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Secret to the Polish Rolling R


grspring 11 | 56
2 Mar 2013 #1
I have never been able to properly, what we call rolling the letter R. Anyone have a suggestion that would help? If I can't do this when pronouncing a word, will I still be understood in general?

greg
Lyzko
2 Mar 2013 #2
The Polish "r", much like the Spanish, the Italian, and the Austro-Bavarian, is easily, that is, authentically, produced by trilling the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Simply sustain this action for a mere second, and you've produced a "Polish "r"!

Make sense?
Slein Jinn 2 | 19
2 Mar 2013 #3
Since your profile says you're an American Marine, I'm going to operate on the assumption you speak some relatively mainstream dialect of American English. On that assumption, the Polish "r" is much more phonetically similar to the double "t" in words like "letter", "better", "butter", and "spitting" than it is to an English "r". It's not the same sound, but it's very similar. When trying to train your tongue to produce the sound, take those words as your starting point instead of trying to adjust your production of the sound you know as "r".
Lyzko
2 Mar 2013 #4
It's more of a "tongue flap" than anything else! Imagine if you've ever heard some of those hoity-toity Britcom Brits pronounce "very" as "veDDY" or "terribly" "teDDibly", and so forth.
jon357 63 | 14,139
2 Mar 2013 #5
Imagine if you've ever heard some of those hoity-toity Britcom Brits pronounce "very" as "veDDY" or "terribly" "teDDibly", and so forth.

Never, actually.

In any case, quite a few parts of the British Isles use the post-vocalist R.
OP grspring 11 | 56
2 Mar 2013 #6
American Marine

Just to set the record straight. I'm not a Marine. I live in the State of Maine.
Lyzko
2 Mar 2013 #7
I know, jon! RP (Received Pronunciation) ain't what it used to beLOL
jon357 63 | 14,139
2 Mar 2013 #8
If it ever was.

I'm not sure they ever said veddy though.
OP grspring 11 | 56
2 Mar 2013 #9
"teDDibly"

" teDDibly" is actually helpful. Any others?
jon357 63 | 14,139
2 Mar 2013 #10
The only time I've ever come across that double d thing is in American literature, trying to represent standard English speech - in reality you just don't hear it. The Polish rolled r is extremely easy to get right though.
ShawnH 8 | 1,498
2 Mar 2013 #11
The Polish rolled r is extremely easy to get right though.

Much like the "th" combination is easy for the majority of Poles? ;-)
pam
2 Mar 2013 #12
The Polish rolled r is extremely easy to get right though.

It took me quite a long time to get it right! I wouldn't say it was easy! Once you've got it, you've got it though.
OP grspring 11 | 56
2 Mar 2013 #13
Any suggestions for practice words?

greg
Lyzko
2 Mar 2013 #14
Sometimes though, the "r" in Polish is practically elided with the letter or sound following, NOT TRILLED at all. Examples:\

gorszy
gorzki
Małgorzata
brzeg
etc...
Wulkan - | 3,251
2 Mar 2013 #15
why are you trying to make yourself a Polish expert? some people here really want to learn the language and reading your posts can extend the process
pam
2 Mar 2013 #16
Any suggestions for practice words?

It's easier to pronounce the 'r' when the letter is within the word, rather than at the start or end of it.
Start with words like:
Pracować,Granica,Procent,Proszę,Piekarnik,Sernik,Kraj.
This worked for me, but it does take practice.
Once you've mastered these, move on to words that begin and/or end in 'r', such as Ruch,Region,Reszta,Pomidor,Rower.
Good luck, and hope this helps.
Paulina 9 | 1,448
3 Mar 2013 #17
Sometimes though, the "r" in Polish is practically elided with the letter or sound following, NOT TRILLED at all. Examples:\

gorszy

It isn't trilled at all in "gorszy"?

gorzki
Małgorzata
brzeg
etc...

In these words it's no longer "r", it's "rz", which is a compeltely different sound - you pronounce it like "ż".
pam
3 Mar 2013 #18
If I can't do this when pronouncing a word, will I still be understood in general?
greg

If you can't after practice, roll the 'r', you should still be understood if you emphasize the 'r' more than normal.
Because the 'r' is rolled, Poles won't always hear the 'r' in a word if you pronounce it as you normally would.
This happened to me recently. A friend of mine asked me what the English word was for ciemny. When i said it means dark, she thought i said duck believe it or not! She couldn't hear the 'r' in the word.
scottie1113 7 | 898
3 Mar 2013 #19
She couldn't hear the 'r' in the word.

That may be because most English people pronounce r as ah. That's the single biggest complaint I get from my students about British English, which I don't speak.

If I can't do this when pronouncing a word, will I still be understood in general?

Yep.
Lyzko
4 Mar 2013 #20
Merely providing some illumination, Wulkan!

As the discussion thread is the "rolling" of the Polish 'r', I was simply showing (and rather successully too!) that not always is the 'r' in Polish pronounced one way, i.e; trilled:-)

If I can improve your English, you may continue to correct my Polish.
Wulkan - | 3,251
5 Mar 2013 #21
I was simply showing (and rather successully too!) that not always is the 'r' in Polish pronounced one way, i.e; trilled:-)

Paulina exactly explained you that you were wrong. Why you still don't understand?

If I can improve your English, you may continue to correct my Polish.

In no way what so ever is your English better than mine.
toweliee78 - | 4
5 Mar 2013 #22
I think that the polish RRRRR is a little similar to the spanish rrrrr
but it doesnt sound as good.
its hard to master but with practice you can achieve this
Lyzko
5 Mar 2013 #23
Paulina explained that the"r"-sound in a word such as "gorzka", for example, is indeed pronounced, only not trilled:-) In fact, this "r", even to my non-native ears, is definitely audible, merely it elides, that is, it glides, into the consonant immediately following. Then again, as in any nearly every language, there will be regional or dialect pronunciations which vary from a consistent standard, Kraków vs. Warszawa, for example. The most I've been guilty of is the occasional misspelling, that's allLOL

As regards your English, Wulkan, while I'd never contend that I know Polish as an educated native speaker, you, by definition a non-native English speaker, make many though not terrible mistakes in English. I've hesitated in correcting them as this is above all a POLISH language forum and to treat it otherwise would be outside the purvue of PF!

Please keep to the topic, folks.
Wulkan - | 3,251
5 Mar 2013 #24
you, by definition a non-native English speaker

You are not a native English speaker either, only German...
Lyzko
5 Mar 2013 #25
I'm a bilingual, Wulkan. Sorry to dissappoint you:-)))

BACK ON TRACK!!!!! I've noticed that people from certain regions of the country even seem to pronounce the "trilled r" slightly differently from how I'd learned it. My first teacher was from Gdańsk, my second from Lwów (now Lv' iv in the Ukraine). Both pronounced the 'r' of "baRdzo" quite distinctly as "baRRRRdzo", no mistaking that! Certain speakers from Kraków though seemed to say "bAHHdzo" , almost swallowing the sound.

Perhaps though it's only me.
Wulkan - | 3,251
6 Mar 2013 #26
I'm a bilingual, Wulkan. Sorry to dissappoint you:-)))

and I am trilingual :P you've lost 3:2 xDDD

Perhaps though it's only me.

I can asure you it's only you xD
Lyzko
6 Mar 2013 #27
Seriously though, I've determined that the Polish "r" DOES in fact reflect varying pronunciations:-)
In which three languages are you trilingual (I'm afraid to ask):-) Polish? Russian? The third wouldn't be English by any chance, would it?lol

Am grateful for all commentary, so long as it's earnestly meant.
jimbodon - | 2
6 Mar 2013 #28
tried all the tips but can't do it either!!
Wulkan - | 3,251
6 Mar 2013 #29
In which three languages are you trilingual (I'm afraid to ask):-) Polish? Russian? The third wouldn't be English by any chance, would it?lol

I'm trilingual in Polish, English and Spanish. I find it very amusing that you say that my English is bad and yet you didn't point out any mistakes I have made :-) ooh wait, cause it would be off topic, that's the excuse.

I also speak some German but only the basic level :-)
Lyzko
6 Mar 2013 #30
Wulkan, never once did I ever say that your English is "bad". I merely added that it isn't perfect, nor is my Polish (G_d only knows!!!). In my native tongues, I often make mistakes. Even in one's mother tongue, one never stops learning ^^ Once again, in keeping as always within PF-Moderator(s)/Administrator(s) limitations, I choose not to use our forums as the venue to correct posters' English errors. That's not my job.

Be aware however, that overweening confidence itself, with which many of your messages bristle, reveals to most that you AREN'T a native speaker of English, no matter how grammaticaly "good" your English language skills are:-)

Returning to the topic. I never received a reply as to whether the so-called "Polish rolling 'r' " rolls the same throughout the country.

Again, maybe my Anglo ears are simply playing tricks on meLOL


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