I usually hear the letter "р" pronounced as a post-alveolar trill, and in countless introductions to Russian phonetics it is taught as such, but some people appear to pronounce the letter further back, as an uvular fricative, such as in this example:


The speaker is Дми́трий Ви́кторович Лива́нов, a native Russian so it can't be an foreign accent. And also, I have already heard the same pronunciation in other places.

I might be hearing the pronunciation incorrectly, but if not:

Where do the differences in pronunciation of the letter "р" come from?

  • 3
    This is a clear speech defect.
    – Anixx
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 0:47

2 Answers 2


such pronunciation of эр is a case of speech impediment

incorrect pronunciation of phonemes is a result of inadequate development of speech apparatus (anatomic or neurological) or uncured bad habits

deficiency in P pronunciation is called ротацизм a form of dyslalia

and the type of ротацизм this gentlemаn demonstrates is увулярный or горловой

  • 2
    find funny that in english and in russian naming of such defects contains letter they can pronounce correctly
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 23:38
  • It can also be picked up by a child from the parents who pronounce it in the uvular way, early in the life, especially if the parents have a Jewish background and speak with a Yiddish accent, Yiddish having the uvular R.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 23:19

That is speech defect. "Р" is a hard sound. When I was a child I had problems pronouncing it. It sounded like "ЭЛ" :)

I would say that guy in the video "картавит". Infinitive "картавить". "Ротацизм" sounds like diagnosis to me and honestly that is the first time I see the word in my life.

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