The Japanese ら(“ra”) column

The 46 sounds on the so-called hiragana chart are mainly written and pronounced in Japanese. In addition, there are other characters with small dots or circles above the letters, as well with smaller “ぁぃぅぇぉ”, “ゃゅょ”, and “っ”, so in reality, many more sounds can be expressed.
This series will explain the 46 characters on the hiragana chart, 25 hiragana and katakana characters with dots and circles above them, and their pronunciations.

The 「ら」 Column: ら, り, る, れ, ろ

Pronunciation of each letter

「らりるれろ」 (“r” sound)


Mouth position: The front (or tip) of the tongue hits lightly behind the top front teeth. (It’s similar to the mouth position of the English “d” sound.)
Air release: Pass the air when you part your tongue tip after hitting behind the top front teeth.
Vocal cord vibration: Yes (Voiced)

“r” sound + [あ]

“r” sound + [い]

“r” sound + [う]

“r” sound + [え]

“r” sound + [お]

Samples of handwriting

The previous sound: The Japanese や(“ya”) column

The next sound: The Japanese わをん (wa/[w]o/n)