Japanese Lessons

Japanese Consonants: How to Pronounce ら り る れ ろ

Japanese letters ら り る れ ろ

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Description of the Japanese Pronunciation ら り る れ ろ

Picture describing Japanese pronunciation /r/

ら り る れ ろ consist of the Japanese consonant [ɾ] representing the sound of the roman letter /r/ with the Japanese vowels [a], [i], [u], [e] and [o] respectively. When you pronounce [ɾ], you are going to flap the tip of your tongue at your upper gums. When it comes to the English sound [r], your tongue does not touch any parts in your mouth. In that sense, the Japanese sound [ɾ] completely differs from the English one.

Does it make sense to you? Let’s try to pronounce ら り る れ ろ after the tutor on the video!

Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons

Words Exercise with the Pronunciation [ɾ] ら り る れ ろ

Please repeat the following words after the tutor on the video.

Words Roman Letters Meanings
らいしゅう ra i shu u next week
らいねん ra i ne n next year
りっぱ ri ppa wonderful
みどり mi do ri green
mi ru to look [at]
わた wa ta ru to cross, to migrate
れい re i zero
れいぞうこ re i zo u ko refrigerator
ろく ro ku six
ろうか ro u ka corridor

Sentences Exercise with the Pronunciation [ɾ] ら り る れ ろ

Please repeat the following sentences after the tutor in the video.

Japanese Sentences English Translations
来年らいねんロシアにきます。 I will go to Russia next year.
アメリカにわたりました。  I migrated to the US.
りっ冷蔵れいぞういました。 I bought a wonderful refrigerator.

Tongue Twister Exercise with the Pronunciation [ɾ] ら り る れ ろ

Please repeat the following tongue twisters after the tutor on the video. Also, please focus on the pronunciation practice, not the meaning, because they were made only for the sake of practice.

Japanese Tongue Twisters Vocabulary


のら: stray, 如来にょらい: Buddha


どくろ:Skull, ろくろ: Potter’s wheel, くろ: black


あぶる: to warm ~ over a fire, カルビ: rib



This is the how to pronounce [ɾ] ら り る れ ろ. We recommend that you practice the sentences above at least 5 times for each exercise, though we understand that pronunciation practice can be dull. Good pronunciation will give you listening and speaking ability, and thereby you will be confident enough to speak Japanese with native speakers. Thus, the ability you gain is well worth the time spent. We are looking forward to seeing you in the next lesson; [w] わ.

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