David asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 10 years ago

The use of the English "r" sound in Thai songs?

Can someone explain to me why so many modern Thai artists sing their "r"s like English? I thought Thai "r"s are rolled. I've tried to find some info online about this phenomenon but couldn't find much detail.

3 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ideally the r's should be rolled, yes, but this is difficult to do when speaking fast, let alone singing, and is often not carried out in every-day speech, where instead the "r" is usually slurred to an "L" or dropped altogether. While L's on the other hand, normally when they're clustered with another consonant like the word "glai," I hear get slurred to an english "r" a lot, which confuses me as to how to letters can be easier to pronounce as each other? But yeah, everyday speech patterns have found their way into modern Thai music. Even the word "yung-ngai (how)" is originally a slurred, lazy way of saying the proper word for "how," "yung-rai," a good example of how the "r" gets dropped in some words, but "yung-ngai" is now considered its own word, it shows up in dictionaries, you usually see it in Thai phrase books or teaching books for foreigners, and it's common in all manner of speech and songs. Also, Western music and media are big there, kids like to listen to music and watch movies in English, and nowadays teens like to throw random English words into their everyday speech, so the influence from that could have some impact on the pronunciation, being "cool" to be able to pronounce things like it would be in English. So I guess this and the different pronunciations of "r's" and "L's" are just more examples of how languages are constantly evolving and being affected by other languages~

    Edit: Asian Cherry has a point, but at the same time in Spanish and Russian songs there's no problem rolling R's. I really feel that this is more because rolled R's are used every day in Spanish in Russian, while in Thailand you really rarely hear it anymore. Which is a shame, cause rolled R's are so pretty~ :)

    Source(s): I speak Thai~ :)
  • favero
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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  • 10 years ago

    I learned singing before. My vocal teacher said in general, you don't pronounce words that will prevent your tongue to block the air. To roll the tongue in order to pronounce the actual "r" would be an obstruction to flow your voice. These should only apply the word with r in between like "krai" (who in Thai), for the word starting with r shouldn't be problem like "ruk" (love in Thai).

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