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Rrrrolling the "rr's"

By Mr Grumpy - Thu 22th Mar 2012

When Mrs Grumpy and I first moved to Spain 7 years back, little did we imagine that we would end up living with a hyperactive chainsaw.

Or at least that is what our house sounds like over breakfast most mornings.

My 4 year old daughter is obviously at the stage in her education where her teachers are making here clearly annunciate each and every word and syllable correctly, and as such they must be practising the “rr” one hell of a lot, because that is all she is doing at home at the moment.

If she isn’t practising whilst she is eating her weetabix (not a pretty sight) she is running up and down the corridor rrrrrolling her rrrrrr’s and terrrrorrrrising the dog. In short, she is over-emphasising the “rrrrrrrr” in everything she says - English AND Spanish.

I was also wonderrrrrring if this was just some special treatment that the teachers singled out the Brrrrritish kids for, or if the kids of other nationalities (Native Spanish Included) were subjected to this aggressive “rrrrr-ing” ?

The frustrating thing here is that her “rr” is clear and perfectly understood, however, she is still struggling to pronounce her “r” in English, and sounds like a slightly smaller and more effeminate Johnathan Woss when she attempts this (If that is something that you can bear imagining ?).

I’m left wondering if this is something typical of most British kids being taught in a foreign language at school – ie not taught to pronounce an English “R” ?

I also hope she grows out of it before the inevitable Monty Python / Life of Brian jokes begin.

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