Having trouble pronouncing things like "れる"

Hi! I recently learned the word 外れる, but I keep having trouble actually pronouncing it. More specifically, I can’t seem to pronounce those two “R” syllables (れる) in a row without getting stuck on it or leaning towards an “L” sound; this applies to others like 生まれる as well. Any ideas for improving my punctuation in this area? I’ve tried to imitate the voice sample as best as I can, but I can never quite get it right.

Basically just practice. When I encountered 現れる(あらわれる) for the first time the only way I could pronounce it was if I did so very slowly. After a bunch of practice both speaking and listening to native Japanese I can now pronounce it at a native speed.

So for now don’t worry about it too much, you’ll get it eventually as long as you put in some effort into speaking/listening.


What about 料理 (りょうり)? :scream:

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That’s funny, I was trying to pronounce that same word this morning. It was one of those cases where the more you say it the less it makes sense.

It reminds me of when I was trying to learn French and pronounce ‘rire’ (to laugh). My brain panics haha :rofl:

Your tongue is a muscle. You’re asking it to do something it hasn’t done before.

Do some “reps” and expect it to be difficult, like if you tried to learn how to juggle or something.


Just practice. Trust us, getting through WaniKani takes so long, that by the end of it, pronunciation will be no problem at all.

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I speak non-rhotic English and non-rhotic Mandarin; there are so many languages’ R’s that give me trouble :frowning:
desarrollador … every time I have to describe my profession in Spanish it takes me a couple tries to sound it out
arrivederci … too many R’s
serrurier … gah let’s just pretend French doesn’t exist

That being said, an “L” sound isn’t too bad a start for 外れる. Just hold your tongue a bit further back (up and behind your teeth) and it should be a bit closer to the expected sound, I think.

What you’re saying is very misleading. He needs to practice quite a bit or it will very much still be a problem when he hits 60. There are a lot of level 60s who don’t have good pronunciation.

I wouldn’t have guessed that, it’s just gotten easier for me as I go along. Listen to this guy, he know’s more than me :sweat_smile:

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I dont doubt that. And in the time it takes a lot of people to get 60, you can have pretty good pronunciation for sure if you practice. Its just that it wont come naturally to the point where its no problem at all. At least, not to my definition of “no problem at all”, and I don’t think my standards are too strict.

The important thing is that you care. You could say it ten thousand times, but if you didn’t care about getting it right, there would be no change in your speech.

You’ve noticed that you’re doing it wrong, and you’re interested in doing it right. Now, all that’s left is practice. Keep at it!


aaaaaaaaa you all are so helpful! Thank you so much for your advice, I’ll definitely keep practicing; it’s amazing how nice the community is here

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I find that I have to get the rhythm / cadence right to pronounce these verbs, which is hardest to do when I encounter a new れる verb I haven’t seen before. If I put too much intonation / emphasis on れる itself, I’ll mess up, so it has to be on the first, second, or third syllable to keep in control. Once you find the right syllable it usually clicks. When you finally get it, the last bit will roll off the tongue with decreasing effort, so the most emphasis on the end of that verb will be on the “a” syllable (ら、わ、な、ま、た、さ・・・) so you quickly flick れ and mumble る.

For example, take おこなわれる. If I pronounce it おこわれる it simply won’t sound like the right verb, and that な is going to trip me up right before that わ. Yikes. So I end up pronouncing it like this: おれる, so as to let the な be de-emphasized.

That’s just what I have observed, so it may not be totally correct (is this my English accent?), but it does keep me from tongue-twisting myself, which imo is first priority.

Now just wait till you get to ~られさせる / ~らせる lol ^_^;;

Well, I mean, Japanese doesn’t have stress at all, so yes, this is you putting an English accent on the words.

行う is a heiban word (word with no drop in pitch), so it sounds quite flat.

In the end I think my actual pronounciation of it ends up much more flat once I’m used to it, but I still need to know where to be mindful on the difficult words where my instincts lead me astray. But yeah, it’s more about where NOT to stress.

Stressing in different places does seem to help; it seems to be easier for me to pronounce it if i say “HAzureru” instead of “hazuREru” (how i’ve been saying it previously)

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