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  • Writer's picturegeoff

What is a "rolled R"?


A rolled R is a sound that occurs in many other languages, such as Spanish and Italian,...but in American English, a rolled R doesn't actually appear!


In fact, if you listen to American speaking other languages, a very common difficulty they have is trying to copy rolled R sounds.


Essentially, a rolled R involves some vibration of the tongue, whether the very back or very tip of the tongue, often against the teeth or gum. It can appear when an R is by itself ("air") in a word or when a consonant comes before it ("try").


However, what makes this sound impossible to attain in American English is that the placement in American English is so low. Rolling tongues typically require a placement that is higher, often in the mouth and towards the lips. American English, however, is projected from the chest/throat.


Play around with placements to try and remove a rolled R sound in American English; or, check this full video for more techniques: https://youtu.be/IJVlUxCQ1ek

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