French pronunciation: The letter ‘R’

How to pronounce the French ‘R’

A number of French words that beginners face quite a lot such as ‘Thank you’ (MERCI), ‘Wednesday’ (MERCREDI), and ‘Restaurant (RESTAURANT), are difficult for English speakers to pronounce!

Listen to very young French children and you may occasionally hear them exaggerate the ‘r’ sound in words like ‘meRci’ or ‘meRcredi‘ for fun, or maybe even because they are exploring them!  It is a good idea to try that, in private if you prefer …
However, here is happy news!
After gargling (?!) and trying to get that ‘r’ sound to vibrate in your throat, here is a HOT TIP:   It is better hardly to pronounce the ‘r’ at all than to over-exaggerate the sound if you are having trouble with it! 
Seriously, gliding over those horrible ‘r’s rather than struggling with them can work very well.

Here are three very short youtube videos for oral practice using: ‘merci’, ‘mercredi’ and ‘restaurant’:




French R sound - Merci

 French for Children