Roland wrote:There are three ways of pronouncing the 'r', excluding the "American r" at the end of a word. You can say it by vibrating the tip of the tongue (the easiest way I think), by vibrating the back of the tongue (little harder but still doable) and by partly using the throat (scraping, just like the French do). The last one can be heard in Limburg. I think you should learn the first version since it is most commonly used. Just practice the sound for some time before you start using it in words. I think it is not too hard to master it
Easy for you to say, buster! :P I do, technically, know how to make the sounds. My degree is in speech therapy so the first thing I do with sounds I can't seem to make is get someone to tell me the mechanics of it. Where the tongue is placed, the shape of the mouth and lips. The only r I seem to make is the American r. I'm sure it'll just take some more time and practice. I knew my husband for 10 years before we got married and have been trying to pronounce his name (Geert) since we first met. Of course, I didn't practice it everyday like I do now. I've made some progress on the g but not much on the r. Luckily, we live in the south so a soft r is ok.
Oh, and about the civilized thing. Being civilized is so overrated. Just as long as you shape up enough to not disgrace the in-laws.