"En vegetarian äter inte kött."
Translation:A vegetarian does not eat meat.
54 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
Ok, you really seem to know these things :). I can hear the difference if I concentrate, but they are very close at least.
I am going OT now, but I really want to know: Is the English "sh" the same as the German "sch" (as in Englisch)? And is that the way northern Swedes pronounce the sje-ljud?
This only happens initially, and as Arnauti says, many loanwords are exempt. "Ingen" is not pronounced with a soft g, but rather with a 'ng' combination (as in English 'ring'). Compare "ge" [je:] give with "stege" [ste:gə] ladder. The former has initial softening, the latter doesn't, because the /g/ is not initial.
Before "i e y ä ö", at the beginning of words, k is pronounced as [ɕ] (except in loanwords). This is a sound similar to the 'sh' in English, but it's pronounced further to the front of the mouth, at the same place you'd say an [s]. It's the same sound as Mandarin (pinyin) 'x', Japanese 'sh', Polish 'ś' and Russian 'щ'. If that doesn't help it's like mashing s+y together, as if you say "miss you" really fast.
It's pronounced something like a "sh" sound (it's not the same as the English "sh" but it's close enough) before the vowels e, i, y, ä, and ö (which are called soft vowels, as opposed to the hard vowels a, o, u, and å). The only exception to this in loanwords, like pojke (which is Finnish in origin).
It only happens initially, that’s why pojke is an exception, rather than being a loanword. You also have native words where this happen like, fisken or stege which isn’t usually pronounced fistjen or steje. Better examples of exceptions would be kille or kisse. Or loanwords like kö and kör.
In ste-ge or la-gen the g is also syllable initial, but it is not yoticized. Similarly, in poj-ke or bo-ken the k is also syllable initial, but does not undergo any changes. However, in all of these cases, g/k is the initial sound of an unstressed syllable.
The only way I can see all of this coming together into a sensible rule then would be that the soft g/k occurs in a syllable initial position when followed by a stressed e, i, y, ä, or ö, with some obvious exceptions.
One of the pronunciation samples on Forvo for "egentligen" is actually "ejentligen", and it is rated higher than the other one. This would follow the logic above.
Sadly, I don't know enough Swedish vocabulary to investigate it further.