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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ver3ndo

Esperanto "u" vs. "ŭ"

Hi, I have a question about the two Esperanto "u".

Is there a difference between "u" and "ŭ" in pronunciation? Or is it simply to differentiate certain special words (ankaŭ, aŭ, etc.)?

July 7, 2015

20 Comments

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

"ŭ" is a semivovel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semivowel) so is non-syllabic, "u" is a vowel thus is syllabic.

July 7, 2015

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

I think that "ux" (u with the thing) is more like a "w"... but I'm not sure

By the way, is there a difference between jx and gx?

July 7, 2015

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

ĵ is pronounced like the "s" in english "vision". ĝ is pronounced like the "j" in english "jeans".

If you know the cyrillic alphabet, ĵ = ж, ĝ = дж.

Edit: and ŝ = ш, ĉ = ч, ĥ = х.

July 7, 2015

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

And sx? :S

PS: I know cyrillic, but I never got the ж right xD

July 7, 2015

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

Similar to "sh" in "shop"

July 7, 2015

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

I was thinking it was actually more similar to 'zh' making it a harsher tone than 'sh'/'sx'

July 8, 2015

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

But what? I wrote about Esperanto "ŝ".

July 8, 2015

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

Oh, I missed the comment before this. my bad o:

July 8, 2015

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

As far as this post is about pronunciation - could you explain difference between "h" and "ĥ"?

July 8, 2015

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

h is normal English 'h'.

ĥ sounds like the 'ch' in Scottish 'loch'. It sounds like saying English 'h' while gargling dry air in the back of your throat. We don't have this sound in English. But it is a very cool sound that gives a nice character to a word, and honestly it isn't hard to imitate once you've heard it.

July 8, 2015

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

I am not native English speaker so it is hard for me to understand it that way. Do you mean that "h" is sort of "mild" while "ĥ " is sort of "heavy"?

July 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ferrum
July 8, 2015

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

Which is your native language? If you know russian, the ĥ sounds like russian X AFAIK.

July 8, 2015

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

Thanks to all, I got it. My native language is Russian. So, h - is English "ha", ĥ is Russian "ha".

July 8, 2015

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

ĝ = đ = џ (Српски, Македонски)

September 24, 2017

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

Okay, my understanding--and I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong--is that u is an oo sound (as I assume you know already) and ŭ is a w sound, but it's primarily used in diphthongs. So antaŭ is not an-ta-u, three syllables, but an-taŭ (with the making an ow sound), two syllables. (Like so: http://www.forvo.com/word/anta%C5%AD/#eo )

July 7, 2015

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

...And here's a chart that shows more stuff about ŭ and diphthong pronunciations, by the way: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto_phonology#Orthography_and_pronunciation

July 7, 2015

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

That's correct.

July 7, 2015

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

If it's regular u, it needs to be pronounced as its own syllable. ŭ is used to indicate that the sound blends with the previous vowel, so aŭ is "ow" instead of being "aa oo". That make sense? If it's regular u it has to be its own syllable.

July 7, 2015
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