|R - Pronunciación - Spanish
The pronunciation of the Spanish letter R can
be difficult for students. It is pronounced by rolling or trilling the tip of
the tongue against the roof of the mouth:
- Open your mouth about as wide as you would to say "oh," but don't purse
- Position your tongue so that it lies straight, touching neither the top
nor the bottom of your mouth.
- Bend the front half of your tongue and place the tip slightly behind
where you would put it to pronounce T or N. The tip of your tongue should be
lightly touching the back of what linguists call the "alveolar ridge" - the
flat "plane" between your teeth and the "canyon" where your tongue usually
- Tense your tongue, but only let it touch this spot lightly.
- Exhale through your mouth, allowing your tongue to vibrate against the
It is essential for your tongue to be tensed, but for it to touch your
mouth only lightly. If you are touching this spot too hard, you'll end up
saying something like "D, D." Too loose, and you'll just whistle.
When R is at beginning of a word, it is pronounced like RR (see
If you have other tips on pronouncing the Spanish R, please
post them on the forum.
Please note that this explanation is only a guideline for the Spanish that
I know, which is Castilian Spanish. There are many regional variations in