View Full Version : r in japanese

08-16-2008, 11:11 PM
uhmm i'm kinda confuse with the sound r in japanese for example futari sometimes they sounded like futali and sometimes futari,can someone help me and oh do i really need to learn kanji?

08-16-2008, 11:45 PM
I know what you mean but no matter what it will always be FU TA RI. 二人 There is no L in Japanese. And you don't really need to know kanji because sometimes they put the hiragana on top of the symbols.

08-16-2008, 11:51 PM
Actually, "R" and "L" sound almost identical in Japanese. They are the same symbol in writing, so the difference is only heard depending on the accent of the person speaking. Personally, when I write Romanji (not often), I use "R", but when I speak, I use "L", although I try to soften the "L".

As for the Kanji, it depends. Do you want to be able to read Japanese? At what level? Pretty much every Japanese book uses Kanji, although many manga have furigana (hiragana beside the kanji to show the readings). However, Kanji is very useful because, unlike English, in Japanese many words have multiple meanings. For example, the verb つく, according to my dictionary, has about 15 completely different definitions depending on the Kanji used. This makes low-level manga like ドラえもん incredibly difficult and frustrating to read.

In short, I suggest learning Kanji if you want to be able to read Japanese.

08-17-2008, 01:28 AM
Technically I think it's safe to say that no such distinction exists in Japanese except in special key strokes on the computer (ryu=りゅ, lyu=ゅ). It's one of factors that make it so hard for the Japanese to speak English properly, hence "Engrish".

08-17-2008, 04:11 AM
I think people learning Japanese spend so much time learning how to pronounce the r in Japanese, and never master it...

then also they automatically assume they have perfect every other sound, and actually sounds awkward, even with some thing like "su" or "shi" or "te"

lots of foreigners pronounce all sounds awkwardly, but I find that some foreigners can pronounce r but still are awkward with anything else.

I think you should work equally on every syllable, just by listening to speechs or conversations and repeat after it to figure out the sounds

08-24-2008, 01:43 AM
I agree with DABURA. A lot of other sounds sound weird.

Anyway I actually, in normal speaking, say more as what you call "r" sound rather than "l" sound and most of my other native friends do so too. If I have to be honest, both sound the same to me as long as they're pronounced natively. I can hear when foreigners force the "l" sound and it annoys me if it's not natural for some reason. However, if I write anything in Romaji I mess up all my spellings and actually would spell "Ryu" as "Lyu" just because I feel like it and it looks cooler in English letters that way (maybe cause I'm weird...)
But I really don't like when people try to hard to get this sound. It's not that hard really...

08-27-2008, 08:10 PM
Okay, here's the first thing that you need to know. There is no "l" sound in Japanese. At all! The sounds that "r" and "l" make are similar but they are not made the same way, which is why you simply cannot switch every "r" with "l" because you think they are pronounced the same way and get away with it:rolleyes: . There are no kana that contain "l", as the sound does not exist in Japanese.

You sound "r" in Japanese the same way you sound "dd" in English. Some people have said this before but most do not believe that you can get the Japanese "r" by doing "dd" in English. However, I can almost guarantee that these people were doing the sound incorrectly:rolleyes: .

To make the "dd" sound in English (and therefore the "r" sound in Japanese), you lightly flick the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth. Its almost like trilling an "r" in Spanish but it not as hard and your tongue is further back in your mouth. To help you hear the sound, say the name "Eddie" fast, short and light. If you do it correctly, it should sound like "eri" in Japanese.

08-27-2008, 08:17 PM
This is a bigger problem than you may think.
Legislation can become registration.
"Show me your legistlation."
"My what?I have no law on me!"

08-29-2008, 09:56 AM
This is a bigger problem than you may think.
Legislation can become registration.

That only happens because of the way you hear it. When a Japanese person learns English, most have an accent. That "l" sound you are hearing is not really the English "l", but the Japanese "r". They see the "r", but most will still pronounce it the Japanese way. Since there is no "l" sound in Japanese, most do not hear the difference between the English "l" and the Japanese "r" (causing "Engrish").

Since these sounds sound similar to us, most assume that switching "r" with "l" in Japanese will give you the same sound, which causes "Nihonglish" (poorly pronounced Japanese by a native English speaking person):rolleyes:.

09-05-2008, 04:40 PM
What you should do is-you know how your tongue touches the middle of the roof of your mouth? Well, just move your tongue forward until it touches the skin right before your teeth and just puff your lips forward a little bit to stress the sound. It sounds like and l and and r a bit. It takes some practice, but I'm sure you'll get used to it if you really want to learn the language. As an extra added piece of advice, if you really want the pununciation thing on lock, try Rocket Japanes.com