I wonder how the dark L in this word is pronounced. I thought when pronouncing a dark L, I should put the tongue tip on the alveolar ridge behind the teeth, but in Rachel's English video she says she doesn’t usually bring the tongue tip up to make the "L" in this word and you don’t need it if you’re making the dark sound. So how do native speakers pronounce the "l" in the word "welcome" or "health"?

Any help would be appreciated.

Here is the link: https://rachelsenglish.com/pronounce-youre-welcome/


Yes, the "dark l" is pronounced. The so called dark l, in more scientific terms, is a velarized lateral consonant. The difference between a dark l and a clear l is that when you pronounce the dark l you raise the back of your tongue toward the soft palate (that's what velarization means). You still raise the tip of the tongue. Some native speakers may not elevate their tongue tip as much as some others, but they still make the presence of the consonant clear. Otherwise they would be saying wecome.

If you have trouble making this sound, it is quite likely because your native language doesn't have a similar consonant at the end of syllables. Some languages have lateral approximants that are quite different from those in English, and speakers of those languages sometimes have trouble with English laterals as well.

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  • That's really good information. But do native speakers perform the ridge-touching act when pronouncing dark /l/ that comes in the middle of a word like "welcome" generally? I am a little confused about it because I scarcely perceive this act in the utterances by native speakers. – MENGMENG MAXIAO Nov 22 '18 at 4:41
  • Its just a lazy L -- not something we strive to differentiate. If there is some velar near contact in addition to alveolar, there is hardly any sound change, but it is easy to be extra lazy and loose all contact, and get away with saying wewcome. – amI Nov 22 '18 at 8:48

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