Embarrassing English Errors Ep11: Rice & Lice

In this episode, Embarrassing English Errors Ep11: Rice & Lice, you’ll learn how to pronounce the slight difference between the words “Lice” and “Rice”. So, focusing on the “R” and “L” sounds in English.

Embarrassing English Errors Ep11: Lice & Rice

G’day guys and welcome to this episode of Embarrassing English Errors.

Today I’m going to go over the two words “Lice” and “Rice”, and these are two words that are often confused or mispronounced by Asian speakers, I think, especially Japanese speakers because they don’t have an “R” or an “L” sound like we do in English. So, they confuse the two quite often.

So, “Rice”. “Rice” in English is a swamp grass, which is widely cultivated as a source of food. So, it’s a crop. You know. You eat rice in a lot of things like sushi.

Lice”, on the other hand, “Lice” with an “L” at the start of it, is the plural form of “Louse”. And “a louse” is a kind of parasitic insect that lives on the skin of mammals and birds. So, for those of you who do or don’t know, “Lice” in English refer[s] to the small white creatures that children often get in their hair at… at school when they’re very young, and you have to either like, shave their heads, or wash their hair with special conditions and shampoos, and use a comb to pull all of the lice and their eggs out of the hair of your kids. So, they’re kind of two very very different things, and obviously if you were to ask someone for “rice” and you accidentally said “rice” they could get pretty confused. So… or if you said something like “I really like rice” and you accidentally said “I really like lice”, or “I want to eat some rice”, “I want to eat some lice”, “he has rice”, “he has lice”. You can see how these things would be easily confused.

So, let’s practice some other words in English that have that “Li-“ sound in them.










And some other words in English that have the “Ri-“ at the start of them.












So, now we’ll do the “Li-“ and “Ri-“ [sounds] back to back five times.

Li – Ri x 5

And now we’ll go through some of the different English vowels, and I’ll use “L-“ and “R-“ at the start of them.

Ligh                 –          Righ               (light sound)

Lee                   –          Ree                (speed sound)

Li                      –          Ri                    (it sound)

Lay                   –          Ray                (play sound)

Loe                   –          Roe                (go sound)

Low                  –          Row               (cow sound)

Loo                   –          Roo                (zoo sound)

Lare                 –          Rare              (care sound)

Lah                   –          Rah                (cat sound)

Lear                 –          Rear              (ear sound)

Law                  –          Raw               (law sound)

Ler                    –          Rer                 (serve sound)

Lah                   –          Rah                (laugh sound)

Loy                   –          Roy                (boy sound)

Lo                      –          Ro                  (not sound)

And now I’ll do “Lice” and “Rice” back to back 10 times.

Lice – Rice x 10

So, that’s today’s episode guys. I hope it’s helped. Make sure you listen multiple times and keep practicing until you can really nail these two different sounds, and sound a lot more natural when speaking English. If you have any other questions, or any other sounds, or words in English that you’re confusing and finding hard to pronounce feel free to send me a message or comment on Facebook and I’ll do an episode on that sound or that word or words as soon as I can. Have a good one guys!


If you guys enjoyed this episode of Embarrassing English Errors then make sure you check out the rest of the episodes and transcripts here. Also, don’t forget to come visit me on Facebook and let me know what you think of the podcast and say hey to the Aussie English community!

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