らりるれろ (Japanese R)

The Japanese ‘r’ sound is different from the ‘r’ sounds in some other languages. In particular, native speakers of English often have difficulty learning the Japanese ‘r’, because it is written with an ‘r’ in Roman letters, but it sounds more like the ‘d’ sound in the English word ‘ladder’ than the ‘r’ or ‘l’ sound. Watch the videos below before doing the quiz to enhance your knowledge of Japanese ‘r’.

Step 1: Watch Japanese ら、り、る、れ、ろ Instructional Video

This video compared English ‘r’ with Japanese ‘r’, rather than English ‘l’. You may wonder how different Japanese 'r' is from English ‘l’. The major difference is in the tongue shape of the back part of the tongue. English 'l’ (as well as English ‘r’) is produced with the back of the tongue retracted, or raised, but Japanese ‘r’ does not involve the same sort of retraction.

Step 2: Watch Japanese ら、り、る、れ、ろ Exercise Video 1

Step 3: Watch Japanese ら、り、る、れ、ろ Exercise Video 2

Step 4: Watch Japanese ら、り、る、れ、ろ Exercise Video 3


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