JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Jens Alphabet, R

Some things around you may come as a complete surprise and the less expected the more of a surprise it is, that a character can have a popularity for example. The letter R in the alphabet is the most popular letter in the Jens alphabet.

For me personally is R no special letter at all. I give R the same value as any other consonant. I actually like the vowels better than the consonants. You can sing vowels and make sounds with them and consonants are less useful from that respect.

I remember when I had Japanese colleagues. We were talking English a lot with each other and the letter R gives some problems for Japanese people abroad sometimes. Especially since Japanese often confuse R with L.

They told me that the reason for this was that they don’t have these sounds natively so really long ago someone had to decide what sound a Japanese would associate a letter with and so it was decided that the western sound for L was called R but it does not matter to them because they normally cannot hear the difference anyway.

I don’t know if this is correct because I don’t have Japanese ears myself. I have Swedish ears. For example I cannot hear that the letter V in English has windy sub sound at all but the Dutch they hear loads of wind going on in the V, it is almost like Feehhh when a Dutch person hears a native English person saying V. Complex indeed. Whatever you do, don't bring up this subject when you speak to a Dutch person because they really hear loads and loads of wind in the V and there is no discussion about it.

Anyway, I sat there with my Japanese friend and we were discussing the problem with R sounds in Japan. Then I figured out the cleverest question of all… I asked my Japanese colleague if he had been playing with toy cars in the sandbox when he was a child. He could confirm that YES That had happened. Then I told him that I also had been playing with toy cars in the sandbox and how I was sounding when I played in the sand box “Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”. He looked impressed. As if he could see that my toy car had a supercharged turbo when I was a child. Yes and now it is your turn, I said to him “Le-le-le-le-le, Le-le-le-le-le” he tried unconvincing. I said to him that if you do these L sounds really quick then after a while it will sound like Rrrr. I tried to encourage my friend to practice this for a while. He ended the conversation with “No, we cannot do these quick tongue movements in Japan”.

So the character R is by far the most popular letter of all letters in my alphabet. The most popular vowel is O but it earns a fraction of the popularity of the character R.
(The first time I posted this image was on 9 July 2011. Now I republish this image but with my contemplations about the letter R and the popularity of this letter)

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.