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Short and sweet version of my method in learning the Spanish rolling r (for those people who have short attention span like me ^-^). Spanish rolling r (or trilling r) took me about 3 months of daily practice. I practiced about 10 to 15 minutes every day. I think this method is best explained through video, but I also have the written version with enlarged photos in this blog post.


Video Tutorial




1. Push air

Learn to push air by closing your mouth and pushing air out. Your lips will vibrate as a result. Change the constant vibration to a short brief “do do do” style.

2. Tongue position

Position your tongue in the Chinese Mandarin “ri” position. It is the character 日。 If not, follow the picture below to position your tongue. Roll your tongue so that the tip of tongue is facing the inside of your mouth.

Position your tongue as pictured. If you know Chinese Mandarin, it is the character 日。

3. Combine Step 1 and 2.

Position your tongue to the “ri” position, then push air like how you did in Step 1. I find it easier if the tip of my tongue is touching the palate. Slowly move your tongue forward to get to the final position. The final position is not fixed (I can do the trilling r with different tongue positions). To keep it consistent, pretend the following one is the final position.

One of the possible final positions for making the rolling r sound.

I personally find it the further back the tongue is, the easier to push air out, which is why I have you start out at the very back of the mouth. Once you get a better feel of making the trilling r, you can make the rolling r sound even when the tongue tip is hitting the front area instead of the back, like the picture below.

This is another position your tongue can be in when making the rolling r.

I do want to be clear that even with these 3 steps, you probably won’t be able to trill the r right away. I can’t guarantee whether this will work for you, but I want to share this in case it might help you somehow :D. Don’t get discouraged! Practice consistently and hopefully you will get it in the end 😀

Remember, if my method does not work, you can check out my long video or the more detailed blog post of all the resources that have influenced my learning.
Good luck!


How to Trill the Spanish R in 3 Steps by a Non-Native Speaker

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