How to roll the ρ's

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
A phonetic (and maybe silly) question:
When rolling the ρ in Greek I find it more difficult to do when the ρ is followed by a consonant. In this instance I tend to exaggerate the rolling of ρ.

For instance when inflecting the verb παίρνω like: παίρνω, έπαιρνα, πήρα, θα παίρνω, θα πάρω.
Πήρα and πάρω is easier for me while in παίρνω, έπαιρνα and θα παίρνω the roll of the ρ is exaggerated.
I think it might be because I specifically have a problem in these situation unless I just skip the rolling.

Forgive my silly question!
  • dmtrs

    Senior Member
    (What's the question?)
    If you ask if this is something one would expect, then yes, it is perfectly understandable. Combinations of consonants are more difficult to pronounce, even in one's own language (think of children trying to do so when they learn to speak).
    If you ask how to deal with it, the answer is 'with practice'. And, anyway, it's not a big deal if you roll the r's a bit, I think. Some people cannot roll them at all; it's not a crime...


    Senior Member
    You can practice with the children's song "Περνά περνά η μέλισσα ...".


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Songs are good. :thumbsup:

    I remember our Italian phonetics teacher telling us to practise a strongly-rolled Italian "r" sound by singing the word. My own tactic was to have a small glass of spirits and then practise singing any words I found difficult. A moderate drink of alcohol may allow your speech organs to relax enough to produce the sound more easily. If you tense up, it's very difficult to produce a rolled "r".

    If you listen to the voice on Google Translate saying παίρνω το τρένο, the first ρ is a lot less noticeable than the second.
    < Previous | Next >