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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lostdrewid

Mannen versus männen –or– A versus Ä

I wanted to open this discussion on the Plural part 3 test where it asks me to type what I hear. Since it's a test on plurals I guessed correctly that it wanted männen. For whatever reason the "Discuss sentence" button is not working, so I have to ask here: what is the difference in pronunciation between mannen and männen. Which, I guess, comes down to asking the difference between A and Ä.

To the best my ears can distinguish, it's the difference between an "ah" sound and an "eh" sound, yes? But I only have a robot voice to tell me, so I'm kind of wondering if there's somewhere we can go to hear real people say the words?

November 22, 2014

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lostdrewid

Fun fact, I had to tell Google that mannen meant "the man" and männen meant "the men". It translated them as "art" and just plain "men" respectively.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lingophilic

The Swedish "ä" is pronounced like "a" in the English word "apple", while "a" is pronounced like "a" in the English word "father."

"Mannen" is pronounced like "mah-nen", and "männen" is pronounced like "Mann-nen."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blehg

<ä> is pronounced as the "e" in English <get>, only before an /r/ is it pronounced like "a" in <apple>. Remember that <e> and <ä> are pronounced identically when short.

If you speak American English, I suppose the closest equivalent to Swedish short /a/ would be the "u" in "but" or the "o" in "come". If you speak French, Spanish or German, it's the same as their <a>.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fe2h2o

You could try looking at forvo.com... it's a good place to go and hear a variety of voices saying individual words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/landsend

There are recordings in the Wikipedia article on Swedish phonology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_phonology

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