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Rolling your R and L.

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Rolling your R and L.

Postby Azure » Sun 04.15.2007 7:45 am

I have never really been able to roll my Rs and Ls together properly like the Japanese do. Are there any exercises that you know of to help with this? I end up just trying to do R OR L and then when a longer sentence comes up I inevitably get tied up with trying to do one or the other and then my entire pronunciation of the word/sentence goes to pot.

Any tips or experiences you might have to share would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby Machina Maw » Sun 04.15.2007 7:51 am

This might be more hinderance than help, but try saying it more like you would say "d". I used to have trouble with it too. But I practiced saying it outloud to myself and copying the sounds from anime and songs and suchlike, which helped, I suppose. Another thing that could help, is by finding a few words that start with /ra/ri/ru/re/ro/ and saying them aloud to yourself over and over until you get the hang of it.

Edit: It's not actually rolling 'r' and 'l' together; think of it as a completely different sound. Like /dzu/. How I hate /dzu/. :<
Last edited by Machina Maw on Sun 04.15.2007 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby Azure » Sun 04.15.2007 7:56 am

Hmm interesting perspective thank you.

How far are you into your studies?
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby seiryuu » Tue 04.17.2007 9:54 pm

Azure wrote:
I have never really been able to roll my Rs and Ls together properly like the Japanese do. Are there any exercises that you know of to help with this? I end up just trying to do R OR L and then when a longer sentence comes up I inevitably get tied up with trying to do one or the other and then my entire pronunciation of the word/sentence goes to pot.

Any tips or experiences you might have to share would be much appreciated. Thanks.
As stupid as this may sound, anime helps.
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 04.17.2007 10:04 pm

If you want to sound like an anime character, it does.
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby skrhgh3b » Tue 04.17.2007 11:44 pm

i think reading up on japanese phonology will go a long way in improving your production of the sounds themselves (in isolation at least, pitch-accent is another matter). at any rate, you'll become conscious of things you were probably never aware of before. if you can't find a good book on japanese linguistics, for better or worse, there's always wikipedia.
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby ashitaka » Wed 04.18.2007 12:20 am

I would say it's like a "r" "l" with a dominant "d" all at the same time.
i think reading up on japanese phonology will go a long way in improving your production of the sounds themselves (in isolation at least, pitch-accent is another matter). at any rate, you'll become conscious of things you were probably never aware of before. if you can't find a good book on japanese linguistics, for better or worse, there's always wikipedia.

excelent idea.
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That was really stuipid.
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby zengargoyle » Wed 04.18.2007 2:14 am

you may have hit a bad combination of wording with 'roll', and maybe you meant "getting that sound somewhere between 'r' and 'l'."

Japanese does "roll" 'r's, especially in anime, and Yakuza type speak: baka yarrrrrro--.
but that's a bit different than the question of how to pronounce the plain Japanese 'r' that sounds to English speaking ears somewhere between 'r' and 'l'.

for the whole 'l' vs 't' vs 'd' thing.... (assuming generic American English... :) )

say: 'lalalalala' -- notice how the tip of your tongue touches the back of your teeth.

say: 'tada' -- notice how during the 'ta' the tip of your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth just behind your teeth, and during the 'da' the part just behind the tip of your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth just a bit further back than where the 'ta' touched.

now say: 'ra' like 'la' but put the tip of your tongue back where the 'da' touched.

English 'r' is a liquid sound, it can go on for a long time: 'Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr'.
Japanese 'r' is not a liquid sound, it's like 'l/t/d'. it's non-liquid. :)

seconding or thirding the above posts, practice ra/ri/ru/re/ro/rya/ryu/ryo. Japanese consonants are tied to vowels (except 'n'). and there are a few different 'r' sounds in those syllables. Japanese can't say 'R' as in "Arrrrrrrrrrgh" just as English can't say 'T' as in "Kitttttttttten" or 'D' as in "Maddddddddddd".

i can't 'roll' my 'r's like in Spanish or other languages... maybe Japanese 'r' is like a rolled 'r' where you only roll once... :)

so in English, take 'ramen'....

i can say: 'rrrrrrrrrrramen' or 'lllllllllamen', and i can say: 'tamen' and 'damen' but not 'tttttttamen' or 'ddddddddamen'.

so, say "ramen" but pretend it's "lamen", but move the tip of your tongue back to the where you would say "damen".
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby Azure » Wed 04.18.2007 4:51 am

Oh wow that post was sublime, thanks!
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby ThePacster » Thu 04.19.2007 8:49 pm

zengargoyle wrote:
you may have hit a bad combination of wording with 'roll', and maybe you meant "getting that sound somewhere between 'r' and 'l'."

Japanese does "roll" 'r's, especially in anime, and Yakuza type speak: baka yarrrrrro--.
but that's a bit different than the question of how to pronounce the plain Japanese 'r' that sounds to English speaking ears somewhere between 'r' and 'l'.

for the whole 'l' vs 't' vs 'd' thing.... (assuming generic American English... :) )

say: 'lalalalala' -- notice how the tip of your tongue touches the back of your teeth.

say: 'tada' -- notice how during the 'ta' the tip of your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth just behind your teeth, and during the 'da' the part just behind the tip of your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth just a bit further back than where the 'ta' touched.

now say: 'ra' like 'la' but put the tip of your tongue back where the 'da' touched.

English 'r' is a liquid sound, it can go on for a long time: 'Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr'.
Japanese 'r' is not a liquid sound, it's like 'l/t/d'. it's non-liquid. :)

seconding or thirding the above posts, practice ra/ri/ru/re/ro/rya/ryu/ryo. Japanese consonants are tied to vowels (except 'n'). and there are a few different 'r' sounds in those syllables. Japanese can't say 'R' as in "Arrrrrrrrrrgh" just as English can't say 'T' as in "Kitttttttttten" or 'D' as in "Maddddddddddd".

i can't 'roll' my 'r's like in Spanish or other languages... maybe Japanese 'r' is like a rolled 'r' where you only roll once... :)

so in English, take 'ramen'....

i can say: 'rrrrrrrrrrramen' or 'lllllllllamen', and i can say: 'tamen' and 'damen' but not 'tttttttamen' or 'ddddddddamen'.

so, say "ramen" but pretend it's "lamen", but move the tip of your tongue back to the where you would say "damen".



After practicing in class and hearing my teacher explain it as well as put it to use, I eventually learned how to pronounce the "r" sound as it should be, and looking at this post, its... its wow :) I would never be able to put into words what you did here, and following these instructions leads me to exactly how I would pronounce my "r"~ Very good post.
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby Kisshu » Thu 09.13.2007 10:38 pm

Listen to a lot of music.. that is what I did. XD Then I would memorize lyrics... soon, I kinda picked it up. XD
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 09.13.2007 11:23 pm

Kisshu wrote:
Listen to a lot of music.. that is what I did. XD Then I would memorize lyrics... soon, I kinda picked it up. XD


5 months is kind of a stretch for responding to a post, no? :D
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby XJTA » Fri 09.14.2007 5:11 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
If you want to sound like an anime character, it does.


Can you describe the difference between the /r/ sound used in anime dialogue and the /r/ sound used in real world Japanese?
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby AJBryant » Fri 09.14.2007 6:42 pm

>snicker<
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RE: Rolling your R and L.

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 09.15.2007 10:52 pm

I give up. They're all doomed.

The best way to learn how to roll your Rs is to watch old yakuza movies. These are the shining examples of R-rolling Japanese.

Good luck. Try your best
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