Pronunciation?

Started by 71 dB, March 29, 2024, 04:28:21 AM

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71 dB

Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on March 28, 2024, 08:36:53 PMMy main problem is Mäkelä is the difficulty in finding those Finnish diacritics to spell his last name.

I don't find it that difficult to find various diacritics of other languages. On Mac I use Edit/Emoji & Symbols. Then I search for the "root" symbol (e.g. seaching for "a" gives á, à, ä, â, ã, ă, ǎ,...) It is basically just knowing how to do it in the system you are using. One can even make a text file listing these symbols for copy-pasting. Or you can use https://finnish.typeit.org

What's more difficult is knowing how to pronounce a word/name. In this regards Finnish language is pretty easy and systematic (compared to English). Finnish vowel sounds are like the vowels in these english words:

A = car
E = even
I = even
O = dog
U = thousand
Y = symbol
Ä = cat
Ö = bird

We also have Å, the Swedish "o" for Swedish names which are common in Finland (e.g. the first president of Finland K. J. Stålberg). It is pronounce like O.

The letter Y is always a vowel in Finnish language: Yogurt is "jogurtti" and Yemen is "Jemen" in Finnish. Finnish language doesn't have silent letters, because we are silent people anyway.  :D Consonants are very similar to other languages and there are only a few exceptions such as the "ng" combination having its own sound for ease of pronunciation. In Finnish language the emphasis is always on the first syllable. Finnish language uses vowel harmony: A, O and U don't exist in the same words as Ä, Ö and Y do. Compound words are exception (e.g. jääkaappi meaning refrigerator is the combination of jää meaning ice and kaappi meaning cabinet).

Pronuncing Finnish is pretty simple and systematic if you know the rules, but non-native speakers tend to struggle a lot with double consonants such as "tt" in "jogurtti." You need to "stop" for a short moment between the two consonants (jogurt...ti) and this takes some time and practise to get used to in order to make the pronunciation rhythmically correct.

In english words are pronunced differently from how they are written. As we have seen above, Finnish language doesn't really have this, but we have two versions of the language: Written (formal) Finnish and spoken (informal) Finnish. When you apply for a job, you use written Finnish, but when you are chatting with your friends in a bar you use spoken Finnish. Here is an example of the difference of written and spoken Finnish:

Is Matti planning to go fishing next weekend:
Written: Aikooko Matti mennä kalastamaan ensi viikonloppuna?
Spoken: Meneeks Matti kalaan viikonloppuna?

Spoken language cuts corners: Aikooko (is --- planning) and mennä (go) are combined into the spoken word meneeks (is --- planning to go). Kalastamaan (fishing) is shortened. Ensi (next) is implied (has to be the next weekend if not specified) and unnecessary in spoken version.

Learning written Finnish can be really difficult (the grammar!) for foreigners and then there is spoken Finnish as a bonus!  ??? Compared to all this linguistic horror just spelling Finnish last names is actually nothing.  ;)

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(poco) Sforzando

Thank you, 71dB. I was making a joke (yes, I know how to produce the diatritics), but apparently it bombed. However, I now know how to say "refrigerator" in Finnish and how to ask if Matti is going fishing next weekend (presumably to store his catch in the refrigerator before cooking it), so there is a net gain.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Florestan

Quote from: 71 dB on March 29, 2024, 04:28:21 AMY = symbol

Are you sure? AFAIK, y in Finnish is more or less the equivalent of ü in German, like in München --- very different from the y in the English word symbol.
There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. — Claude Debussy

(poco) Sforzando

Quote from: Florestan on March 29, 2024, 05:35:21 AMAre you sure? AFAIK, y in Finnish is more or less the equivalent of ü in German, like in München --- very different from the y in the English word symbol.

I imagine 71dB knows how to pronounce his native language. But to return this to matters Hurwitzian, let us not forget that Hurwitz is adamant in saying that pronunciation doesn't matter so long as we know what one is referring to. And so he will always pronounce Lutosławski as Lutoslovsky rather than properly as Lutoswovsky. (On the other hand, since he knows German and French, Hurwitz is always scrupulously accurate in pronouncing these languages correctly.)

Once on the forum I was deleted for pointing out that Boulez (like Berlioz) should be pronounced with final Z, not without as in Boulay. I trust you see my point.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Florestan

Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on March 29, 2024, 05:59:36 AMI imagine 71dB knows how to pronounce his native language.

I never claimed otherwise, nevertheless the y in the English word symbol is not the same as the Finnish y.

Judge for yourself:



Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on March 29, 2024, 05:59:36 AMlet us not forget that Hurwitz is adamant in saying that pronunciation doesn't matter so long as we know what one is referring to. And so he will always pronounce Lutosławski as Lutoslovsky rather than properly as Lutoswovsky. (On the other hand, since he knows German and French, Hurwitz is always scrupulously accurate in pronouncing these languages correctly.)

You think? I sometimes heard him pronounce French and German names rather incorrectly and adding "who cares, anyway?".
There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. — Claude Debussy

(poco) Sforzando

Quote from: Florestan on March 29, 2024, 06:08:25 AMI sometimes heard him pronounce French and German names rather incorrectly and adding "who cares, anyway?".

Moi aussi. Just proves my point. I remember how "sortilèges" in Ravel's opera came out "sort-ee-yezh." But personally, I think indifference to correct pronunciation is a mark of unprofessionalism. Classical radio announcers often go out of their way to ensure they are saying names properly, as tney should. It's a mark of respect to the artists.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Florestan

Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on March 29, 2024, 06:21:11 AMI think indifference to correct pronunciation is a mark of unprofessionalism.

Absolutely.


There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. — Claude Debussy

Todd

Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on March 29, 2024, 06:21:11 AMBut personally, I think indifference to correct pronunciation is a mark of unprofessionalism.

I've heard BBC announcers pronounce Don Quixote as Don Kwix-it.  Per GMG, BBC announcers are unprofessional. 
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya

(poco) Sforzando

Quote from: Todd on March 29, 2024, 06:30:02 AMI've heard BBC announcers pronounce Don Quixote as Don Kwix-it.  Per GMG, BBC announcers are unprofessional. 

Yes, but they're British.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Luke

Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on March 29, 2024, 06:38:38 AMYes, but they're British.

Thanks, it is indeed cover against all sins.  ;D

Florestan

Quote from: Todd on March 29, 2024, 06:30:02 AMI've heard BBC announcers pronounce Don Quixote as Don Kwix-it.  Per GMG, BBC announcers are unprofessional. 

I've heard Romanian announcers pronouncing (Victor) Hugo as HEW-go and Richard (Wagner) as Richard [English pronunciation].

And yes, I think both the BBC-ers and the Romanians are unprofessional in such cases.

There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. — Claude Debussy

Todd

Quote from: Florestan on March 29, 2024, 07:02:07 AMI've heard Romanian announcers pronouncing (Victor) Hugo as HEW-go and Richard (Wagner) as Richard [English pronunciation].

And yes, I think both the BBC-ers and the Romanians are unprofessional in such cases.

GMG is the arbiter of professionalism.  Along with everything else.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya

Luke

#12
Quote from: Todd on March 29, 2024, 06:30:02 AMI've heard BBC announcers pronounce Don Quixote as Don Kwix-it.  Per GMG, BBC announcers are unprofessional. 

Unavoidably made me think of the British tyre-change garage Kwik-Fit. And thence to AI.... Meet Don Kwikfit.


Florestan

Quote from: Todd on March 29, 2024, 07:08:27 AMGMG is the arbiter of professionalism.  Along with everything else.

Performing Beethoven piano sonatas, for instance --- the arbiter of which is a long-time GMG resident.  ;D
There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. — Claude Debussy

(poco) Sforzando

Quote from: Luke on March 29, 2024, 07:09:19 AMUnavoidably made me think of the British tyre-change garage Kwik-Fit. And thence to AI....

Or like Byron's Don Juan . . . .
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Todd

Quote from: Florestan on March 29, 2024, 07:12:22 AMPerforming Beethoven piano sonatas, for instance --- the arbiter of which is a long-time GMG resident.  ;D


I am the supreme arbiter of my preferences and nothing else.  Others here pretend their opinions have objective value. 
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya

Florestan

Quote from: Todd on March 29, 2024, 07:14:26 AMI am the supreme arbiter of my preferences and nothing else.  Others here pretend their opinions have objective value.

Pronouncing Quixote or Victor Hugo incorrectly is a mark of lack of education/culture. I should have thought that education/culture is a prerequisite for announcers working for broadcasting organizations which claim to be cultural.
There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law. — Claude Debussy

Todd

Quote from: Florestan on March 29, 2024, 07:24:32 AMPronouncing Quixote or Victor Hugo incorrectly is a mark of lack of education/culture.

False.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya

hopefullytrusting

Quote from: 71 dB on March 29, 2024, 04:28:21 AMI don't find it that difficult to find various diacritics of other languages. On Mac I use Edit/Emoji & Symbols. Then I search for the "root" symbol (e.g. seaching for "a" gives á, à, ä, â, ã, ă, ǎ,...) It is basically just knowing how to do it in the system you are using. One can even make a text file listing these symbols for copy-pasting. Or you can use https://finnish.typeit.org

What's more difficult is knowing how to pronounce a word/name. In this regards Finnish language is pretty easy and systematic (compared to English). Finnish vowel sounds are like the vowels in these english words:

A = car
E = even
I = even
O = dog
U = thousand
Y = symbol
Ä = cat
Ö = bird

We also have Å, the Swedish "o" for Swedish names which are common in Finland (e.g. the first president of Finland K. J. Stålberg). It is pronounce like O.

The letter Y is always a vowel in Finnish language: Yogurt is "jogurtti" and Yemen is "Jemen" in Finnish. Finnish language doesn't have silent letters, because we are silent people anyway.  :D Consonants are very similar to other languages and there are only a few exceptions such as the "ng" combination having its own sound for ease of pronunciation. In Finnish language the emphasis is always on the first syllable. Finnish language uses vowel harmony: A, O and U don't exist in the same words as Ä, Ö and Y do. Compound words are exception (e.g. jääkaappi meaning refrigerator is the combination of jää meaning ice and kaappi meaning cabinet).

Pronuncing Finnish is pretty simple and systematic if you know the rules, but non-native speakers tend to struggle a lot with double consonants such as "tt" in "jogurtti." You need to "stop" for a short moment between the two consonants (jogurt...ti) and this takes some time and practise to get used to in order to make the pronunciation rhythmically correct.

In english words are pronunced differently from how they are written. As we have seen above, Finnish language doesn't really have this, but we have two versions of the language: Written (formal) Finnish and spoken (informal) Finnish. When you apply for a job, you use written Finnish, but when you are chatting with your friends in a bar you use spoken Finnish. Here is an example of the difference of written and spoken Finnish:

Is Matti planning to go fishing next weekend:
Written: Aikooko Matti mennä kalastamaan ensi viikonloppuna?
Spoken: Meneeks Matti kalaan viikonloppuna?

Spoken language cuts corners: Aikooko (is --- planning) and mennä (go) are combined into the spoken word meneeks (is --- planning to go). Kalastamaan (fishing) is shortened. Ensi (next) is implied (has to be the next weekend if not specified) and unnecessary in spoken version.

Learning written Finnish can be really difficult (the grammar!) for foreigners and then there is spoken Finnish as a bonus!  ??? Compared to all this linguistic horror just spelling Finnish last names is actually nothing.  ;)



This is why I love threads like this, and GMG in general. This is such an awesome post. Thank you for being willing to share.

Also, there might be one more problem with learning Finnish:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PyjUUFPMzdQ

8)

(poco) Sforzando

Quote from: Todd on March 29, 2024, 07:14:26 AMOthers here pretend their opinions have objective value.

Oh? like who?
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."