One day, if I get far enough, I'll find a comment thread that isn't complaining about Danish pronunciation.
Is it actually possible to hear the difference between "vand" and "vandet", or is that just in the spelling?
Yes, it is definitely possible, but it is subtle, I will give you that. Vandet is two syllables, so you can start out by listening for that. Furthermore the
-et becomes a kind of 'ed'. I am terrible at explaining this. You can hear a good pronunciation of "vand" here: http://www.forvo.com/word/vand, but the one for vandet is terrible, that girl has forgotten how to speak proper Danish. But if pronounced correctly it becomes a fairly separated word.
Here's the one for vandet, http://www.forvo.com/word/vandet, I decided to go ahead and pronounce it even though I have no angel voice.
Very interesting, thanks! What do you think of the pronunciation here?
After clicking around a bit, I think I'm getting the idea. You can have sort of an elongated "n" at the end of a word like "fanden" (given on that page). This strikes me as similar to what happens in conversational German with words like "finden". I've been listening to "vand" vs. "vandet" on DL, and it sounds to me like the difference between "van" and "van-n" (if there is indeed a difference in the audio). In contrast, your pronunciation sounds more like "van-ed" and the woman's like "van-nd".
The conclusion I'm coming to is that you can clearly pronounce that second syllable, and that sounds proper, but speakers often soften it quite a bit. Does that sound right to you?
PS: You get another lingot for showing me Forvo.com. That site looks awesome!
Could it be translated to both "A girl is drinking water" and "A girl drinks water" ?
I mean we have Vand here without an article. So I was wondering if the articles were mandatory.
Articles are as mandatory in Danish as they are in English. Generally you'd use an article in Danish when you'd use one in English.
Yeah. I like how you don't always need an article for everything like you do in the romance languages!
I've messed this up every single time. What is the difference between "en" meaning "one" or "a/an"? Is there a difference? How would I know what the meaning is just by seeing/hearing it?
My guess (as a native Swedish speaker, which is very similar to Danish) is that there is no clear way of seeing the difference. There might be a slight difference in pronounciation, so if you want to say that ONE girl is drinking water you emphasize "en" a bit more, whereas you don't really emphasize "en" when you want to say that A girl is drinking water. Other than that I think the best way to tell is by context.
'vanden' is grammatically incorrect, it would be 'vandet'. And generally you use 'vand' when you use 'water' in english, and 'vandet' when you'd use 'the water'.
So to clarify, vand = water and vandet = the water? Is the suffix -et the article?
Yes :) all Northern Germanic languages have a suffixed definite article: Each language more or less makes it a bit special, but you can just remember that definite articles are always suffixes in these languages (except sometimes in old-style Icelandic, but that's just being too specific for that comment ^^ ).
In dutch/flemish "vand" sounds like the dialect word for "man" i. e "vent'n"
As an English speaker, I'd be rather uncomfortable with "water" without some article before it. Since this has no definite article to translate, I'd be much more comfortable with "The girl is drinking some water" in some situations. Without surrounding context it'd be what I'd go for here.