Eesti E ja Ä

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Levo
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Eesti E ja Ä

Postby Levo » 2009-10-21, 20:18

Tere!

Though everyone tells me that everything I say in Estonian is well understandable, I still felt so that my pronounciation is not clear.
Since in Hungarian we have only one kind of short "e"-like sound, and it doesn't correspond to neither Estonian E, nor Estonian Ä, it is hard for me to pronounce them right.
We have another sound, "É" which is told to be the same as Estonian "EE", but when Estonians read a Hungarian word which contains É, it sounds false.
In theory, I heard several times something about the way how to make both sounds, and I try to make a difference between Estonian E and Ä, but today I practiced it with a friend of mine and now it revealed that I rarely manage to find the right way.

Please, could someone explain me how to pronounce E and how to pronounce Ä very detailed? Or if you know a drawing or pictures about how the tongue should stand. The more, the better. Thank you!
Homme nÄEme! :D
Levo

Arvi
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Re: Eesti E ja Ä

Postby Arvi » 2009-10-22, 6:03

Levo wrote:Tere!

Though everyone tells me that everything I say in Estonian is well understandable, I still felt so that my pronounciation is not clear.
Since in Hungarian we have only one kind of short "e"-like sound, and it doesn't correspond to neither Estonian E, nor Estonian Ä, it is hard for me to pronounce them right.
We have another sound, "É" which is told to be the same as Estonian "EE", but when Estonians read a Hungarian word which contains É, it sounds false.
In theory, I heard several times something about the way how to make both sounds, and I try to make a difference between Estonian E and Ä, but today I practiced it with a friend of mine and now it revealed that I rarely manage to find the right way.

Please, could someone explain me how to pronounce E and how to pronounce Ä very detailed? Or if you know a drawing or pictures about how the tongue should stand. The more, the better. Thank you!
Homme nÄEme! :D
Levo


I tried to pronounce it, and it looks that for 'Ä', the sound is produced more in throat (suu tagaosas), like for 'A' (for 'E', it is produced between teeth, tongue and (suulagi?)) (suu eesosas). At same time, the tongue position is like for 'E', and mouth is opened like for 'A'. And (suunurgad?) are drawn slightly back (like for 'I').

When you speak German, then Estonian 'Ä', 'Ö' and 'Ü' are pronounced very much in same way (I mean when the German vocal doesn't change like ä->e).

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Loiks
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Re: Eesti E ja Ä

Postby Loiks » 2009-10-22, 14:50

Short ä is for my ear pronounced exactly like English a in cat. And ää is just longer version of it. It's very open sound.

ee has to be pronounced more backwards than Hungarian é.

BTW I've always pronounced Debrecen like [däbrätsän] and as I am Estonian then probably [täbrätsän] :). I would describe Hungarian accent while Hungarians speak Estonian like somehow closed. Maybe you should try to open up all vowels and pronounce them more backwards.

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Levo
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Re: Eesti E ja Ä

Postby Levo » 2009-10-22, 16:27

Guys, thank you very much!
Both explanations are very useful. Now I think I get it. For myself, I sound more Estonian now. But I will check it with the same person.

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Jurgen Wullenwever
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Re: Eesti E ja Ä

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2009-10-23, 15:30

I have not heard so much of Estonian, but my impression is that the ä is stable in its pronunciation [æ], while the e shifts between [e], [ɛ] and [æ] in different circumstances. Is this correct or have I misinterpreted the data?
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Loiks
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Re: Eesti E ja Ä

Postby Loiks » 2009-10-25, 1:21

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:I have not heard so much of Estonian, but my impression is that the ä is stable in its pronunciation [æ], while the e shifts between [e], [ɛ] and [æ] in different circumstances. Is this correct or have I misinterpreted the data?


You are probably right. In "language of girls and gays" you would say 'Tere!' ['teræ:]. And there can be some traces of vowel harmony like in 'lähen' ['læhæn] or 'vähe' ['væhæ] but it's strictly in spoken language or dialectical and not tolerated in standard. If you read news on TV or radio or act in theatre, you have to pronounce [e]. And it has changed. If I hear recordings from 1930's to my ear this e is more closed than in nowadays. It was then like German e, it has kind of opened up since then.

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Levo
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Re: Eesti E ja Ä

Postby Levo » 2009-10-25, 12:43

Loiks wrote:
Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:I have not heard so much of Estonian, but my impression is that the ä is stable in its pronunciation [æ], while the e shifts between [e], [ɛ] and [æ] in different circumstances. Is this correct or have I misinterpreted the data?


You are probably right. In "language of girls and gays" you would say 'Tere!' ['teræ:]. And there can be some traces of vowel harmony like in 'lähen' ['læhæn] or 'vähe' ['væhæ] but it's strictly in spoken language or dialectical and not tolerated in standard. If you read news on TV or radio or act in theatre, you have to pronounce [e]. And it has changed. If I hear recordings from 1930's to my ear this e is more closed than in nowadays. It was then like German e, it has kind of opened up since then.

It's interesting because in Hungarian films from the 1930's, e was also different, it was like æ sometimes.
And actually I quite often hear Estonian e as [ɛ] as well, and sometimes a totally different sound.

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Loiks
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Re: Eesti E ja Ä

Postby Loiks » 2009-10-28, 13:13

For me it's really difficult to distinguish [ɛ] and [æ]. [e] is separate sound. I have read that in Islands dialect there has been (or still is) [ɛ] sound, but as it is just a variant, we don't notice it in speech, probably.

And in this thread we have forgotten Southern dialects and Võro, where there is õ-like sound in some circumstances where Northern Estonian has e.


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