‘ㄹ’ is a flick of the tongue

I want to learn how to pronounce ‘ㄹ’.   ‘ㄹ’ is romanized as (r/l) and named 리을 (rieul).

LearnKoreanOnline might have given me a moment of insight.  The instructor Rob Julien said not to think about ‘ㄹ’ as the English letter ‘R’ but to think of it as a tongue flick.  (This was a relief, because I have a lot of trouble with the letter ‘R’ in English because of my Massachusetts dialect.)

So for the past few days, I have been saying words with the ‘ㄹ’ by flicking my tongue.  

In the Subway shop while eating my sandwich, I had my 삼숭 smartphone open to the Bravolo app and keep playing the audio for 아름다우시네요 ‘You are beautiful’ and recording myself saying it.  I pointedly ignored the elderly couple at the next table staring at the girl babbling in Korean.  I’m determined.  I am going to learn!  (I blame The Prime Minister and I with all the Subway product placement for why I stopped in for a sub. LOL)

I have also been cruising the web looking for assistance like Daily Dose of Hangul‘s blog entry on pronunciation and the Wiktionary ‘ㄹ’.  Is  alveolar flap described in  International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) a flick of the tongue?  I like Rob’s simple explanation “flick of the tongue” better than the more linguistically accurate but incomprehensible to me alveolar flap or approximant consonants.

I had noticed in the song “Danger” for the Korean Drama Vampire Prosecutor, that it sounded like they were singing Dangerl.  My first impression was that they were mispronouncing the English word DANGER.  Then I shook myself and realized they were correctly saying the Konglish word Danger, and I should pay attention to how ‘ㄹ’ is being said.  (I was embarrassed by my American centric view when I made that perspective shift.)

I may have to add learning the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to my ‘to do’ list.  I was always confused about the pronunciation explanations in English dictionaries, and now that I am seeing them for Korean too, I realize I have a gap in my knowledge.  

 

Pronunciation

 

  • IPA/l/, [ɾ], [l], [ɭ]
  • Phonetic hangul

 

 

Symbol

 

 (r)

 

  1. 리을 (rieul), a letter of the Korean writing system, hangeul; the alveolar flap or approximant (IPA(key)[ɾ], [l])

 

 

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1 Response to ‘ㄹ’ is a flick of the tongue

  1. Pingback: Regional dialects in New England and the Boston accent | Hanguk Babble

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