Problems with pronouncing

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by adder, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. adder

    adder Active Member

    Hi! My today's problem is how to pronounce the letter 'h'. I know that there have been some processes that have made you read the letter 'h' as our Polish 'g', for example 'g' as in 'grow'. Anyway 've heard that the same letter 'h' is read both as 'h' as in 'house' and as 'g' as in 'grow'. The point is when to use 'g' and when to use 'h'. I know for sure that 'h' represents the voiced sound and 'ch' represents the voiceless sound, therefore 'h' is also read as 'h'. By the way, I wonder how the voiced sound 'h' sounds... We don't have it in Polish. Both 'ch' and 'h' are voiceless :eek: . Thanks in advance.
  2. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    The letter "h" in Czech is pronounced typically as the voiced consonant "h" in English (as in "happy"). When used at the end of a word, however, the "h" often is pronounced voiceless, making the Czech sound "ch." I've never heard the Czech "h" pronounced as a hard "g" (as in "grow"). Perhaps there is some confusion between Ukrainian and Czech here. I know that the Ukrainian "g" (in Cyrillic "Г") is usually pronounced as an "h," whereas the same letter in Russian is always a hard "g."
  3. adder

    adder Active Member

    Well, I meant words as ''drúhý'' where the 'h' letter represents the same sound as the Polish 'g' which is similar to that 'g' in 'grow'. :roll:
  4. Bohaemus

    Bohaemus Well-Known Member

    The letter H in "druhý" does not represent the same sound as the Polish G. The Czech H is similar to English H (as in "happy"), but not identical. The Czech H is more voiced than the English H.

    The Czech digraph CH represents the same sound as the Polish CH:

    chorý = chory
    chmel = chmiel
    chlum = chełm

    The letter (and sound) G occurs only in foreign (non-Slavic) words (guma, graf, geometrie) and is pronounced as the Polish G in "drugi".

    The original sound G in Czech was replaced by the sound H about 1000 years ago:

    hora = góra
    druhý = drugi
    hořký = gorzki
  5. amraam_7

    amraam_7 Well-Known Member

    If you're interested, I can record a few mp3's with pronounciation of H and G in words you submit :idea:
  6. adder

    adder Active Member

    I'd be very grateful, amraam_7. Still can't get it :? . So it looks like the sound which is called the voiced 'h' sounds to me like 'g'? :shock:
  7. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Hi adder,

    Have you tried going to There is a lot of audio there and maybe you will find some pronunciation that will help.
  8. adder

    adder Active Member

    Of course I've tried that site. If I had't come along on it, I wouldn't have begun to learn Czech. And I've found there a file after hearing which I realized 'h' is read 'g' :? .
  9. amraam_7

    amraam_7 Well-Known Member

    do you have some specific requests or should I just grab a dictionary and read all words with "H"? :)
  10. adder

    adder Active Member

    Heheh, In fact I don't have any specific request. All I need is to know if 'h' is always read kind of 'g'. But of coruse don't read all words, just a few. Thanks a lot once again for help. :) Btw my mail is
  11. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Hi adder,

    I agree with all the answers here. As far as I know, there are no cases in Czech where the sound 'h' would be pronounced as 'g'.

    Which word are you referring to on Local Lingo that contains a 'h' sound that is read as 'g'? It may be an unclear recording and we'll be happy to re-record it.

    We would also like to add a special section for the sounds 'h' and 'g'. amraam_7, would you be interested in emailing us your recordings and having them published on Local Lingo, so everyone can benefit from them? We could use these words:

    H: hora, hlava, druhý, nahoru, jih, roh
    G: guma, graf, jogurt, Olga, trekking, Oleg

    You could email the files It would be great! :)

  12. adder

    adder Active Member

    Then I may be wrong since I'm not Czech and that sound sounds to me like our Polish 'g'. The recording where I hear 'g' in the place of 'h' is in 'druhy'. But like I said, it can be just my point of view. Czech 'h' is voiced while the Polish one is voiceless and pronounced as 'ch'. Maybe this is the way you pronounce the voiced 'h' (that doesn't exist in Polish anymore) which sounds to me just like 'g'. :)
  13. leihotikan

    leihotikan New Member

    Oh yes, hard voiced H in polish occurs in some regions of Silesia (Śląsk, Slezsko?) but 95 % or more polish will never hear the difference. When you listen to old people in some regions of Silesia you will see the differnece betweeen "chusteczka" and "holować" etc. Before II world war actors were taught to learn hard spoken H and soft spoken CH, now noone hears the difference. I am polish too, and suppose you mean this h=g spelling is somewhat like in spannish, e.g words: jerGa (very harsh G, like arab H).
  14. adder

    adder Active Member

    Well, the voiced 'h' also appears among people abroad generally to the east of Poland. I live close but I have never heard that voiced 'h'. If I am not wrong now, the voiced 'h' comes somewhere from a throat whereas we pronounce 'ch' by means of our palates. I started practising and I was able to create that sound but it is really strange and it is especially hard to make it at the beginning of words. But I'm still unsure if it is the right 'h'. Sometimes I get something similar to the Czech 'h' with can sound more or less like 'g'. If 'g' has gotten replaced by 'h', there is some resemblance between them.

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