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  • The most difficult letter phonetically in Finnish is R. Total pain in the ass. Pure hell.

    I know it personally. So does Kirsi. We couldn’t say it right for years as children. I said R from throat (like in French). Kirsi said it lispingly. When you pronounce R right you place the tip of your tongue behind upper front teeth, it sounds something between bee’s buzzing or snare drum’s marching ra-ta-ta.

    Well, you can listen three versions of R in audio.

    Firstly you can hear how Kirsi pronounced it wrongly, lispingly, as a child. She says first just R’s and then my name, Jari Järvelä, three times.

    Secondly you can hear how I pronounced it wrongly for years, from throat. Again, first plain throat R sounds, and then my name, three times.

    Thirdly you hear how R sound is pronounced rightly in Finnish. That long RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR with lot of power and resonance to make windows tremble.

    All the most important words of Finnish have R sound in them. For example PERKELE (very popular curse word) and RAKKAUS (love).

    In the end of audio you can here three times “I love you” in Finnish. “Minä rakastan sinua.”

    First with lisping R, then with throat R, lastly pronounced how it should be pronounced rightly. Two faulty, one correct.

    I believed her every time.
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