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Lesson Transcript


Fernando: Pronunciation 5. Hello everyone and welcome to the 5th and final lesson of the Pronunciation series - How to Roll your Rs. My name is Fernando and I’m joined, as always, by JP. Hola, JP.
JP: Hola, Fernando. ¿Cómo te va?
Fernando: Bien, bien, gracias. So people are gonna be rolling their Rs by the time they finish this lesson, right, JP?
JP: Yeah, that’s a tall order, Fernando. For the people who don’t know how to do it, it can take weeks or months of practicing a little bit every day. So, it’s not one of those things that someone can just show you and you can do right away.
Fernando: Unless you’ve done it all your life.
JP: Unless you’ve done it all your life.
Fernando: So, the sound we’re talking about is -rr, -r, con aire, sí, R.
JP: -R, sí.
Fernando: Okay. So, how are you going to teach people to do this, JP?

Lesson focus

JP: Okay. So, we’re gonna start by approximating the lingual blade to the alveolar ridge.
Fernando: And- but in the what? To what? What?
JP: Okay, approximate the lingual blade. That means…forget it. Okay. Just put your mouth in the position to say the word “truck,” but don’t say it.
Fernando: truck
JP: But don’t say it! You just have to hold that pre-truck position.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: Okay. That’s the easy part.
Fernando: Okay.
JP: Now that you’re in the position, take a good breath and blow air over your tongue. Your tongue has to be relaxed enough to thrill.
Fernando: -Rrr, -rrr.
JP: -rrr
Fernando: Amazing! It’s like a cat purring.
JP: Okay, -rrr. Okay, now, some of you, as you’re first starting out, it might not be happening yet. You might be just making some mouth noise. You might be going [sss…hhs]. Okay. Don’t get discouraged. If you’re just making that noise, don’t get discouraged, don’t give up. You have to practice this a little bit every day and you have to experiment with more air, less air, with a more relaxed tongue, with a less relaxed tongue.
Fernando: -rrr
JP: All right. You have to find the right combination. It’s like finding a sweet spot. You have to keep looking for it a little bit every day and you cannot give up, and you have to keep it up for weeks or even months.
Fernando: -rrr
JP: Okay. Now, some people, when they first find it, -rrr, they can only do it with a huge amount of air, right? Or maybe they have to start with a “t” sound, so you might hear like -trrr, right?
Fernando: That’s scary.
JP: Yeah, people do that. Now, eventually, you just keep trying, you keep practicing every day, you’ll learn to control it and you’ll be able to get a nice slow roll with a regular amount of air, right? -rrr
Fernando: Slow -rrr.
JP: -rrr
Fernando: Like, like a cat purring.
JP: Yeah, like a cat. Remember, you’re only gonna do this rolled “r” when you see a -rr, right, la doble -r, or when you see an “r” at the beginning of a word.
Fernando: You can do that at the end of a word too, comer.
JP: Yes, you can do it at the end of the word, but you don’t have to. You can also do it at the end of a syllable, right? So you can say Fernando.
Fernando: That’s my name! Fernando.
JP: Okay. Now, on the other hand, when you see a single “r” in the middle of a word, especially if it’s between two vowels, it’s only gonna be that single “r,” right, that single -r. So like the word for “expensive.”
Fernando: caro
JP: Caro. Caro means “expensive” and it’s a single -r, right? So, you’re gonna make the single -r sound which is not rolled, right? The single -r sound is more like the -tt in gotta, right, duh, duh, duh…duh, duh, just one.
Fernando: Caro.
JP: Caro.
Fernando: Yeah. Actually, it’s important you don’t roll the “r” in caro, or else you’ll get carro.
JP: Right. Caro means “expensive” but carro means “car” in Mexico, right?


Fernando: Así es. Okay, so shall we wrap it up?
JP: Shall we wrap it up?
Fernando: Okay.
JP: Sure. I just wanna say one more time that if you don’t get it the first, you have to keep trying, you have to keep practicing. Even if it seems futile, you just keep trying and one day, it will come to you, right? -rrr
Fernando: Good advice, good advice, definitely. Okay folks, thanks for listening to this lesson. It’s the last one of Pronunciation series, so I really hope you enjoyed it. For now, it’s time to go! ¡Hasta luego!
JP: ¡Hasta luego!
Fernando: -rrr