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Rolling r's in Thai?

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So I'm about 2 weeks into a Thai learning course.

 

LearnwithOliver.com

 

The example speakers are rolling every r in every word that has one.

 

2 questions...

 

Is this correct? 

 

And assuming it is what does a guy do that can't roll r's?

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Posted (edited)

I have heard Thai people roll their R's but very, very infrequently. They're more likely to switch the R to an L sound. I hear that at least once an hour.

 

But then when you think about the word for boat - ruua, it does have a half rolling kind of sound. Hard to explain. Certainly nothing compared to many European countries. If they're rolling them like a Spanish or Portuguese person would do, in my opinion that is not correct.

Edited by SteveK

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if you can't roll your 'r's then just loll them, works for many including thais. seems only Bangkok and buriram people can do it really well anyways

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2 minutes ago, SteveK said:

I have heard Thai people roll their R's but very, very infrequently. They're more likely to switch the R to an L sound. I hear that at least once an hour.

yeah, beat me to it

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, MartinL said:

I only ever hear rolled R's on the TV programmes and formal occasions - wedding, funeral speeches etc. Everyday speech - R replaced by L. 

I got scolded and corrected by a food vendor on Koh Phangan for saying mai pen lai - she insisted it was mai pen rai, I guess there are regional preferences for the R or L sound. I try and make a sound which is halfway between the two.

Edited by SteveK

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A little story that's always amused me.

 

Years ago, I bought my wife a bracelet. When I went overseas without her, she sent me an SMS saying "I wore your profit when I went out today". "What the hell's she talking about?" I asked myself. I called and asked her. "The profit you bought me ... ". A lightbulb came on!
 

I looked-up the Thai word for 'profit' - it's กำไร (gam Rai). The word for bracelet is กำไล (gam Lai). However, both are pronounced exactly the same in this neck of the woods - gam Lai.

 

It seems she'd asked a friend for the translation of gam Lai and her friend had chosen the wrong English word which my wife then used.

 

Gam Rai - Gam Lai. As confusing to me as glai (falling tone) = near and glai (medium tone) = far.

 

 

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R does not involve the tongue so no Thais say r.  Always roll your ‘ร’ if you can. it is easy to learn to do but that does not guarantee that you will always say ร but when you don’t, at least you won’t be saying the English r but the authentic Tai ‘ล’. 

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"Standard" (as in received pronunciation) Thai as spoken in TV news has  l and r,

Both are not pronounced as in American English.

L is pronounced like in British "leg".

R is rolled, like Spanish r (not like Spanish rr - note the difference between "caro" and "carro").

 

The only people in Thailand who naturally roll their r are the Khmer (mostly in Buriram, Surin, Sisaket). Lao speaking people from Isarn pronounce r as l, so do Bangkokians.

Bangkokians omit r and l in consonant clusters anyway: "who" should be krai but becomes kai, "fish" should be pla but becomes pa.

 

School teachers all over the country desperately try to teach the rolling r. In vain,  of course. 

But if a Thai wants to show off her education she will roll every r. Unfortunately,  she has no idea where it's a

 r and where it should be l - because she cannot feel the difference.  So she will "overcorrectly" pronounce many l as r.

That's how you end up with the profit story.  They really have no idea,  what is l and what is r, it's all the same in their mother tongue, Isarn Lao.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, uhuh said:

 

But if a Thai wants to show off her education she will roll every r.

Not show off, just speak well/polite.

 

18 minutes ago, uhuh said:

 

Unfortunately,  she has no idea where it's a

 r and where it should be l - because she cannot feel the difference.  So she will "overcorrectly" pronounce many l as r.

I see your post many time before. You always correct. Explain it well. You clever. Sure.

 

But I disagree with that one.

Is easy, if ร then roll,

if ล don’t roll.

 

i am from south.

 

 

 

18 minutes ago, uhuh said:

That's how you end up with the profit story.  They really have no idea,  what is l and what is r, it's all the same in their mother tongue, Isarn Lao.

 

 

 

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I had a Thai girl fall in love with me when I pronounced ผมรักคนไทย (pom rak kon thai - I love Thai people) rolling the r perfectly. She was quite impressed and insisted I spoke perfect Thai. Of course, my Thai is barely passable, but this girl loved hearing it. I work with Thai employees, and I have never heard any of them ever once roll an r. But it sounds phenomenal in Isaan songs. You should begin by learning to roll the r, then relax that with time as you become more comfortable with speaking Thai.

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I understood for "law ling" their tongue is at the front of the mouth(hard pallette) and "raw Reua" the tongue is at the back (soft pallette) which is the same as English but they make an L sound each time. Japanese is the same. My sister in law speaks very politely and says "r" but the rest of the family will use "L".

Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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I wouldn't worry about it. You usually only hear them doing it when they are being formal. I can do it, but it is a distraction when you are just trying yo be understood.

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Posted (edited)

The "R" sound like I understand it is not from the back of the throat like western language. Its more like a quick clapping of the thong on the upper part of the mouth. A little bit like some arab women singing sound. I'm still working on it! Most of the time a "L" sound is ok but it's not the correct educated "TV news" prononciation. 

Edited by Tayaout

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