My textbook states that “Chinese and Japanese make no distinction between r and l” (Shaffer, 2002, p. 200).
This is mighty interesting to me because while it is true that native Orientals seem to mess up their syllables sometimes, these sounds do exist, at least in Mandarin. Like the characters 路 (lù) and 入 (rù) differ in pronunciation solely in this manner.
So, do Chinese really make no distinction between these two syllable sounds? (I must confess that I’ve not been listening closely to spoken English by native Chinese-speakers recently.)
If so, why?