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  1. #1
    ngabriel is offline Newbie
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    Question How to pronounce the dark l correctly?

    Hello, my first language is portuguese and it doesn't have the dark l in it (I think!).
    The light l sound we use is similar to yours (native english speakers) but the ''dark l'' sound we have is like the vowel /u:/ but short.
    I've listened to some british english speakers and when they say the dark l, as in little /lɪt.l/, sounds /lɪtəʊ/
    to me.
    So, my question is: How do I pronounce the dark l correctly?
    And I heard that british english doesn't use the dark l very much. Is that true?

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How to pronounce the dark l correctly?

    I wouldn't worry about trying to 'darken' it. We pronounce that sound the way we do because of the other sounds we need to produce before and after it, and because of the shape and mechanics of the mouth, and the air in it. If you talk fast enough, and in a sufficiently relaxed and natural way, your L's will begin to turn out that way as well, I suspect.

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: How to pronounce the dark l correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by ngabriel View Post
    Hello, my first language is portuguese and it doesn't have the dark l in it (I think!).
    ...
    Depends which Portuguese you speak; I think you'll hear the dark l in Brazilian Portuguese in a word that ends with an l. But, as K said, it's not something we think about. If I pronounced 'keel' with a clear l, it would still make sense; it would just sound a bit off; that's what a phoneme is. Nobody would say 'Shouldn't that be a dark l?' In fact, I imagine most native speakers aren't even aware that the /l/ in 'lean' is different from the /l/ in 'kneel'.

    b

  4. #4
    ngabriel is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How to pronounce the dark l correctly?

    I speak Brazilian Portuguese. I did some research and I find that the dark l in my portuguese do resemble yours, but the difference is that I don't touch the roof of the mouth in the end. And it's nice to know that most native speakers aren't aware of that thing! hahaha

  5. #5
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How to pronounce the dark l correctly?

    This is correct, Continental Portuguese definitely has the dark l in many many positions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Depends which Portuguese you speak; I think you'll hear the dark l in Brazilian Portuguese in a word that ends with an l. But, as K said, it's not something we think about. If I pronounced 'keel' with a clear l, it would still make sense; it would just sound a bit off; that's what a phoneme is. Nobody would say 'Shouldn't that be a dark l?' In fact, I imagine most native speakers aren't even aware that the /l/ in 'lean' is different from the /l/ in 'kneel'.

    b

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