The French 'r' is pronounced at the back of the throat, by vibrating the root of the tongue against the throat.

To explore this action, practice doing a sustained gargle.






However, the provincial French trilled the 'r' until the media normalized French pronunciation to the uvular 'r'.

Before the 18th century, the French used the apical, or trilled 'r'.

The Bourbon kings (King Louis XIV, the Sun King), whose origins were in Germany, pronounced the 'r' with the guttural 'r' that you hear in the German language.

From Paris, the French nobility, to please their majesties, changed the norm to the guttural 'r'.