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Some say English is difficult to spell ! (How about Swedish...)
Thread poster: Mats Wiman

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:09
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Jun 8, 2003

I once challenged my pupils on this subject by saying: "Are you aware that we (the Swedes) use 11 different ways of spelling the sh sound (shall, shoe etc.)" and then I made my first list and gave it to them.

Recently instigated I went back to this subject and my list now contains 55 variations.

You can look at them on the Swedish Forum. (Today Sunday they appear below this posting)

BR

Mats J C Wiman
Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe
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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:09
Member (2002)
German to English
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But English ain't a walk in the park as well, Mr. M! Jun 8, 2003

just a few examples:
silent e endings, gn beginnings, the could/would/bought/flour (but that's more pronunciation, isn't it?); ical/acle/acle; and oodles more:
http://www.spelling.hemscott.net/

While we're at the same language group, face the horrors of Welsh foGadsekes! See for yourself:

http://www.flash.net/~joanmorg/rmw/chap29.html

I'ts stuck in the Middle Ages. You get a 20-letter word and only friggin' 5 or 6 are pronounced.

And the longest place name ever:
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch

which means "The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio's of the red cave"

Now you ask why? By the time they utter the last syllable, everyone would've fallen asleep already.

But then again there's the official name of Bangkok (in transliterated Roman letters):

Krungthepmahanakonbowornratanakosinmahintarayudyaya-
mahadiloponoparatanarajthaniburiromudomrajniwesmahasatarn-
amornpimarnavatarsatitsakattiyavisanukamphrasit

Scandinavian and English have got it lucky with short utterances in brief spurts only marred by the long-ish calques from the Latin and Greek.

And when a young urban hip guy addresses with you "sup" (incorporating all the linguistic features of "How are you doing?", then that's classic economy and efficiency in communication).

Dictionary spellings exist to make the lives of translators miserable.







[Edited at 2003-06-09 06:37]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:09
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
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Splendid links and more! Jun 8, 2003

Thanks Marcus!

I forgot Welsh. BTW, do you know that Swedish is akin to Welsh in another way?

When I was younger I was often believed to be a merry Welshman du to my sing-song intonation. You can get samples of it if you listen to the Nobel laudatios on Dec 10 presented by Swedish professors.

I have recently order a book where George Bernard Shaw wants to prove that 'cough' ought to be pronounced 'fish'.

Merry pronouncing!

Mats


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Kvasir
Canada
Local time: 14:09
English to Chinese
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neet topic Jun 8, 2003

Welsh is not a germanic-branch language like english or swedish, even thought all three are under the umbrella of the Indo-European family. Welsh is in the celtic branch, together with manx, gaelic etc. So swedish is as similar to welsh as english is to russian.

http://babel.uoregon.edu/yamada/famguides.html

IMHO, the reason of inconsistent in english spelling and pronunciation is because it had borrowings from all over, sometimes the words are anglicised, sometimes they are not, sometimes somewhere in between.

I'm wondering if scandinavian languages (except faroes and icelandic) had experienced the same scenario?

i've been looking at several scandinavian languages to help me better create my conlang Fyksian. It is supposedly an isolated language but with heavy borrowing of grammar and vocabulary from scandinavian and celtic languages.

I've found that, to me at least, swedish and danish are pretty difficult to spell. From listening to a few danish and swedish songs, i've found that the lyrics are sometimes pretty dissimilar to what's being sung (to an anglophone at least).

Also, are there rules to scandinavian pronunciation? Say, for swedish, even though SH maybe spelt in 55 ways, are there rules at least (however convoluted), so a person could always tell? I'm sure there's always exceptions!

I ask this because i want to know how i can manage pronunciation for my conlang. should i make it with no rules like most real languages? or make complex rules so that it LOOKS irregular.

tack,

-kvasir


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:09
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German to Swedish
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Swedish pronounciation rules exist Jun 8, 2003

Kvasir wrote:

Also, are there rules to scandinavian pronunciation?


Yes there are:

http://www.photo.net/sweden/pronunciation

BR

Mats


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:09
Member
English to Hungarian
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ghoti? Jun 9, 2003


I have recently order a book where George Bernard Shaw wants to prove that 'cough' ought to be pronounced 'fish'.


'cough'? I have heard it with "ghoti":
enouGH (f)
wOmen (i)
naTIon (sh)

Best regards,
Attila


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 23:09
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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Kön and kön Jun 9, 2003

The one is pronounced köön and the other tshöö. One of them means sex, the other queue. So if you ask someone standing in a row, what is your row, you easily will ask after his/her sex.
I have studied the compulsive amount of Swedish in a Finnish college including a course at University, but still I'm not sure, when to pronounce the k as k and when as tsh. That's one reason why Finns don't like the Swedish language


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Dylan Edwards  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:09
Greek to English
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I bought it at eye-KEY-uh. Jun 12, 2003

I've heard it rumoured the Swedes have a different way of saying that international word "eye-key-uh". You've confirmed my impression that the k can sometimes be softened in Swedish - and the relationship between Swedish spelling and pronunciation is much more unpredictable than I thought.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 23:09
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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and the o's make problems too Jun 13, 2003

Sonetimes they are pronounced as a o (och), sometimes as u, (nordbo). Must be some rule, but who knows it?

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Mario Marcolin  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:09
Member (2003)
English to Swedish
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Swedish k Jun 14, 2003

In many old Swedish words
k before front vowels developed into a sh-sound. Many of these retain k-sound in Danish,
e.g Kina (China) "kina" in Danish, "shina" in Swedish.
But words that came into the language when this sound-change has passed were not affected:kelt (Celt),kennel,keps (cap) kibbutz, kille (guy),kö (cue, queue).


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:09
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German to Swedish
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Finnish pronounciation of Swedish Jul 3, 2003

[quote]Heinrich Pesch wrote:

The one is pronounced köön and the other tshöö.

Well, here we have this charming Finnish variant of the English ch. Swedish i Finland (some 4% of the population) pronounces k in front of soft vowels (e,i,y,ä,ö) like the English 'ch' in church (which btw does not kontain any 'sh' sound. In Swedish we call this sound the tje-ljud):
kela (fondle)
kil (wedge)
kyla (cold)
kär (dear)
kön (sex)
Swedish in Sweden has not got the 't' part of the sound and is thus much weaker like the 'ch' in German dich, sich, Pech (no English sound I'm afraid).

Mats


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