How do I know when to know the L pronunciation or the R pronunciation for ㄹ ?

1 Answer 1


This question is hard to answer directly, because it's never really the same as either an L or an R.

The base pronunciation of ㄹ in the initial position (such as in 라) is a "Flap R" or Alveolar Lateral Flap.

In the 받침 it is similar to a light L, or something sort of between an L and an R. When this is followed immediately by another ㄹ, the light-L sound is elongated.

  • 3
    I would add that double-ㄹ sound most like L, for example 빨리. Is it right?
    – 파울울
    Jun 21, 2016 at 20:42
  • 1
    @파울울 That falls into the second situation, it is an elongation of the Light-L sound. I've edited the answer to be more detailed for that case.
    – user12
    Jun 21, 2016 at 20:44

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