Please someone teach me how to roll my R's!

1
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How do I roll my tongue? I tried and tried, but I can only do with certain words. please help, I can't learn spanish if I can't roll my tongue.

24178 views
updated OCT 4, 2015
posted by Shelly
Hi Shelly! I know you posted this question almost 2 years ago, but it looks like there are still some more good ideas out there! ;-)
Or you can just learn our spanish and dont get complicated, we just dont roll them :)

17 Answers

11
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An detailed explanation I posted somewhere else:

Position: The tip of the tongue should be pressed lightly against the alveolar ridge (like the 'd' or 't' in American English, which are the closest sounds to the Spanish 'r') or slightly above it if it doesn't work. The tongue should be elevated, flat, and pressing hard against the upper teeth on both sides, so that the air has no option but making its way through pushing the tip of the tongue.

Tension: While the sides of the tongue maintain a considerable tension to prevent the air from escaping laterally, the tip of the tongue should be slightly more relaxed to allow the air to push it, but keeping a little of tension and flexibility so that it quickly returns to its original position after the burst (due to its natural elasticity -don't try to move it yourself), only to be pushed again by the continuous air stream that will build up pressure again on the roof of the mouth.

Other details: A typical R vibrates two to three times, and you don't have to move your tongue during the process; only maintain the right posture and tension on each part of the tongue. If your tongue is not correctly positioned, or is too lax on its sides, the air will escape and you'll get no sound. If the tip of your tongue is too tense, the air will force its way out through the sides; if your tip is too relaxed, the air will push it, but it will not return to its original position making it thrill.

See it working: You can observe how this works if you close your lips and try to blow: too soft and you just blow air gently; too hard and your mouth will turn into a balloon; get the right pressure, and you'll be making an R with your lips. Ask any Spanish speaker to try to say "rana" articulating the R with his lips instead of the tongue, and you'll see how he struggles at the beginning to get the right pressure (due to lack of practice, of course) in order to produce a clear sound. The proper R is no different.

updated MAY 22, 2013
posted by lazarus1907
Thank you for your very well expressed points. I am studying them carefully, but as you might suspect, it is very difficult to create an accurate word picture in my mind. You can only do so much with the language. But I will spend more time with it. -
I think this is very helpful and I have told everyone in my class about it. Gave them a link to this. I hope more read it. Your comment below is not correct. This is very interesting.
3
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hey, this is how I learnt.

try to say 'T' (not the soft one, the English T as in Tee)

now, when the tongue moves up and bends backwords, hold it there, keep your tongue pressed to the roof

now, try to say Tring, but take your time to transform from T--->Ring

try 10 times and keep practising

I bet you'll roll your tongue. I did smile

updated JUN 6, 2011
posted by Partho
this pretty much explains what I feel is happening when I'm practising mine. No way I can make the sound outside of a word though, any more than I can wink. ;)
2
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No one interested in any of my comments? :(

I've studied over 8 books on phonetics (two of them for English speakers) before writing those explanations, and they seem to have been useful for many students of Spanish in the past.

updated OCT 4, 2015
posted by lazarus1907
2
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I got this from a high school spanish teacher. You could try to say this a few times a night and I think it will help you.

Betty Botter has some variations, but most are very similar; A common one is:

Betty Botter bought some butter, "But," she said, "the butter's bitter; If I put it in my batter, It will make my batter bitter; But a bit of better butter, That would make my batter better."

So she bought a bit of butter, Better than her bitter butter, And she put it in her batter, And the batter was not bitter; So 'twas better Betty Botter Bought a bit of better butter.

updated FEB 5, 2012
posted by Maria-Russell
:)
2
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That's silly to say that you cannot learn Spanish. There are people who cannot pronounce an "R" in England but they still speak English.

updated FEB 2, 2011
posted by Eddy
1
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I found this advice very helpful, especially the part about repeating "eddy, erre" over & over again. I am 30 years old and have never been able to roll my R's. My husband and I are going to be moving to Mexico for a couple years, so now I am determined to learn proper pronunciation. A few days ago I found some instructions similar to what lazarus posted, and I had a break through. Now I am finally able to make the rolling sound on its own, but still am having difficulty incorporating it into words. When I say a word like "perro" it sounds very forced when I try to roll the rr. Any additional advice would be great. My guess is I just need to practice until it becomes more natural for me to make the sound.

updated JUL 22, 2011
posted by jlholton
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gspagon
he cannt recite the verse because he cannot roll his R's. I suggest he listens to Lazarus because I remember past explanations and exercises he has posted.

updated JUL 22, 2011
posted by Eddy
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lazarus
We are always interested in anything you have to say. In fact I printed it out, that & gspajon's song..

I find that some words are easier that others depending on what letters they follow. So try different words to see which is easier for you & practice with those first.

My teacher from Peru had us say eddy, erre, repeating over & over, mixing it up. At least this tells where you should place the tongue.
And sure you can learn Spanish, you'll just have an English or American accent. I'm sure Spanish speakers are used to us by now..

updated JUL 22, 2011
posted by motley
1
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Learn English with a scottish, and you'll be able to roll the R's

updated FEB 2, 2011
posted by ElKetchou
1
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Hi Shelly

It can be hard for some of us to roll the Rs - it is for me.

BUT ... what is important is that the single R and the RR sound different.

What you could do to start with is simply make a very short pause between the two Rs so that "pero" and "perro" actually sound different.

updated ENE 11, 2011
posted by ian-hill
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Check out this blog post!

Hope it helps!

updated MAY 8, 2014
posted by 00fbdd83
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He can say the phrase while attempting to roll his "rr" in the words, regardless of whether or not he can pronounce them now. The more you try the easier it becomes, I learned by saying, "Erre con erre cigarro, erre con erre barril" and there is more to the phrase, I just can't remember it lol but it still get's the job done! I know the last word is "ferrocarril"(sp)

updated OCT 25, 2011
posted by Lariah
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I apreciate everyones posts. smile

updated JUL 24, 2008
posted by Shelly
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Very nice, Eddy, I had tried...couldn't find it.

updated JUL 24, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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Simply, just try again and again to spell these words, you will be able to call it after some time...
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updated JUL 24, 2008
posted by xss500