpful to tell someone to disregard advice when that person has said it has helped them. - Sabor, ENE 10, 2011
Interesting, Tabby. I don't have a problem making the 'rr' sound but upon reading this (and saying "butter", lol), I realize that with my pronunciation/accent, a trill is actually made. Cool - Goldie_Miel, ENE 10, 2011
1
vote

Wow! Lookit all them answers.

As a kid I couldn't even pronounce an "r" but I learnt. Obviously, as pointed out above, no rolled "r" = big problems with "rr" not to mention blinks all round as your listeners try to work out what you're saying every little while.

Technique - as a 9 year old ("at age 9" for you Americanos), I began to experiment with using "d" for "r". The next year I changed school to one that had an elocution teacher. He sent me in the same direction, telling me that to succeed I should turn my tongue into a pretzel = fold the tip up and back and say "d", then try to keep it in place instead of blowing it away on the sound. This gets you into a mindset where you can begin to say "ddd" which sounds just like a rolled "r". 5 mins a day and you're away, sounding just like those Spaniarrrds.

Best of luck.

..and I look forward to seeing you change your id to florrrah soonest

updated ENE 10, 2011
edited by geofc
posted by geofc
Even more motivating is the knowledge that if one attempts to say '¿Te gusta mi perro?' without trilling it can sound like 'do you like my fart?' - galsally, MAY 2, 2010
[ Belly laughs] - Sabor, ENE 10, 2011
1
vote

I agree with Crazydiamond. For example, I have a friend who always calls me 'perro', which means dog, and I inevitably wind up calling her 'pera', which means pear, because I have a difficult time trilling my R's.

Yes, she laughs at me.

updated ENE 10, 2011
posted by h1deaway
1
vote

No it doen't matter! Obviously it would be better if you can roll your "Rs", but think about people who have a speech defect. Do we still understand people who have a lisp? What about an oriental person who speaks English replacing the Rs with Ls. Flied Lice anyone? Of course we understand!

updated ENE 10, 2011
edited by 00e8f2fa
posted by 00e8f2fa
But who wants to be like that oriental person, saying "flied lice"? Not me. - Goyo, FEB 9, 2010
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