Problems with producing the ei/eg (æi) diphthong in Eastern Norwegian
I have big problems producing the diphthong æi found in words such as jeg, deg, seg, vei, tegn and distinguishing it from /ei/ and especially /ai/.
I don't think this diphthong is found in my native language of English (except possibly in some dialects such as in Manchester?)
Does anyone have any tips for overcoming this? Has anyone else struggled with this?
Yeah I have no problem pronouncing æ and i, both are very common vowels in English, it's connecting them together and not making it sound like /ai/ that I find tough. Thanks
Say the 'æ' sound (make sure that your mouth is fairly open, and pull the lower jaw slightly back), then, without moving your jaw forward, and not moving your tongue, start raising your lower jaw until you are biting your tounge at both sides with your third molar, counted from the back.
(then post the exercise on youtube... actually, that's not mandatory..)
"and not moving your tongue, start raising your lower jaw" This is not quite correct. You also have to raise your tongue. I've tried it and it does not result in the high front vowel. You might not notice it but you do raise your tongue.
Nope, my tongue stays in exactly the same position. It gets lifted up because the lower jaw lifts, obviously, but that's it. Maybe you're starting out with the tongue in a slightly different way than I do? It's hard to describe such things orally only.
Thanks! This really works! I will practise it every day (I'll pass on making a youtube video though lol).
You gave an example of /æi/ (jeg, deg, etc..) Could you also give an example of words with the /ei/ and /ai/ diphthong that you're referring to?
I'm not aware of any in Norwegian off the top of my head except Mai for /ai/ but in English /ei/ would be words like (say, day, pay, paid, may, made, lay, laid) and /ai/ would be words like (I, my, die, lie, sigh, try, pie, rye, wry, guy).
NTNU's website suggests /ai/ is common in Norwegian (and spelled ai) but /ei/ is not.
I'm not sure if I've understood your problem, but as far as I can tell, the English /ai/ diphthong is pretty close to /æi/, especially if it's said quickly. It might help to think of the "ah!" exclamation to get the /æ/ phoneme at the start of the diphthong.
Yeah, to my ears /æi/ and /ai/ are almost indistinguishable, but not so much for Norwegian's ears I think.
I think the /a/ sound in Norwegian comes from a little deeper in the throat than in English, so some of the difficulty may come from the English /a/ being part way between the Norwegian /a/ and /æ/.
Try starting with an English /a/ (like "are") and trying to slide it a little toward /o/ (like "got"). Half way between the two is pretty close to what I'm aiming at for the Norwegian /a/. (But I'm quite new to Norwegian too.)
Thanks! I wasn't aware of this difference in /a/. I'll try your way of saying it (and study more carefully how it sounds when Norwegians say it). THason's method above seems to work pretty well for /æi/
Well he didn't write Mai, though but /ai/. Norwegian Mai is pronounced as [mɑi] and not as [mai].
The English /ai/ is probably good enough unless you speak an accent where it is pronounced as [ɑːɪ̯] (on the top of my head I would say like the guy from Last Week Tonight). This is another diphthong in Norwegian: meg vs. Mai