Zum Inhalt

dh and th sounds in Esperanto

von nthn999, 6. Dezember 2006

Beiträge: 9

Sprache: English

nthn999 (Profil anzeigen) 6. Dezember 2006 21:58:56

In English, there are two th sounds: then and thought. How are they represented in Esperanto, or are they ignored?

nw2394 (Profil anzeigen) 6. Dezember 2006 23:07:45

nthn999:In English, there are two th sounds: then and thought. How are they represented in Esperanto, or are they ignored?
As far as I know E-o has no way to represent those two sounds.

I am not sure why... It is one of the sounds that children tend to learn last and the speakers of some European tongues have problems with it, so maybe it was left out on those grounds. (But several sounds that did get included are problematic to the speakers of one language or another, so that reasoning doesn't really hold together (from my limited knowledge of phonetics)).

Nick

erinja (Profil anzeigen) 7. Dezember 2006 01:28:46

nw2394:As far as I know E-o has no way to represent those two sounds.

I am not sure why... It is one of the sounds that children tend to learn last and the speakers of some European tongues have problems with it, so maybe it was left out on those grounds. (But several sounds that did get included are problematic to the speakers of one language or another, so that reasoning doesn't really hold together (from my limited knowledge of phonetics)).

Nick
This isn't really so uncommon. Have you ever looked at a phrase book teaching people how to say English phrases, with phonetic pronunciation? Words like "three" normally get represented as "sri" or something, depending on the phonetics of the origin langauge. Anything really serious tends to use IPA phonetic symbols. Anything not really serious tends to make the best of it using the standard writing system of the language of the reader, even though the correct pronunciation will suffer noticeably.

super-griek (Profil anzeigen) 9. Dezember 2006 16:14:30

I think the sounds represented by th in English are not very common. There are four languages I know which have one or more of the sounds:
*English
*(some variants of) Spanish
*Greek
*Welsh

There are also some languages in which I think they do not exist:
*Dutch (so I cannot pronounce them correctly)
*French
*Latin
*German
*Esperanto
*Italian
*Romanian
*Walloon
*Mandarin Chinese
*Interlingua
*Volapük
*Turkish
*Hebrew
*some variants of Spanish

Dominique (Profil anzeigen) 10. Dezember 2006 03:32:19

nw2394:
nthn999:In English, there are two th sounds: then and thought. How are they represented in Esperanto, or are they ignored?
As far as I know E-o has no way to represent those two sounds.

I am not sure why... It is one of the sounds that children tend to learn last and the speakers of some European tongues have problems with it, so maybe it was left out on those grounds. (But several sounds that did get included are problematic to the speakers of one language or another, so that reasoning doesn't really hold together (from my limited knowledge of phonetics)).

Nick
French being my mother tongue, I can
tell that pronouncing the "th" sounds
was not easy at first. The English
"r" sound was also difficult.

Notice that the reverse is also true:
French has sounds that do not exist
in English or in Esperanto. For example,
English speakers seem to have troubles
distinguishing between "u" and "ou" in
French. French "ou" is like "u" in
Esperanto or "oo" in English. But the
French "u" has no equivalent in English
or in Esperanto. Of course, that's an
example among many others. Watching
the movie "Lost in Translation", it
seems that Japanese have troubles
distinguishing between the "r" and "l"
sounds.

French often say "z" instead of "th"
when learning English.

This very funny commercial movie shows
that Germans have the exact same trouble okulumo.gif:

http://dominiko.livejournal.com/6462.html

You have no way of representing the
English "th" sound, or the French "u"
sound (among many other sounds) in
Esperanto. Esperanto does not aim
at representing sounds of other languages.
In fact, the Esperanto alphabet precisely
avoids sounds that are deemed difficult for
some speakers.

To represent phonetic more precisely,
dictionaries often use the IPA
(International Phonetic Alphabet):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phone...

In fact, almost all sounds are different
from one language to another. All vowels
are different in English and in Esperanto.
They are pure in Esperanto, but are
diphthongs in English.

Amike

Frith Ra (Profil anzeigen) 10. Dezember 2006 06:49:09

Various thoughts: sal.gif

My wife, being of German extraction, grew up thinking that all of the older people in her family had lost the ability to make any of the th sounds somewhere along the line. She, on the other hand, has never learned to roll or trill her r's. So she finds the German &/or French r's impossible to reproduce.

I disagree in part with this:
In fact, almost all sounds are different from one language to another.
Listen to the vowels in any of the romance languages, except perhaps French, and you will hear essentially the same vowels we use in E-o.

How someone hits the various sounds not in their language when speaking another is what produces, in my mind, accents.

How many people have found the letter ĥ to be easy to learn/pronounce? Could that be instrumental in its slow removal from La Internacia Lingvo?

T0dd (Profil anzeigen) 10. Dezember 2006 20:49:46

Frith Ra:
How someone hits the various sounds not in their language when speaking another is what produces, in my mind, accents.
Even the sounds that *are* in one's native language may produce accents. For example, all of the Esperanto vowels exist in American English. Nevertheless, when they are not stressed, Americans tend to replace them with the "schwa" sound, even though we are perfectly capable of making those sounds correctly. This habit of replacing unstressed vowels with "schwa" is one of the main sources of the American accent, in Esperanto and many other languages.

In Esperanto, adjectives in the singular always have that unstressed 'a' at the end, but it takes real concentration for us (Americans) to say "brunA" instead of "brunuh". The other problem is that we tend to turn vowels into diphthongs, adding 'w' sounds to the end of 'o's and 'y' sounds to the end of 'e's.
How many people have found the letter ĥ to be easy to learn/pronounce? Could that be instrumental in its slow removal from La Internacia Lingvo?
I don't find it that hard, personally, even though it doesn't exist in English. I suspect the problem might be distinguishing it from 'h', especially for speakers of languages that have neither sound.

nw2394 (Profil anzeigen) 11. Dezember 2006 00:39:44

Dominique:French often say "z" instead of "th"
when learning English.

This very funny commercial movie shows
that Germans have the exact same trouble okulumo.gif
I think the Germans have different approaches to "th", depending on whether it is voiced or not. English "the" (voiced th) seems to come out as "ze".

However, unvoiced "th" seems to be treated as a "t" which isn't quite a stop. Instead the "t" is concluded with a slight expiration.

I can see the sense of leaving out "th". But I kind of wish "r" had been left out as well. If you don't trill or roll them, then "ar" in combination in E-o is pointless as it may as well have been "a" on its own. Somedays I can trill the r every time. Other days, I just might as well not bother trying because it just doesn't happen.

The Chinese are famous for saying "flied lice" instead of "fried rice", so they have even more trouble with that letter.

But one can't leave out everything just because someone somewhere has trouble with it okulumo.gif

Nick

fojo (Profil anzeigen) 20. Dezember 2006 20:02:58

I agree with Super-Greak: I remember I read when studying phonology-phonetics at my linguistics studies that there are statistical evidence of this dental fricatives to be pretty rare in the world languages; it is just that a big one have it; so Zamenhof was right once again not to choose them for the Internacia Lingvo; is amazing how well he did everything with only anecdotal limited statistical data.
I happen to have the sound natively too but remember, an international language is about everybody giving up something!

Zurück nach oben