Tough sounds r-

The Mandarin "r" sound is an all-new sound for English-speakers, and it definitely requires practice. Using the English "r" sound (whether American or British variety) isn't going to cut it! Practice the following words and phrases to be sure that you've got a good handle on these tough sounds.

Pronunciation Tips for r- (A2)


Are you making the "r" sound correctly? Let's refer to our description from that page:

This may seem strange, but the Mandarin r- sound really is very similar to the ch-, sh-, and zh- sounds.

r- is pronounced by making the "French j" sound like in the words "leisure" and "pleasure". While making that sound, slowly pull the tip of your tongue further into the back of your mouth. The sound will start to sound less "buzzy" and more like an "r" sound. That's the Mandarin r- sound.

Tough Sound Words: r- (A2)

The words in the following table are designed to give you a good pronunciation workout. Practice them on your own and practice them with your teacher.

Audio Chinese Pinyin English
ròu meat, flesh
ràng to let/make/have (someone do something)
日本 Rìběn Japan
日期 rìqī date
然后 ránhòu and then
当然 dāngrán of course, naturally
认识 rènshi to know (a person)
如果 rúguǒ if
容易 róngyì easy

If these are too easy for you, don't forget that we also have these same sounds at a more challenging intermediate (B1) level.

Tough Sound Video Practice: r- (A2)

Sources and further reading

More sources and other links coming soon...