https://www.duolingo.com/Ch7ck3N

How to pronounce γ?

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I see that it's apparently pronounced like a w but It sounds more like χ (ç) to me. Can someone explain how to make this sound?

2 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/afittro
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Γ-γ (gamma) is normally pronounced as a soft G, sort of like 'Gh'. Try to start the sounding of a normal American English 'G' but don't quite close your throat/palate with the back of your tongue. However, I've been taught that before both long and short 'E' sounds, it changes to a 'Y' sound from English. So, γυναίκα (woman) is phonetically this (using English sounds): yee-NECK-uh. That is because the υ is pronounced as our English long-E sound (mEEt). So anything that would be our long-E or short-E after a gamma makes it an English 'Y' sound (as in Yellow).

So γ followed by η, υ, οι, αι, ε, ι, ει (and maybe more) is a 'Y' sound, as described above. For all the rest, it's a 'soft gh' sound, formed as described above.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Acrosoph
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Nice work with this description. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/afittro
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Ευχαριστώ!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elenaki.a
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This is a really good explanation. Here, take a lingot.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/afittro
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Ευχαριστώ!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Osnakezz
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Isn't the gamma produced with a ch-sound, like in the Scottish 'loch', but harder and with a slightly more 'gliding' tone? As a Dutch speaker, for me it's no problem pronunciating it, but I could imagine it is a bit harder for people that don't have that sound in their native language.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
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According to every source I can find, it is supposed to be /ɣ/, which is the voiced version of /χ/, or /ʝ/ before front vowels. Either there is a secret conspiracy of Greeks using /w/ when no linguists are listening, or whoever wrote the tips page that says 'ɣ like Woman' must have a very strange way of pronouncing the word 'woman'.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Acrosoph
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Haha to secret conspiracy. It is definitely NOT pronounced like woman - I suspect this may be an error in the tips because of the equivalent word in Greek "γυναίκα". I will request that this be changed. Either way, the audio is good / accurate in my opinion so possibly repeating that would be helpful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
Mod
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I think it's due to the Greeks pronouncing "woman" as γούμαν (and "Washington" as Γουάσιγκτον and son on).

So they're projecting their non-native pronunciation of English /w/ onto their native gamma :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JackyDW
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Nowadays, "γ" is pronounced like a long version of the English "G," but without the tongue pressing on the palate.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Windrammer
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Like Russian /x/ but voiced.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hypatiaserena

Have you ever heard of Manu Chao's song 'Me gustas tú'? This is exactly how gamma sounds before /u/, /a/, and /o/ sounds: like the /g/ in 'gustas' as pronounced by Manu!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMHdnpNisew

At the same time, before /i/ sounds, it sounds like /yi/ (e.g. 'yin'), and before /e/ sounds, like /ye/ (e.g. 'yellow').

I hope this is helpful!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kirakrakra

Γ, γ is pronounced like Y in YES before a Greek ε-sound: ε, αι OR before a Greek ι-sound: ι, η, υ, ει, οι

otherwise like the French R

listen to Γ in εγώ https://el.forvo.com/search/%ce%b5%ce%b3%cf%8e/

and the French R in erreur https://el.forvo.com/search/erreur/

Finally the pronounciation of Γ has very little to do with the English W. Greeks explain how w is pronounced transcribing W as "ΓΟΥ" (Γουντ/ Wood)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/panagiotis_ts
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"Γ" is pronounced like "w" in "window".

However, it is pronounced as "y" in "yard" when it stands before "ε", "η", "ι" and "υ".

Note that "γκ" and "γγ" are pronounced like "g" in "garden".

I hope that this helps. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MouPeMantissa

Is that a Northern Greek thing, pronouncing 'Γ' as 'w'? I've never actually been to Northern Greece, and I generally pronounce Γ like the Dutch g, like in 'αυγά'. That's sort of strange to hear.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/panagiotis_ts
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I usually pronounce "g" in Dutch like the Greek "χ" (or a very soft German "ch").

I haven't been many times to southern Greece, but in Thessaloniki (where I live), we always pronounce it as "w" in "woman". :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MouPeMantissa

That's really weird. Awori, auwo.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hypatiaserena

No, it's not pronounced /awori/! I think that we Greeks tend to forget that the /w/ sound contains a slight /u/ in it, as in the word 'window'. The gamma, however, does not.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elenaki.a
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I'm going to disagree with you here. I wouldn't describe it as a 'w' at all, but like AminataV, I've never been to northern Greece, so it might be different up there. The English equivalent is more a soft 'g' or a 'y'. Although, I can't remember noticing that anyone from the north pronounces it like a 'w' either.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KatharinaM882088

My mother tongue is German. For me the Greek Γ is maybe the most difficult letter to pronounce. Not the "γ" in words like γιαγιά, but the "γ" for example in γάλα. It's a phone we don't have in German. A bit like our "g", but much softer.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hypatiaserena

In cases like "γάλα", it's more or less pronounced like the German "r" the way it is pronounced in Northern Germany -- think of the word "raten", or "retten" (or think of the French "r" in words like "rapport" and "regarder").

1 year ago

[deactivated user]

    It's a voiced version of the gh in "ugh".

    It's my favorite phone <3

    1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Nameless-Learner
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    i actually did it thanks so mch bro!:)

    1 year ago
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