It's worth pointing out that for English speakers from the Southern United States (like myself), this analogy/example is NOT true.
Southerners pronounce "men" (and almost all "e-before-nasal-consonant" words) as if it were spelled "min" (rhymes with "pin").
So, if you're a southerner, it can be much harder to differentiate between "Man" and the non-southern pronunciation of "Men" (and, by extension, between "Mannen" and "Männen").
Us southerners need to keep a wary ear out for the subtle difference between "-ehn" sounds and "-an" sounds, as we aren't used to hearing the former.
How can you tell when it's "the men" versus just "men"? Some of my answers were marked wrong because I left the "the" out of my translations, even though my answer sounded fine in English and made perfect sense. Is there some trick to knowing when to use an article and when not to when translating from Swedish? Are articles like "the" just not typically used in Swedish, so the translation depends entirely on context (in which case my answers were also right)?
Well, that took six attempts because my cat kept meowing into the microphone, but here you go: http://duolingo.vydea.io/82ad2ae475f148df94bbfc59ce33b5ed.mp3
This file contains six separate pronunciations:
- long a sound - as in vasen
- long ä sound - as in väsen
- short a sound - as in mannen
- short ä sound - as in männen
It would probably have made more sense to put the long sounds last, but you'll get the point anyway. :)
Hope this helps!