I am wondering about the pronunciation of Korean sentence before eating below.

잘 먹겠습니다 - (Jal moke get sum nida)

I am confused about the pronunciation of 잘. Is it /jal/ or /jai/? As I learned ㄹ should be pronounced as /l/ in that place. However, from what I heard it is really much more similar to /i/ sound than /l/ sound.
Is that because of me hearing it wrong or there is something about the pronunciation that I haven't known yet?

  • Sometimes the speaker is being sloppy and dropping the 'L' sound. I believe this also happens with 'all right'--which then sounds like 'aright.'
    – Catomic
    Mar 4, 2017 at 7:22

2 Answers 2


잘 is /t͜ɕal/. /jal/ would be 얄. Remember, /j/ is a "yes"-sound, not a ㅈ sound.

That being said, the reason why you're hearing /l/ as [i] or [j] is probably because the Korean /l/ at the end of a syllable tends to be realized as [ɭ], a retroflex lateral approximant. That means it's articulated with the tip of the tongue curled up. That is close to how [j] is articulated, so I suppose you can confuse it with a [j]. But keep in mind, /l/ is never realized as [j].


I never find [i] sound in 잘. The two sounds are fairly different. I think it's because the pronunciation system is totally different between Korean and English.

If you are sure to hear [i] sound. I guess, there is [i] sound that Koreans can't catch. Actually, I have some English sounds that I can't catch when I listen to English.

Anyways, as Korean aspect, [ㄹ] and [i] are totally different. Especially, [ㄹ] is a consonant and [i] is a vowel.

Listen one more in google translate.

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