Norwegian pronunciation: Learn how to pronounce rd/rl/rn/rt



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If we say the ‘r’ in the way they say the ‘r’ in Oslo, Trondheim and Tromsø, like this ‘r’, where we position the tongue at the top of our mouth at the very front, close to our teeth and produce a sort of rolling sound, vibrating sound, this has consequences for the sounds ‘rs’, ‘rl’, ‘rt’ and ‘rn’. So, for all of these sounds we merge the two letters into one sound. And I will explain them consecutively now, starting with ‘rt’. So, for ‘rt’, if we want to produce this sound, one example is in the word ‘borte’, I will explain how you do this. So, the sound, as I mentioned, is merged into one sound, where we, instead of positioning our tongue at the very front of our mouth, close to our teeth, ‘r’, we move the tongue back, against our palate, further back in our mouth, up here, you can’t see it but we will demonstrate this for you. And then, we use our tongue to block off the air flow, so we say ‘borte’. We stop the air flow, as we are about to say ‘r’ and we open again as we are saying ‘t’. ‘Borte, borte’. And saying at naturally it sounds like this: ‘borte, borte’. And some examples of words with this sound are as I just mentioned, borte, hørte, lært, vært. And then we can move on to the next one. We have now discussed ‘rt’ and I will now present ‘rl’. So, we apply the same principle as we did in ‘rt’, where instead of pronouncing two letters separately like ‘r-t’ or something, or ‘r-l’, we merge them into one sound. So, again, the tongue is at the palate and for instance the name ‘Karl’ in English, we say in Norwegian ‘rl’ and we would say ‘Karl’. So, again the tongue is moving up against the palate, ‘Karl’ and we produce one sound, we merge them into one sound, ‘Karl’. And for the letters ‘rn’, again the same principle, one sound, the ‘r’ and the ‘n’ merge into one sound. And this we can find in words such as Arne, barn, and again the tongue moves up to our palate and we sort of stop the air flow here as well, Arne, barn. So you can see how, if we follow with another vowel, for instance ‘e’, ‘Arne’, we will release again. Whereas in the word ‘barn’, it stays there. ‘Barn’. And then the letters ‘rs’. This is fairly easy. It’s almost as if we are hushing someone to be quiet, you say sh. And this is the sound we make. ‘sh’. So the tongue is again at the palate and there is one sound, ‘sh’, and we use this sound in words such as spørsmål and norsk.

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