For example, if you pronounce the word 문리, the ㄴ turned into ㄹ because it is put right before ㄹ. However, the rule of the pronunciation of ㄹ is:

(according to a Reddit page)

ㄹ has two different pronunciations, depending on it's position.

  1. between vowels , R - However, unlike English 'r' which is pronounced with the tip of the tongue curled backwards, Korean is pronounced with the tip of the tongue flicking quickly against the dental ridge.

Example: 노래, ㄹ is between ㅗ and ㅐ which are vowels, and your word, 사랑

  1. in other positions , L - In Korean it is pronounced with the tongue touching against the dental ridge just behind the teeth as in the English word lap

Example: 몰라 ,first ㄹ is between ㅗ and ㄹ which are a vowel and a consonant, secondㄹ is between ㄹ and ㅏ which are a consonant and a vowel

But the word then has two Ls. So the pronunciation is like "molli". But then what is the difference between the singe L and double L?

  • As an native speaker, 몬리 sounds like monli and 몰리 sound like molli. They have exactly different pronunciation. Also, 몰라 sounds like molla and 몬라 sounds like monla. So different.
    – Hume
    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:48
  • Standard Korean does not allow the consonant sequence [ㄴㄹ] to be pronounced. Maybe it is possible in some dialects? Reference: 표준발음법 20항: ‘ㄴ’은 ‘ㄹ’의 앞이나 뒤에서 [ㄹ]로 발음한다.
    – Ignatius
    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:58
  • I think the question is unclear. Can you give an example of of a word you think will have a single L?
    – Ignatius
    Aug 9, 2019 at 5:00
  • @Taegyung It is a word that takes ㄹ at the end of one character and starts with a consonant. For example, 날개 is a word that has ㄹ, but since it is not between vowels, it cannot be R sound. So it is single L ("nal-ge"), I think. Sorry if my understanding of the pronunciation rule is not correct.
    – Blaszard
    Aug 9, 2019 at 5:04
  • as general way to remember, ㄹ in 받침 followed by a vowel (except ㅇ) will be pronounced L, a standaloneㄹ(eg 라면) or a 받침 followed by an ㅇ will be an r (eg 날아가다). 받침 ㄹ followed by another ㄹ will just be a slightly elongated form of the 받침, hence L sound. 받침 ㄴ followed by ㄹ is same as 받침 ㄹ followed by ㄹ.
    – user17915
    Aug 9, 2019 at 5:55

1 Answer 1


Korean is a syllable-timed language, whereas English is a stress-timed one. For every syllable of a word to be pronounced clearly, the double L may have to be a prolonged L sound (lː). Other than that, there is no difference in pronunciation between the single L and double L. Just as the double Ls of actually, belly, and chilly become the single Ls in pronunciation, mulli can be read as muli, but you should pronounce each syllable distinctly.

문리 is pronounced as 물리. In other words, 물리 and 문리 are the same in pronunciation. You may look up 물리 to hear the sound. Forvo has the recorded sounds of 물리, too.

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