Jump to content

How to help a Thai pronounce 'r'?


AbeSurd

Recommended Posts

This isn't about the Thai language but it's kind of about Thai pronunciation, so I hope this forum is the right place.

For more than a year now I've been trying - informally and unpaid - to help a Thai friend with her English. She has the typical problem with the 'r' sound.

Do you think if I encourage her to roll her 'r' it will help her?

Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look at a Lao language learning book, you will see that all the R words are L words in Lao. If your friend speaks North Eastern Thai, then they don't miss pronunce the Ro Rua words, they just pronounce the Lao version using LoLing. So to my mind, they say the word correctly, but not in Central Thai, but in North Eastern Thai.

If you friend speaks a native central Thai dialect, she would use the RoRua and no problems.

There is also a linguistic thingy (forget the name of it now, long time since so did my ESL), and the Asian face, throat, tongue, sinus cavities, jaw etc are structured different than Western people, this also has a bearing on speech and pronunciation.

I wouldn't worry, but if you are still, like my aviator (playing a violin to a buffalo), download Doulch list, pick out all the L and R words and practise half an hour a Day, after you finish the hour of calculus. [emoji38]

Sent from my SM-J700F using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, carlyai said:

There is also a linguistic thingy (forget the name of it now, long time since so did my ESL), and the Asian face, throat, tongue, sinus cavities, jaw etc are structured different than Western people, this also has a bearing on speech and pronunciation.
 

That's interesting. Thank you.

 

My friend spent her early life in Isaan but I believe she only speaks Thai and not Lao. When speaking Thai, most of the time, if not all of the time, she doesn't do RoRua.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In standard English the "r" is not rolled.  It's more a feature of Scottish English.  (That's assuming by "rolled" you mean an alveolar trill.)

 

Is the speaker able correctly to pronounce the Thai letters ror ruea and lor ling? If so it's not a physical pronunciation problem, so what is needed is attention to the difference, and consistency in pronunciation.  (Technically ror reua isn't the same as an English "r", but it's close enough.)  One technique you could try is to draw up a list of words which differ only in the "r" and "l" sound.  Start with monosyllabic ones, e.g. rob/lob, rye/my, rung/lung, reek/leak, rate/late, rude/lewd and ask her to read through them until she can produce the sounds consistently.  Then convert the words to flashcards so they are presented in random order.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Oxx said:

In standard English the "r" is not rolled.  It's more a feature of Scottish English.  (That's assuming by "rolled" you mean an alveolar trill.)

 

Is the speaker able correctly to pronounce the Thai letters ror ruea and lor ling? If so it's not a physical pronunciation problem, so what is needed is attention to the difference, and consistency in pronunciation.  (Technically ror reua isn't the same as an English "r", but it's close enough.)  One technique you could try is to draw up a list of words which differ only in the "r" and "l" sound.  Start with monosyllabic ones, e.g. rob/lob, rye/my, rung/lung, reek/leak, rate/late, rude/lewd and ask her to read through them until she can produce the sounds consistently.  Then convert the words to flashcards so they are presented in random order.

 

 

Yes, I'm meaning something like the Scottish English 'r' and, yes, she can do ror ruea a lot of the time if she concentrates.

And, yes, I'm already trying that trick you suggest with lists of words differing only in the 'l' and 'r' - and she does quite well ('lorry' and 'lolly' are a lot of fun). But it can get more tricky with more complex words containing 'r' and other sounds Thais find difficult.

 

I guess I think the thing about rolling the 'r' is that it not only emphasises the difference in sound between 'l' and 'r' but also makes an 'r' feel very different in the mouth from an 'l'.

 

Incidentally, sometimes I get the impression that Thais who can ror ruea okay, roll their 'r'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is confusing are you trying to teach her to speak English? Do you want to teach a Thai to say R for Romeo Eng which is completely different from the the rolled r, ร and shouldn't be difficult. For r they must not to use the tip of the tongue as they do with L ล and ร. The tongue is in the same position as in ย and y, the back of the tongue is almost touching the roof of the mouth. The difference between ย y and r is in how the sound is projected forward. Switch between rank and yank.


Sent from my iPhone using Thaivisa Connect

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AbeSurd said:

Incidentally, sometimes I get the impression that Thais who can ror ruea okay, roll their 'r'.

Here I'm talking about Thais who can do ror ruea and are speaking Thai. Sometimes I get the impression that they roll their ror ruea.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just remembered. There's a couple of books with tapes, or there used to be, called 'Ship or Sheep'. They give English pronunciation practice and also give the mouth, tongue positions as well. There's also another one ....Oh can't remember now, but it's sorta like 'she sells sea shells by the sea shore' and lots of listening.....got it 'Jazz Chants'.

But I wouldn't worry unless your friend wants to hide her Lao speaking heritage (yes I know, Bangkok people don't think much of Isaan Keo). Remember, finish the calculus homework first, it will probably be easier. [emoji16]

I don't mean any disrespect, It's just me.

Included this from my Isaan Thai book.

28b77b1b9a5446987574e305f60fa01b.jpg

Sent from my SM-J700F using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, carlyai said:

Just remembered. There's a couple of books with tapes, or there used to be, called 'Ship or Sheep'. They give English pronunciation practice and also give the mouth, tongue positions as well. There's also another one ....Oh can't remember now, but it's sorta like 'she sells sea shells by the sea shore' and lots of listening.....got it 'Jazz Chants'.

But I wouldn't worry unless your friend wants to hide her Lao speaking heritage (yes I know, Bangkok people don't think much of Isaan Keo). Remember, finish the calculus homework first, it will probably be easier. emoji16.png

I don't mean any disrespect, It's just me.

Included this from my Isaan Thai book.

28b77b1b9a5446987574e305f60fa01b.jpg

Sent from my SM-J700F using Tapatalk
 

I wouldn't presume to try and tell her how to pronounce Thai. If she speaks Thai largely without using ror ruea, so be it. As I understand it, 90 percent of Thais - not just Isaan folk - do more or less the same.

But English is a different matter. She's a university student, and when she speaks English, if she's going to try and speak it in a half decent way, I believe she needs to try and get the 'r' sound as often as possible.

Thanks for the info about the pronunciation aids.

I should've titled this thread 'How to help a Thai pronounce 'r' when speaking English'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as an aside....the first 3 years of schooling (probably in Thailand as well), sets a person up for 'acquiring' a language.

What she is/will be doing is 'learning' a language.

I'm not sure she will learn English at a Thai university. She needs a native English tutor speaker, (someone who knows what they're doing). She needs to practice one-on - one, or in a small group, every night for at least 1 hour. She needs to read the Bangkok Post and do the English language thingies as well. She needs to get some good IELTS books and practice them as well. She must get out of her comfort zone and always try to speak English whenever she can. You really can't do speaking on its own.

Not to put you off, but someone who comes to learn English with an initial IELTS score of 4.5, will probably get to 5.0 or 6.0 after a year of intensive study.

Sent from my SM-J700F using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, carlyai said:

Sorry, that's why I say calculus is easier. ?
 

Calculus, buffalos, violins - such a complicated world. So do you think if I encourage her to roll her 'r' it will make it easier for her to pronounce English words better?

Link to post
Share on other sites

In answer to the original question, " Do you think if I encourage her to roll her 'r' it will help her? " my answer is Yes it often helps when a word begins with R.  It is my experience that it makes the speaker very aware of when a word begins with an R, so more than actually helping directly with pronunciation it in fact increases awareness of how a word should be spoken.

 

Rolling Rs  is counterproductive when the R is within a word  i.e. "parade" and "mirage" are very difficult to pronounce with rolled Rs and the "palace-Paris difficulty" is as much to do with listening skills as with pronunciation skills.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...