Further tips for pronouncing ㄹ (r/l)Posted: January 2, 2014
The first post of 2014!! I hope everyone has had a fab New Year either out partying or sat comfy at home and I wish everybody a brilliant 2014. Mwah!
So I thought I’d share something I’ve come across when talking with E. One of his names is ‘Ryeol’. Now obviously the romanization suggests you use the rolling r sound or even, as I thought after listening to him pronounce it, with a more l sound. However he eventually explained that whilst the romanization ‘Ryeol’ is correct, it’s actually prnounced more ‘Nyeol’. That’s right. With an N….whuuuut.
Now obviously this doesn’t apply to every single romanized ㄹ (every single r/l) but I’m going to guess that whenever ㄹ (r/l) is paired with a y then it takes on a more ‘ny’ sound especially when the next letters are ‘eo’ or ‘o’ and/or the last letter pronounced was a ‘ng’ sound (as in runni’NG’)
Pronouncing ‘Ryeol’ as ‘Nyeol’ at first kind of made me go ‘whuuuuu-‘ but then after I said it a couple of times fast ‘Ni’ – ‘uhl’ (a basic example of it broken down into syllables) I found it actually does sound as though there’s a hint of a muted ‘l’ sound in there.
So just a heads up! ㄹ can occasionally take on a ‘n’ sound under certain circumstances. But don’t go round wondering ‘Oh god I don’t DARE try and pronounce this ㄹ what if it’s an N!?’ Just pronounce it as you usually would, as an r/l sound and if it’s more of an ‘n’ sound somebody will correct you. Just listen to other people say whatever word it is and you’ll pick it up. (: