Help with pronunciation!

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by Kenny Trcka, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. Kenny Trcka

    Kenny Trcka New Member

    Please! I would really appreciate if you Dana or anybody else would help me with the pronunciation of the combinations "li" and "lí". Are they pronounced like "l" or "l'"? Besides, what about the change of pronunciaton from voiced consonant sounds to unvoiced consonant sounds.
    For example: "pravda", is it pronounced "pravda","prafda" or prafta"? Thank you very much.
  2. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Hi Kenny,

    Congratulations on your decision to study Czech!

    Regarding your questions, "li" and "lí" are pronounced close to the Spanish "livro". Czech doesn't have the soft "l'" - that is a Slovak sound.

    If two consonants are placed next to each other in a word and one is voiced and the other voiceless, then the first one "assimilates" to the second one in pronunciation. So if the first consonant is voiced and the second voiceless, the first one becomes voiceless (e.g. "zk" is pronounced "sk" - the word "zkusit" is pronounced "skusit"). When the first one is voiceless and the second is voiced, the first one becomes voiced (e.g. "sb" is pronounced "zb" - the word "sbírat" is pronounced "zbírat"). In the word "pravda", both "v" and "d" are voiced consonants, so no assimilation takes place here and both are pronounced as voiced ("pravda"), although the "v" does have a slight "f" sound to it. Similarly, if both consonants are voiceless, they remain voiceless in pronunciation - e.g. the word "skupina" is pronounced "skupina".

    Here are the voiced - voiceless pairs of consonants:

    b - p
    v - f
    d - t
    d - t
    z - s
    ž - š
    g - k
    h - ch

    Good luck with your studies!


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