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  5. Esperanto "u" vs. "ŭ"

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

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


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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kiddo-depido

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?


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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kiddo-depido

And sx? :S

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


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

Similar to "sh" in "shop"


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

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


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

But what? I wrote about Esperanto "ŝ".


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

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


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

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


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.


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"?


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

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


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".


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

ĝ = đ = џ (Српски, Македонски)


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 )


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


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

That's correct.


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.

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