I have a number of Chinese students, who have great difficulties pronouncing some phonemes such as the consonant "r" .
I know how to make Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, ... speaking students to soften their "r" by making them shape their mouths as if they were getting ready to say "u" but actually say "r" .
But, I really don't know how to do that with Chinese students .
How do people with Chinese as their L1s learn to produce "r"s? .
I know of English Speaking people that for example speak Spanish fluently and even creatively but cannot roll their "r"s. .
Are there some L2 phonemes impossible to learn by certain L1 speaking people?
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lbrtchx
I have a number of Chinese students, who have great difficulties pronouncing some phonemes such as the consonant "r" . ... creatively but cannot roll their "r"s. . Are there some L2 phonemes impossible to learn by certain L1 speaking people?

May be difficult but not impossible. I thought Chinese had an 'r' or an 'r' like sound.
(also posted to sci.lang)

Philip Baker
May be difficult but not impossible. I thought Chinese had an 'r' or an 'r' like sound..

To me, they pronounce all 'R's as 'L's
.
Could you give me some more info on this?
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lbrtchx
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I have a number of Chinese students, who have great ... L2 phonemes impossible to learn by certain L1 speaking people?

May be difficult but not impossible. I thought Chinese had an 'r' or an 'r' like sound.

Yes, there's a sound that's about halfway between the "r" in "red" and the "j" sound in French "jour". It's represented in Pinyin by an initial "r". However, depending on the person's accent or dialect, this sound can be pronounced anywhere from /l/ to /j/ to /z/.
There's also a final "r" sound that's strongly rhotic in the Beijing region, similar to a Midwest American syllable-final "r". This sound is less rhotic or even non-rhotic in Taiwan, where it often sounds like a schwa or the "eu" in French "feu".
In general the Chinese have far more trouble pronouncing /l/ in a syllable-final position, though most have little trouble pronouncing it in a syllable-initial position.

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