https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete

Pronunciation of vowels?

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I have just looked at a Welsh for Beginners book and in the section on pronunciation it looks like the vowels e, u and y are all pronounced the same for both long and short vowels. Is this correct? If so, what is the purpose of the three separate vowels?

3 years ago

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ibisc
Mod
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The basic pronunciation is the same, but the long vowel is just drawn out a little bit more. To hear some of the differences, go to gweiadur.com and click on the sound symbol each word in these pairs to hear the recordings:

  • dyn (long) - ffyn (short)

  • hen (long) - pen (short)

  • pin (long) - pìn (short)

  • ffôn (long) - ffon (short)

  • tân (long) - tan (short)

  • hŷn (long) - hyn (short)

etc...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/crush
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I think the question is why there are three letters (e, u, and y) representing the same sounds, for example listening to those words the y and i in dyn and pin sound the same to me, though maybe they are different and i just can't hear it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ibisc
Mod
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Ah, right.... Well, e does not sound the same as the others.

Some dialects/people do differentiate between u/y (when y in a final syllable, say, sounds like u) and i in some circumstances - the u/y then has a 'darker' sound, made a little further back in the mouth than the i. This course does not differentiate between them, but if you hunt around the web you will find examples.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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For example, listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irVKUBPbKzQ (long and short vowels in Welsh).

Gwyneth is from Pen Llŷn and thus makes the distinction between u/y on the one hand and i on the other hand.

Also listen to her two videos on diphthongs (one, two) - apparently, there's a three-way distinction between ai au ae in North Wales! And ei and eu also sound different, since the latter has the backed sound at the end of the diphthong.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
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"E" is pronounced like the "e" in "egg" when short, and when it's long it's like the "ey" in "hey". I, U and Y are pronounced similar in south Wales ("eh", "ee") but in North Wales the U and Y is pronounced more like "oo". Here is a video from a pronunciation series that helps me a lot in pronouncing Welsh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb8Bps3bG84

And then the one on "y" specifically: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqv1geIlfFI

I think that one reason this could be is to differentiate words that sound the same but are different in writing (homophones). Hope this helps you.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ieuan-Jones
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"E" is pronounced like the "e" in "egg" when short

Are you sure about that? That's how I've always pronounced ble, but my friends in Swansea all tell me I pronounce that wrong.

3 years ago
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