• Japanese language sounds are made of consonants and vowels together. They can also be a vowel only. There isn't a symbol to express the letter L. There are no separate sounds for the letter R or L so often the Japanese speaker has problems distinguishing the two. It is especially difficult when called on to speak perfect English. Japanese vowels are the same as in English but pronounced differently. letter "a" .... pronounced "ah" is in father letter "i".... "ee" like in deep letter "u".... "u" in put letter "e".... is a short "a" as in say ( without the y sound at the end) letter "o".... the same as English as in boat or joke. Hope this helps.
  • The simple answer is, it's not necessary to use the "L" sound to speak Japanese. Native speakers of Japanese often have difficulty making this sound for that reason. If you have difficulty making a sound that is not normally present in English, such as a rolled "R" or the back-of-the-throat sound found in Hebrew, you'll understand why this is. When we're born, we have the capacity to make every sound present in any human language. As we grow and learn our native language, our minds specialize to focus on those sounds found in the language(s) we're learning.
  • I'm Japanese. The closest phonetic the Japanese language has to the English "L" sounds like a combination of "L" and "R". Although when the Japanese is written using English alphabet i.e. sayonara, they do NOT pronounce the "R" like in English. It is a combination of "R" and "L" english pronunciation. English "L" = placing the tip of your tongue on the front upper teeth. i.e. table English "R" = placing the upper part of your tongue in the middle of your mouth, curling it upward but not touching the mouth. i.e. roll Japanese "R" (or "L") = placing the tip of your tongue flat on the front roof of your mouth. i.e. sayonara So they don't have an "L" or "R" sound that is equivalent to English, but they have something similar. Only when we write the Japanese words in English alphabet, we use the letter "R".
  • It does... (Well kinda) Its just R instead.
  • Not all languages use the same consonants as English. My language has L's but no R's or F's, Neighboring language has R's but no L's or F's. It's just the way language evolves,
  • Well...they never felt any need for it. Similarly, many - probably most - languages (including Japanese, BTW) include sounds simply not present in the English language, such as the trilled "r" of many European languages, the รถ of German, the gutteral "ch" of several Semitic languages, etc. I don't know of any language that includes ALL of the sounds found in human languages. ALL languages lack some of those sounds, and English - like Japanese - is no exception.

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