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Basic Bulgarian, Pronunciation - Vowels (ooh's and aah's)

Basic Bulgarian lessons: Lesson 1, Lesson 2

Grammar notes: The verb "to be"

Pronunciation notes: Consonants #1


<h1>What they are</h1>

Vowels are sounds you make when you let air pass through your mouth unobstructed, and you're using your vocal chords. When you say "ooh" or "aah", for example, put your hand on your throat and notice the vibrating feeling - that's your vocal chords working. Compare that to the "s" in "hiss" - air is still moving out of your lungs and out of your mouth, but the vibration is gone. Compare that to the "z" in "zebra" - your vocal chords are vibrating again, but your tongue is doing work to squeeze the flow of air into a narrow opening between itself and your palate. When you were saying "ooh" and "ahh", your tongue wasn't trying to touch your palate, your teeth or your lips.

If you are really, really curious about vowels in general, check this out.

<h1>English vowels</h1>

Counting the vowels of English is difficult, because they actually vary between dialects. American English varieties are usually described as having 10-12 vowels. Australian English is described as having 14 vowels. Bulgarian has only 8, and two of them are merely variants of other vowels which occur in certain positions in a word.

Here are examples for the vowels in American English, with their IPA symbol. The colon means that the vowel is long, i.e. held about twice as long as a "regular", short vowel.

  1. [æ] - cat
  2. [ɛ] - pet
  3. [ɑ:] - father (close to Bulgarian "a")
  4. [ɔ:] - thought
  5. [ʌ] - bus (close to Bulgarian 'ɐ')
  6. [ə] - again (close to Bulgarian "ɤ")
  7. [iː] - feel
  8. [ɪ] - fit
  9. [uː] - goose
  10. [ʊ] - put

Additionally, a few more vowels occur with a y-sound (as in "yes") or a w-sound (as in "what") at the end:

  1. [aɪ] - bride
  2. [oʊ] - goat
  3. [eɪ] - lake
  4. [ɔɪ] - boy

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_phonology#Vowels

<h1>Bulgarian vowels</h1>

Here are the vowels of Bulgarian:

  1. [a] - аз [as] - I
  2. [ɐ] - кома ['kɔmɐ] - coma
  3. [ɤ] - път [pɤt] - path, road
  4. [ɔ] - осем ['ɔsɛm] - eight
  5. [o] - кино ['kino] - cinema
  6. [u] - ум - [um] - mind, intelligence
  7. [ɛ] - седем ['sɛdɛm] - seven
  8. [i] - или [i'li] - or

Of these, [o] and [ɐ] only occur in syllables that are not stressed. Here's how they correspond to vowels in stressed syllables:

  • unstressed "a" becomes "ɐ" (both written "а")
  • unstressed "ɤ" also becomes "ɐ" (both written "ъ")
  • unstressed "ɔ" becomes "o" (both written "о")
  • unstressed "u" also becomes "o" (both written "у")

[ɛ] and [i] (written "е" and "и") are the same regardless of stress in Standard Bulgarian.

September 23, 2015

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angelo454227

make one for Italian if you can please


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RhydianDavies

Unfortunately I don't know Italian, but you can find information about its vowels here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_phonology#Vowels


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angelo454227

thanks a lot really helpful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angelo454227

if you have any more please send


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angelo454227

have 4 lingots its all I have

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