Rowliodd Lowri (rolling your R's)

I’ve just finished watching a very interesting program on S4C called Rhowliodd Lowri looking into the Welsh rolled letter R.

The question of how to roll the letter R has cropped up lots of times over the years on this forum (and the last) so it should be relevant to a lot of people and interesting to all, I’m sure.


Have you a link for that please? I just tried to search for it and couldn’t find it (but knowing the way I look for things it’s bound to be hiding in plain sight! )

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I’ve just watched it so I guess it won’t be on there for a while yet.

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Many thanks, I’ll keep my eye open.
It’s a touch irritating that, even though I live in Wales, I can’t get S4C in the telly so have to rely on the interweb!

yup, hiding in plain sight! Got it now.

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It doesn’t help that I spelt it wrong, i’ll see if I can change it now. Thanks.

And … changed.

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Very interesting program @gruntius ! I had not really thought about how the use of the rolled R - I can roll my R’s but do not do so excessively when speaking Welsh, although the R sound is much more present than it is when I speak English. My husband is quite badly tongue tied, and of course that happens to people who speak a language that uses a rolled R. I can’t hear anything when he speaks English but it becomes more obvious in Welsh and Spanish.
I found that listening to that program, my ear isn’t canny enough yet to pick out the kind of R that I’m hearing, but I did find it harder to understand their speech in general, clearly because I’m not yet quick enough to accept variations in what I hear.
So much more to learn to hear!

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I struggle with the rolled r a lot. I can’t do it and it has annoyed me all my life. More so now than ever that I’m learning Welsh! I assume there are plenty of people who can’t, is it an issue in speaking the language?

I tried to watch the program but I’m not able to as far as I can tell because I can’t have access to BBC iPlayer here in America. Has anyone else not in The U.K. figured out how to watch a program like this without the BBC iPlayer? Will you let me know how, if so?

I used to always roll my R’s, but then people told me I was walking funny, so I put a stop to it …

Sorry, I’ll get my coat…


:grinning::laughing: @mikeellwood

I think S4C Clic might work outside the UK - for reasons I’m not clear about most S4C content seems to be available on both platforms with some slight differences in e.g. subtitles. Try this & see if it works:

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We think I have a slight tongue-tie – my son had a slight one which was enough to cause difficulties breast-feeding, it’s more common with boys, tends to run in families, I (alone out of my brothers) couldn’t/wouldn’t breast-feed as a baby – and I can do a single tapped ‘r’ (Spanish pero) but I have to fudge an approximation to a double ‘rr’ (perro) by kind of flicking my tongue past the ridge behind the teeth to get a double tap. When I complained of my inability to make the sound to my old Catalan tutor, he actually reckoned I made it well enough, but I know perfectly well it’s a fudge: the tip of my tongue just won’t vibrate, and I simply can’t trill it and hold it ‘rrrrrrr’ like some folks. (I’d be rubbish at an African wedding or a fox hunt.) Fortunately, the Welsh ‘r’ seems mostly to be more like a single tap, and I get away with it (more or less).

Unlike the lad I was at school with, whose Jonathon Ross-style 'r’s led everyone to call him Gewaint…


Diolch unwaith eto @gruntius, I really enjoyed that programme. I didn’t understand everything, but it was very enjoyable.

“Yr ar…yr archfar…yr supermarkets…” :laughing:


Unfortunately it states that it’s only available with the UK - sorry international viewers :cry:

Oooh … interesting! Thanks for the heads-up - will look that out tonight.

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I had that problem on Gower, whereas folk in North Devon got it lovely!![quote=“cat-1, post:7, topic:8430”]
tongue tied,

I was born that way. The doctor noticed when I was yowling after reaching out to see what a flat-iron felt like straight off the fire and what ‘hot’ meant! He snipped it there and then (my tongue, I mean) and said I’d tend to have too much saliva. (The flat iron was due to power cuts in 1942 when bombs hit power lines). I do not remember any of this, I was told it later!!
to @rebeccajones Limited international availability, but what is available should be found online on S4C International.

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Eek! Under anaesthetic, I hope!

I have a different problem. I can roll my Rs lovely, but I can’t blow a raspberry. I was really embarrassed about it in choir practice for a while (it’s one of the warmup exercises), but then I discovered our conductor can’t roll his Rs (and that’s a far more important skill for singing), so now I don’t feel so bad :slight_smile:


My teacher calls it bubbling, it’s very odd first time you hear it isn’t it?

I don’t think they bothered with anaesthetic for such things! It was quick and in our kitchen! Let"'s face it, about then, my Mam’s friend and little girl were chased down a road by a Luftwaffe fighter pilot firing his guns and only just escaped by diving into a shop doorway! People were regularly buriied in rubble with fires all around them! A quick snip was nothing, Fach

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Both my eldest and middle undid their tongue-ties by way of spectacular face-plant type accidents! Gory at the time, but useful! Midwives used to snip them as soon as they saw them in the few days following birth, but now you need diagnosing and an appointment at a clinic. :expressionless: