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Ranking the "Medium Hard" Languages

  Tags: Difficulty
 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
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Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 3245 days ago

2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 57 of 62
12 January 2014 at 11:10pm | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:


Your cousin has my full sympathy :-) I would go with malako there ( possibly with the
second a leaning more
towards the vowel Mark described for harasho. I do hope middle aged Russians find a
Scandinavian accent
charming, because I am starting to suspect I have a pretty strong one.

Edit: Sigh. I realize that you guys are too advanced for me. I said a Spanish j just to
mark the difference from
a regular h as in horse. I did not mean to get you into the details of the-whatever-
you-call-the-sound-which-in-
Norway-is-only-used-prior-to-spitting. Which we of course don't do :-)

Have you listened the recordings of хорошо on forvo? What do you hear in the first
recording, for example?
The first syllable is the most reduced. The second is only a little bit reduced.
You can pronounce moloko actually. This pronunciation exists in Russian (maybe 10 % of
native speakers have it.

Edited by Марк on 13 January 2014 at 7:30am

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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2896 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 58 of 62
12 January 2014 at 11:13pm | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
vonPeterhof wrote:
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
Марк wrote:

Chung wrote:



- Spelling
This is related to above. Russian spelling falls between the stools when it comes to
being morphological and phonemic. One example is хорошо "good, well", unstressed 'o' is
pronounced a lot like 'a' and in this instance it sounds more like 'harasho' rather
than
'horosho'. Turkish spelling is very phonemic, as you probably know.

hərɐ'sho probably. The first vowel is by no means an [a].


Maybe not to a native Russian, but it definitely sounds like "harasho" to me - (with
the h representing the
Spanish j.
From my experience, that's also how it sounds to most native
speakers as well.
Everyone is aware of vowel reduction, but it seems like only those with some training
in phonetics are aware
of the degrees of reduction. I had some trouble convincing my cousin that all three o's
in молоко were
pronounced differently in standard Russian (and in the end I suspect he just found it
easier to pretend to
agree with me, while still not hearing any difference between the first two o's). And
indeed, phonemically
o and a do merge together in unstressed positions, into a phoneme that is by convention
designated as /a/.
It's just that the phoneme has a number of possible realizations depending on its
position in the word.


Your cousin has my full sympathy :-) I would go with malako there ( possibly with the
second a leaning more
towards the vowel Mark described for harasho. I do hope middle aged Russians find a
Scandinavian accent
charming, because I am starting to suspect I have a pretty strong one.

Edit: Sigh. I realize that you guys are too advanced for me. I said a Spanish j just to
mark the difference from
a regular h as in horse. I did not mean to get you into the details of the-whatever-
you-call-the-sound-which-in-
Norway-is-only-used-prior-to-spitting. Which we of course don't do :-)


In Dutch you have both a regular h, a g which is velar or uvular, and a ch which is
velar or uvular (and g/ch in some cases have a voiced/devoiced distinction as well,
especially in the south, where g/ch are almost palatal).

For me, it's important to state what you mean, because I assume that an h and velar or
uvular fricative are very different things because for me they are never ever ever
written the same at all.
1 person has voted this message useful



1e4e6
Octoglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2479 days ago

1013 posts - 1587 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, Italian
Studies: German, Danish, Russian, Catalan

 
 Message 59 of 62
12 January 2014 at 11:18pm | IP Logged 
In Spanish, I use the strong <j>, which sounds very close to the Dutch g/ch, mostly
because I like that accent for Spanish. I do not know anything about linguistics, but I
say, «jamón» that sounds like a Dutch person pronouncing «gamon» or «chamon».

Also I mean the Dutch <g>/<ch> that sounds like mucous in the throat, not the very soft
one that for some reason sounds close to the English <g>. That must be some regional
accent, but it was on one of my learning tapes. Perhaps Belgian or Groningen? I do not
know.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2896 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 60 of 62
12 January 2014 at 11:20pm | IP Logged 
1e4e6 wrote:
In Spanish, I use the strong <j>, which sounds very close to the Dutch
g/ch, mostly
because I like that accent for Spanish. I do not know anything about linguistics, but I
say, «jamón» that sounds like a Dutch person pronouncing «gamon» or «chamon».

Also I mean the Dutch <g>/<ch> that sounds like mucous in the throat, not the very soft
one that for some reason sounds close to the English <g>. That must be some regional
accent, but it was on one of my learning tapes. Perhaps Belgian or Groningen? I do not
know.


There is no Dutch g sound close to the voiced equivalent of /k/. The closest you get is
a voiced variant on the ich-laut of German, which is used in Belgium and North Brabant.
Groningen has a g that is at least velar. (Maybe not uvular).

/g/ (the voiced velar stop) does not exist in Dutch as a native phoneme and is an
import in maybe one or two loanwords I can think of. [g] as we know it can be a few
things but never that.

Edited by tarvos on 12 January 2014 at 11:21pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Марк
Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 3245 days ago

2096 posts - 2972 votes 
Speaks: Russian*

 
 Message 61 of 62
13 January 2014 at 7:35am | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:


For me, it's important to state what you mean, because I assume that an h and velar or
uvular fricative are very different things because for me they are never ever ever
written the same at all.

It's interesting that for a Russian ear [h] and [x] sound completely the same (it's like
ш and щ for many foreigners), while the uvular sound is immediately detected as
different.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2896 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 62 of 62
13 January 2014 at 7:58am | IP Logged 
Марк wrote:
tarvos wrote:


For me, it's important to state what you mean, because I assume that an h and velar or
uvular fricative are very different things because for me they are never ever ever
written the same at all.

It's interesting that for a Russian ear [h] and [x] sound completely the same (it's
like
ш and щ for many foreigners), while the uvular sound is immediately detected as
different.


In Dutch I would merge the velar/uvular sooner than the glottal h with the velar. But
it's because in Dutch, these sounds can never be allophones because h and g are
different letters with different qualities that basically never get mixed up (unless
you speak some Zealandic dialect.)


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