Questions to French native speakers...

paysage   Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:58 pm GMT
Is it possible to use trilled Spanish/ Italian like 'R' in French without sounding foreign? Wikipedia says that trilled "R' s" are used in Corsica , Quebec, Caribbean and African dialects ...Are they right or this is a fake piece of information?
PARISIEN   Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:27 pm GMT
<< Is it possible to use trilled Spanish/ Italian like 'R' in French without sounding foreign? Wikipedia says that trilled "R' s" are used in Corsica , Quebec >>

-- A couple of years back I would have hesitated about the right answer. But now, the answer is absolutely: *no*, you cannot anymore.

Alveolar 'R' is definitely out. Still in the 80's it was occasionally heard in various parts of France (South-West, Burgundy, Maine, Normandie, Bretagne), as well as in Corsica and in Canada. My grand-mother used it.

It has been disappearing at an incredible pace since then. Mainly because it has been ridiculed as a stereotypical feature of peasant speech (or of immigrant gibberish).

In Corsica, the locals are now dropping it even when speaking their own language (which is actually an Italian dialect). I've heard Italian tourists complaining they were shocked at hearing Corsicans speaking Italian "con la erre francese"!
Blond   Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:46 pm GMT
Yes they're right but as a dialect. You'll be consider as a farmer or a ''paysan'' which is not necessarily pejorative. I'm a quebecer myself and we don't use that trilled 'r' anymore like our grandfathers and grandmothers did, unless you are an Acadian and live in New-Brunswick for example, because they're still using it.

In France, I don't know but I think they spoke that way until the 50' if you watch a film of that era you'll see what I mean. In my parish, our priest like many other priests used to pronounce that kind of 'r' until the 70' before he was replaced by a younger priest.
Ren   Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:53 pm GMT
Very interesting. I did not know the Alveolar R once existed in French. Here in Brazil, when we want to copy a french accent (on tv shows, etc) all we do is use the French R only...its quite understandable. Portuguese has both, the alveolar r and the "french" R. Guttural R here also exists in BP like french, although not as pronounced as in France.
Blond   Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:02 pm GMT
It reminds me Green acres with Eva Gabor, they spoke like farmers. I wrote about the same thing as Parisien without knowing his answer. I conclude this feature has the same consideration over time on both side of the Atlantic.
South Korean   Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:50 pm GMT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEHqeYSUVeo
Here's a Yemeni Israeli singer singing in French. Her "R" is very interesting. Perhaps she pronounces it the same way she does in Hebrew.
Blond   Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:26 pm GMT
''Here's a Yemeni Israeli singer singing in French. Her "R" is very interesting. Perhaps she pronounces it the same way she does in Hebrew.''

Yes, indeed, deeply pronounced ŕ la Mireille Mathieu or ŕ la Nana Mouskouri.
That's the old fashion way like Edith Piaf did sometime also.
bob   Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:58 pm GMT
<<Portuguese has both, the alveolar r and the "french" R.>>
To me, the Portuguese guttural R doesn't quite sound like the French one. I seem to hear it either pronounced as [h] (like an English H), or as [χ] (voiceless uvular fricative), but never as a voiced uvular fricative as it is pronounced in French.
Ren   Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:21 pm GMT
No there are several ways to pronounce the portuguese R. One of them is guttural. You see if often in Rio de Janeiro for example.
Little Tadpole   Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:43 pm GMT
Ren: "One of them is guttural. You see if often in Rio de Janeiro for example."

Carioca "R" is voiceless, though. Bob's comment was that the French one is voiced. Check this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N19poaBH6mg

You notice the initial voicing even before the consonantal part of R. This is very much like English's voiced initials like b/m/d. English's "boy" to a Portuguese speaker would sound like bbboy.
Ren   Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:43 pm GMT
Ren   Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:47 pm GMT
I lived many years in Rio, My mother is from Recife and her R tends to be guttural as well. Guttural R here is used differently, as it is often used to show enphasis to a word.

Also as I said before, the guttural R even when it happens, it is not as pronounced as the French R
Ren   Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:49 pm GMT
My name is Renato, and often in Rio, Recife and even in Vitória-ES, they would say (gutturally) Renato with the rough R.
Little Tadpole   Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:55 pm GMT
Ren: your problem is that you have not phonetics training, and you don't know the difference between voiced and voiceless.
Ren   Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:58 pm GMT
Perhaps... And as I said, its similar, not the same