- Are rolling r’s genetic?
- What nationality rolls their R’s?
- Is tongue trill genetic?
- Do Vietnamese roll their Rs?
- Do Japanese roll their R?
- How do you say L in Japanese?
- What languages do you not have to roll your R’s?
- Why are there no LS in Japanese?
There’s no real equivalent in English to the rolled ‘r’. That’s what makes it so notoriously hard for native English speakers who are used to the very hard R sound. Despite this, it is possible to learn this skill. Being able to roll your ‘r’s isn’t a genetic trait like, say, being able to roll your tongue.
Alveolar trill, also known as a rolled R, is a consonant sound that’s used in about 40 per cent of all the languages in today’s world. You can hear rolled R in Spanish, Russian, Italian, Greek, Arabic, and over 2000 other languages spoken by people on every continent.
People often worry that their inability to trill is genetic. But the reason people struggle with the trill is simply that it’s not obvious how to do it. Everything takes place out-of-sight, inside the mouth, where most of us have very little awareness of what our mouth parts are doing.
‘R’ is pronounced as /r/ and ‘tr’ is /t -r/ only in the southern Vietnam. In the north ‘r’ in pronounced as /z/, and ‘tr’ is pronounced as an unaspirated /ch/ in central and northern VN. So many northerners have trouble pronouncing English ‘r’s. ‘Tr’ is the only initial consonantal cluster remaining on Vietnamese.
The Japanese don’t roll their tongue, as in the Spanish language when pronouncing “R”. However, the “R” sound is much closer to the Spanish “R” than the English “R”. In a way…it is pronounced with a sound that is in between “L” and “R”. So perhaps you heard some anime characters say it with a stronger R sound. :D.
“L” is written 「エル」in Japanese. For the L sounds, you could use「ラリルレロ」, the same as how R sounds would be written. For example, “Laura” would be「ローラ」, “London” would be「ロンドン」.
As it happens, the two most commonly spoken languages in the world, English and Mandarin, lack trilled rhotics. Japanese is another. As far as I know, rolling ‘r’ wouldn’t be necessary for people who speak French, German, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
There is no L sound in Japanese, so they opt for the nearest sound they can manage, which is the Japanese R, a sound that English natives find it hard to master, and nothing like L at all in how it is articulated. The Japanese R approximates the English one but with a click, a tongue tap against the hard palate.