Is every R a French R?

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by agoodeno, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. agoodeno Senior Member

    Oakville, Ontario, Canada
    English - Canada
    Hi.

    In spoken French, are Rs *always* pronounced as "French Rs" (except the silent ones, of course, like in "aller")?

    If not always, when?

    Alan
     
  2. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Connecticut
    US-English
  3. Bastoune

    Bastoune Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    French & English - Canada
    I've heard of the g-spot but never the "K place" -- fascinating!
     
  4. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Connecticut
    US-English
    Thanks, Bastoune, I didn't even think of that interpretation :eek:
    but you can probably hear me giggling all the way in Quebec! I'm laughing too hard to be able to pronounce anything, at this point!

    We're probably going to get a whole wave of new French students, after they read this post! ;)
     
  5. agoodeno Senior Member

    Oakville, Ontario, Canada
    English - Canada
    I didn't really get an answer to my question. Let me rephrase.

    Would you French-R every R when you say

    trois gros rats gras dans une grande grange. [three big fat rats in a big barn]?

    Alan
     
  6. geve

    geve Senior Member

    France, Paris
    France, French
    Yes, Alan, we would "French-R" every R in this sentence... or at least we would try! :p
     
  7. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Connecticut
    US-English
    Hi Alan,

    :tick:

    Yes, you would use the same 'r' pronunciation in French for all of those words.

    Also, I was trying to figure out how to pronounce the French 'r' (from a non-native speaker's point of view); it's almost the same sound a person makes when he/she is imitating someone who is snoring (back of throat).

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
  9. rouge_blanc_brun New Member

    English, Malaysia
    So is there ever an "English" 'r' pronounced in the French language?

    If there is, how do you know when to pronounce it?
    Thank you.
     
  10. Auryn

    Auryn Senior Member

    London
    France, French
    Why would there be an English 'r' in the French language? :confused:
     
  11. rouge_blanc_brun New Member

    English, Malaysia
    I don't know :)
    I was just wondering if there were any words that didn't have that back-of-the-throat 'r' sound, even though it was an 'r'.
     
  12. Auryn

    Auryn Senior Member

    London
    France, French
    No, sorry, they all do! :D
     
  13. viera Senior Member

    Paris suburb
    English/French/Slovak
    Quoted by Auryn:
    Why would there be an English 'r' in the French language?

    I have noticed that French Canadians pronounce English words or names with an English 'r' even when speaking French, which is not what I hear in France.
     
  14. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    The one thing I have noticed is that every French R does not sound like the one Piaf sings in "La vie en RRRRRose"!

    Some are much softer (those combined with other consonants, for example). The R in "je prends" can be soft.

    The ones at ends of words are very, very soft sometimes (la mer, le livre).

    You can "gargle" all of them, but, in fact, the French don't seem to stress them all equally, at least to my ear.
     
  15. rouge_blanc_brun New Member

    English, Malaysia
    Yes, that's exactly why I asked. :D Thanks, all.
     
  16. CARNESECCHI Senior Member

    Auvergne
    French / France
    Hello,
    Don't rely on songs to figure pronunciation! Edith Piaf was well known for using strong Rs" when she sang. When she died, the french TV looked for a "clone" and it was obvious that all the women selected used strong Rs in their songs (see Mireille Mathieu for example)
    After that, as geve said, it's a matter of speed, intonation and difficulty of the sentence.
    "un grand avion" is "a big plane"
    "un grrrrand avion" is "a biiig plane"
    I would say that we have as many different Rs in french as you have different Rs in english.
    In "trois gros rats gras dans une grande grange", there is no requested difference between the Rs, the slight differences are only due to the effort of moving quickly the muscles of the mouth from one sound to the next.
    Hope it helps!
     
  17. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    And along those lines .. Brel always seemed to roll his Rs rather than using the French R - was this specific to Brel, or is it a Belgian variant ?
     
  18. gliamo Senior Member

    Ireland
    France, French
    For me the first R (trois) isn't voiced as it follows a T. All others are.
    Many french speakers would make a sound closer to the spanich jota in most cases.
     
  19. gliamo Senior Member

    Ireland
    France, French
    Brel wasn't rolling his R's a la spanish, but like Piaf was using a strong French R. Brassens did the same. Older people do it more I think.
     
  20. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    Perhaps I don't understand what a "strong" French R is, but Brel's Rs don't sound to me anything like a French R, but exactly like a rolled R in English (I'm not sure how Spanish say their Rs). I'm not particularly familiar with Piaf or Brassens, either.

    BTW, by a "rolled" R, I mean a sound produced at the front of the mouth with the tongue "trilling" - it's not produced in the back of the throat like a French R.
     
  21. CARNESECCHI Senior Member

    Auvergne
    French / France
    Hello,
    Yes :
    "J'ai perdu l'accent bruxellois
    D'ailleurs plus personne n'a cet accent-là
    Sauf Brel à la télévision
    Je viens rechercher mes bonbons"
    Jacques Brel - Les bonbons 67
     
  22. TRG Senior Member

    english USA
    Bonjour à tous-
    I frequently listen to the French channel on Sirius satellite which is mostly from Canada, and many of the r's I hear sound quite ordinary to my AE trained ear. By this I mean they don't sound very French.

    TRG
     
  23. polaire Senior Member

    English, United States
    Are you saying that you pronounce "trois" et "toi" the same way? On the pronunciation tapes I have they don't sound the same.

    I have a problem with the r in "pour." Slowly, I can say it perfectly. The problem is when I try to say it quickly. I'm afraid that I'm either over- or under-doing it.

    Another hated phrase: "Rue de Rivoli." It's very hard for me to say it quickly and retain the proper sound.
     
  24. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    Try to go to another road: "Rue Mouffetard" for instance. :D
    Ou alors, pour t'entraîner, essaie donc cet exercice de diction qui m'a fait tant souffrir moi-même :
    Oui, je sais, c'est quasi impossible. ;)
     
  25. polaire Senior Member

    English, United States
    Yes, it is extremely hard :), but the "gr" sound is still much easier than the "r" as the initial sound.
     
  26. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    Mot par mot: ça marche; autrement, c'est tout à fait impossible! ;)
     
  27. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    C'est juste une question d'entraînement. C'est un exercice de diction pour le théâtre. Ils sont (entre autres) dans ce vieux bouquin "Traité pratique de la diction française" de Georges Le Roy (chez Grancher).
    Tiens, j'en retrouve certains ici si ça t'intéresse. ;)
     
  28. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    C'est juste une question d'entraînement. Mon oeil! ;)

    Mais, vraiment, je te remercie! J'aime beaucoup de tels exercices, mais je suis une anglophone qui ne peut même pas bien prononcer "She sells sea shells down by the sea-shore!" Que veux-tu que je fasse avec "je sèche ces cheveux chez ce cher Serge"?? Je bégaie, je balbutie, je m'amuse! :)
     
  29. KaRiNe_Fr

    KaRiNe_Fr Senior Member

    France, Provence
    Français, French - France
    Oui, oui, mais il ne faut pas s'inquiéter, les français aussi doivent s'entraîner! Ici, je ne faisais pas de distinction natifs / non natifs. ;)
    Ce ne sont que des exercices de diction et il ne faut pas les prendre pour autre chose. Une fois que tu arrives à prononcer ces phrases-ci, plus aucun texte ne doit pouvoir te résister. ;)
     
  30. polaire Senior Member

    English, United States
    Thank you, I've come across exercises like this and they are helpful. If you know of a site that explains in detail how one can make the best use of that kind of exercise, I'd be grateful. In other words, do you just repeat them slowly, then more quickly, then try to "allongez la phrase" as I'm told on other tapes, or is there some trick? :)

    Do you use the term "virelangue" for these exercises?
     

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