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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Hiroko here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher where I’ll answer some of *your* most common Japanese questions.
The question for this lesson is…
Is the Japanese R like an English R or L?
So as you know, English, "R" and "L" sounds are very different. When you hear "arigatou," meaning “Thank you” or "ramen" meaning “a type of noodle”, you might wonder whether an English R sound is used or an L sound.
So what’s going on with this?
Japanese ‘r’ sounds, such as ‘らりるれろ’ are actually different from both an English R *and* the English L sound!
When you say "r" in Japanese, you lightly tap the the roof of your month with the tongue. Don't roll your tongue. The tongue taps the same place that it does when you say "d-" sounds.
I’ll show you the differences. Please listen CAREFULLY. English ‘R’ sound is ...“RA” and English ‘L’ sound is ...“LA.” Japanese ‘r’ sound is ‘ra/ら.’
Let’s have a look at some examples;
‘Yoroshiku onegai shimasu
I hope this helps you with these sounds.Did you know we have a whole series devoted to Japanese pronunciation? If you’re interested, check it out!
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!