4

Whenever I speak to Georgians, I always have to try and pronounce 'r' right before I can have a conversation in Georgian. It's annoying but really comical at the same time because I am absolutely clueless on what they do. I can pronounce ხ and ღ which kind of have the same 'roll' quality. Alas, რ (r) totally defeats me.

When I try and roll the 'r' I don't do anything with my tongue so I don't know if that's what I'm doing wrong. I've looked up online but there's no tutorials on rolling the Georgian r, but there is for Russian, I had a look at it and tried it but apparently I was still not doing it right.

What am I doing wrong?

I've been learning Georgian for ages, so I think it's about time I got around to learning to roll the 'r' properly!

  • Could you add a link to the video you used (for Russian) and add how long you practised? Some videos recommend practising at least a week. – Christophe Strobbe Jun 20 '17 at 16:44
5

It is impossible to guess what you are doing wrong without seeing and hearing you, but there are a number of online resources that may be useful, not just for Georgian but also for other languages with a "rolled" r:

(I looked for English, German and French YouTube videos about the pronunciation of Georgian, but found none that focus on rolling your r's.)

3

First of all, be aware that realizing the alveolar trill (rolling r's) is a difficult thing. Not only do many second language learners struggle with it, but it is also one of the last sounds that (for instance Spanish) children learn. Actually, some people whose native language makes use of rolled r's never get it right. One famous example is Lenin.

Still, chances are high that you will succeed in creating the infamous trill, if you are perseverant enough. Keep trying, but do not get tense about it. One good reason to relax is that you want your tongue to be mobile. People with a low range of motion of the tongue (ankyloglossia) often experience difficulties rolling r's. As there is no magic recipe, get inspired by Christophe Strobbe's links and try different techniques. Get feedback from other people, but do not let them mock you. Recording your voice can also be a good idea. As a conclusion, I really recommend you to be perseverant, let yourself time and keep trying regularly.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.