Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Roll roll roll your R's....deep inside your throat.

I'm trying to learn a little German each day. It's been kind of fun, and a little successful, and at first I thought it was somewhat easy until I really started to listen to how Germans actually pronounced their words. Do you know how to roll your R' the back of your throat? It's a little trickier that way.

I have been rolling my Spanish R's for years now- I'm practically a pro thanks to my elementary school education which included (truth be told) exceedingly remedial second-language instruction. The esteemed teacher, you know, Senora, really always seems so proud of her perfectly rolled R's, and we practiced them ad nauseum. Sometimes I think she rolled her R's even when the word did not require it, just to prove her skill at the matter. Show off. But the Germans, oh the Germans (!), they have such a way about them when it comes to matters of the spoken word. Everything is pronounced about 3 1/2 inches farther back in the throat than what I'm used to, which is quite impossible. They roll their R's in a way I'd never dreamed of, and believe me, I'm nothing if not a dreamer.

So, imagine a rolled R. Just go ahead and roll one for me now. Go ahead. Out loud. Rrrrrrr. Maybe even throw out a cat claw with a wink while you do it. Rrrrrrrrrrr. Now, take that sound and push it to the back of your mouth until your uvula starts to vibrate and your tonsils buzz, and THAT is the German R. I don't see how they do it. I've already started to gag twice, and I'm only trying to pronounce frau.


Roger said...

I can't even roll my R's. I am so ashamed.

Allie said...

For shame! Can you at least roll your P's? S's? Anything?