pronounciation of jsem..jste...jsou

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by sy24, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. sy24

    sy24 New Member

    Hello everyone! This is my first post! I just wanted to ask that in words such as jsem, jste and jsou, is the j pronounced, or do you ignore it? Because on some audio tapes I have, it sounds like they don't pronounce the j, So is it pronounced sem, or jsem (y-sem). ???
  2. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    My opinion: It should be prounouncd "y-sem", "j" should be heard. But in colloquial czech is often omitted or not easy to be heard, especially if you are not native speaker, because stress is on "s" (j'sem, j'si, j'ste, j'sou).

    In some dialects, usually moravian, "j" is omitted at all in those words - for example: "sú" instead of "jsou", in Slovak "som" instead of "jsem"...

    I hope professional linguists in this forum will explain it better.
  3. sy24

    sy24 New Member

    Thanks for replying so fast! Your answer helped me a lot. I don't want a very complicated answer :wink:
  4. fabik317

    fabik317 Well-Known Member

    in fact, pronunciation both with and without j is allowed, i.e. officially considered correct. i, personally don't know a single person who'd bother pronouncing the j, but i'm from moravia, it's probably different in some other parts of the country. be careful with the "ne-" prefix though, (words like "nejsem", "nejste" etc.) in those cases the j is always pronounced.
  5. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I wonder if I'm pronouncing it wrong. I pronounce the j as a long e. Such as [ee-sem oonavena] for jsem unavena. Perhaps I should just say, sem unavena or maybe [i-sem] as in the word "it" or "italy"

    What do you think?
  6. mbm

    mbm Well-Known Member

    You certainly shouldn't pronounce it as "ee". You should pronounce it as the "y" in "yes". Or, don't pronounce it at all (leaving just "sem"). Most people don't. I don't.
  7. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

  8. Eleshar

    Eleshar Well-Known Member

    The rule is:

    verb "být" as an auxilliary verb - the reduced pronunciation /sem/ is fully allowed and considered correct

    verb "být" as a copula or existencial verb - the reduced pronunciation is incorrect

    jsem hezký /jsem heski:/ ("jsem" is copula)
    byl jsem hezký /bil sem heski:/ ("byl" is copula, "jsem" is auxilliary verb)

    In fact in colloquial Czech, the J is not pronounced often in either case

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