Intro to the American R 📹
So today we are talking about R’s.
Definitely one of the most difficult sounds in English for native speakers. If not, the most difficult, it is certainly the most distinctive.
So the American R Sound varies a lot from region to region.
Where I am from the South, some people really exaggerate the dropping of the /R/ sound, especially older people, almost drop it completely.
Imagine Frank Underwood in House of Cards, which just for the record, is not a very accurate representation, but it does illustrate this idea of dropping the /r/.
So in this course we are going to focus on the Generalized American R pronunciation, and if you trying to learn a specific dialect or accent, you can adjust accordingly.
Anyways, there is a lot of variation of the different /Rs/ in English, but it does not matter which accent you are learning, all of the /R/ sounds in English are really strong and complicated sounds.
Even many children when they are learning English, take a long time to produce the sound. And this is true for almost any language.
The /R/ is usually super hard to produce, so I always recommend to my students if you want to do one thing to improve your pronunciation and understanding when you are learning a new language, focus on the /R/.
And apart from just being a weird, difficult sound in general, the /R/ sound is particularly difficult because it is extremely different from the Portuguese /R/.
In fact, I think that is where much of the difficulty originates from, is because Portuguese speakers have a misconceived notion about what an /R/ sound is, when in reality it is completely different. So the most important thing to remember is: you are learning a new sound!
This new sound has nothing to do with the Portuguese R or any sound that exist in your language. So let’s start from the beginning and get to it.