The French ‘r’ can be hard to pronounce. It’s one of the hardest sounds for English-speakers to learn. The best way I can think of to help you say it properly is to make the sound ‘ch’ like the Scottish say for “och” or the Germans say for “ach” or the Jewish sound “ch”. Hopefully you know one of those sounds! It’s kind of like a hissing sound from the back of your throat. If you can get yourself to make that sound, all you need to do now is to vocalize it—that means to make a sound with your vocal chords while you are doing the “ch”. It will make something like the rolled ‘r’.

If no matter how much you try, you just can’t get that sound, then you are in luck: these lessons are from Canada and there is another way to pronounce the ‘r’ that is the way many French Canadians say it. If you can roll an ‘r’ with your tongue at your teeth, like a Spanish ‘r’, then you’ve got it.

The first way is the preferred way to teach the ‘r’ sound in French language courses, but either one is actually fine in Canada. Just try really hard to not make it an English-sounding ‘r’. If you have trouble with this, are one of my students and want to work on it with me, you can ask in the weekly conversational or we can set up a separate time one-on-one.