Can you "roll your rr's"?

General discussion about learning languages

Can you roll your RRRs?

I can roll my RRRs and I know Speedy Gonzales.
26
53%
I can roll my RRRs. Who is Speedy Gonzales?
10
20%
I cannot roll my RRRs but I know Speedy Gonzales.
8
16%
I cannot roll my RRRs. Who is Speedy Gonzales?
5
10%
 
Total votes: 49

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Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby luke » Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:19 am

There is a theory that infants and children can hear and make any sound, but as they get older, they begin to lose that ability for sounds that are not used in communication in their native language.

It made me wonder if exposure to the rolled R in a popular cartoon may have allowed certain people to retain this capability when they later decided to learn Spanish.

Last edited by luke on Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby Iversen » Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:51 am

I can do both kinds of trills (dental, guttural), and I think the little Mexican critter is called Speedy Gonzales, but I learnt Spanish before I even heard his name.

As for the idea that you lose the ability to add new kinds of sounds then I'll just quietly mention that Danish doesn't have nasal vowels, but that hasn't blocked me from learning French and Portuguese during my early teens. And we don't have dental r's either, but I somehow learned those too. Goodbye theory ...
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Re: Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby luke » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:02 am

Iversen wrote:I think the little Mexican critter is called Speedy Gonzales, but I learnt Spanish before I even heard his name.

Thank you! At first I thought the y in Speedy Gonzales was meant to be a hot pepper or something. Then I discovered the dark side of my copy/paste. ¡Muchas gracias, señor! I corrected that error in the poll.
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Re: Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby SalzSäule » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:03 am

Because I study phonetics at uni I had to learn to produce all of the general R variations. Unfortunately a lot of that skill has gone, but I can still do uvular & (post-)alveolar trills, and the uvular fricative. The alveolar one is the hardest for me, as neither standard French or German use this sound and thus I have practiced it the least. Uvular trill is the easiest.

It was quite funny when my phonetics teaching was doing a workshop on pronouncing trills, flaps and taps, because he said he struggles to do trills still and then he looked at me like :| when I asked if the trill I was doing was correct and just said 'how did you do that :?: '.

I can do something close enough to Czech's scary 'raised alveolar non-sonorant trill' ř too, but that's a wild beast.
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Re: Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby zenmonkey » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:25 am

I spoke Spanish way before I knew Speedy Gonzales.
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Re: Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby Xenops » Sun Jan 16, 2022 3:07 am

Slightly hijacking the thread, but--how does one learn how to trill R's, like in Spanish/Finnish? I'm only okay/so-so with my French pronunciation because I had a tutor, and I wonder if that's the only way to get the trilled R's as well.
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Re: Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby Dragon27 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:03 am

Plenty of native Russian speakers can't roll their R's. I read somewhere that up to 10% of Russians (according to speech pathologists) can't pronounce R (they have картавость), despite all that wonderful immersion in the language.
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Re: Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby Le Baron » Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:25 am

I've always been able to the dental trill. In the far north of England I had a number of Scottish schoolfriends who did so (though not all Scots do) and I would copy them.
I only developed the guttural or uvular trill a bit later on and only with practise. You don't really need it for French, but it makes it sound good.

I never really use the uvular trill for Dutch, fewer people use it in Belgium and there are also many people around the North of NL who don't either. Even though it is presented as the 'standard' for the language. In Friesland more people use a dental tap.
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Re: Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby rdearman » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:35 pm

Le Baron wrote:In Friesland more people use a dental tap.

In Friesland, do they ask if you want a hamburger with that?
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Re: Can you "roll your rr's"?

Postby Kraut » Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:32 pm

When you listen closely to David Allen Martin II you realise that he double rolls his /rr/ when it's not necessary, like in verb endings: "aprenderrr"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWhzerCnvwk
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