I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this but I was wondering how one would pronounce the Japanese name Reita when speaking English. Should it be [leːtə], [reːtə], or something else?

For reference, I live in an English-speaking country and Reita is my new roommate's name. He's told me a couple times how to say it but I couldn't quite catch it and I don't want to seem impolite by asking him again.

Thanks in advance!


1 Answer 1


Matt, it's very kind of you to go to so much trouble to try learn how to pronounce your new roommate's name correctly.

Unlike the English "r" sound, producing the Japanese "r" sound involves lightly touching the tongue against the top of the mouth, just behind the front teeth. For this reason, to non-Japanese speakers it can sound a bit like an "l" sound, or even a "d."

Since Reita is now living in a country where English is the dominant language, he's going to have to get used to hearing his name (mis)pronounced with an English-style "r" sound – just as you, if you ever spend time in Japan, will have to get used to being called "Maht-to." But far from finding your asking him impolite, I think he'll really appreciate that his roommate wants to learn to say his name correctly, and will be glad to help you practice.

  • This helps a lot! Thanks for your comment :)
    – Matt
    May 6, 2019 at 23:02

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