Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Phonic retardation

My textbook states that "Chinese and Japanese make no distinction between r and l" (Shaffer, 2002, p. 200).

This is mighty interesting to me because while it is true that native Orientals seem to mess up their syllables sometimes, these sounds do exist, at least in Mandarin. Like the characters 路 (lù) and 入 (rù) differ in pronunciation solely in this manner.

So, do Chinese really make no distinction between these two syllable sounds? (I must confess that I've not been listening closely to spoken English by native Chinese-speakers recently.)

If so, why?


evil york girl said...

that's because the chinese 'r' sound isn't strictly an 'r' sound. if you hear native chinese speakers, the 'r' sound is more of a mix of 'r' and 'l' simultaneously. :P

enqi said...

some provinces in China don't make that different, stems from their dialect. My dad confuses his r and l, and so do many other hokkien-speakers

the man said...

yeah enqi i like hokkien mee

The man other than the man said...

Oh i do not like hokkien mee.