Peter Collier wrote:
> As a kid I (L1 English Midlands-English) was always told to pronounce
> it like < CL >.  I have also heard < HL > suggested as
> an English approximation, and also '' sort of somewhere between CL and
> HL''.
> I have also sometimes heard it pronounced by non-Welsh speakers as <
> THL > (i.e. /Tl/) when it is medial. 

This is all true, but such pronunciations are just _approximations_ 
adopted often - but by no means always - by L1 speakers.

René Uittenbogaard wrote:
 > I'd describe it as follows:
 > Start with pronouncing a really long, sustained [l]. Now stop
 > pronouncing it, but keep your tongue in the same position. Now without
 > moving your tongue, blow air out, which should flow along both sides
 > of the tongue.

When I was learning Welsh - a very long time ago - I was told to push my 
tongue to one side of my mouth (it didn't matter which - in fact it's 
always to the left in my case) and then force air out along the other side.

As I habitually pronounce English /l/ with tongue central, I thought 
this position was an essential difference. in fact, I have learnt that 
it is not so. Apparently the tongue position can vary quite a bit when 
pronouncing English /l/ (i.e. it may be bilateral or just unilateral) - 
but the forcing out of air (or blowing) is the important part. It's 
_not_ just a voiceless and/or aspirated /l/, as I've seen it wrongly 
described on some websites; it most definitely has _audible friction_ 
produced by partial blocking of the airstream by the tongue.

If you try to pronounce _pull_ and _push_ *at the same time* you get a 
pretty close to Welsh _pwll_ (pit, pool)          :)


Arthaey Angosii wrote:
 > Also, what transliterations are there besides "ll" for voiceless
 > lateral fricatives?

Earlier in Welsh it was sometimes written _lh_ before the spelling _ll_ 
became standardized in the 16th century.

In Nguni languages of south Africa (Zulu, Xhosa) etc, the sound is 
written _hl_; these languages also have a _voiced_ lateral fricative 
(IPA [ɮ]) written _dl_.

All the above are alveolar lateral fricatives. Lateral fricatives are 
also possible in retroflex, palatal and velar positions, altho there are 
no IPA symbols for these. The Bura language of north-eastern Nigeria has 
four lateral fricatives: voiced & voiceless alveolar ones, and voiced & 
voiceless velar ones - but I haven't discovered how they are written.

IIRC I have been told that Icelandic _hl_ and _hlj_ are voiceless 
lateral fricatives, the former being alveolar & the latter palatal.

I have been told Icelandic
Frustra fit per plura quod potest
fieri per pauciora.
[William of Ockham]