Pronunciation : babi

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by percyus, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. percyus

    percyus New Member

    I am seeking a word other than "Babicka" that grandchildren can use to address their grandmother. "Stara mama" was suggested, but this seems too cumbersome. I came across "babi", which seems like the suitable word, but I'm not sure of the proper pronunciation.

    Is "babi" a suitable word, or is there a better word to use? Is "babi pronounced more like bu-bie or more like bah-bie, or is it pronounced otherwise? Sorry, I don't know how to use symbols.
  2. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    I was waiting for a Czech to reply - after only 18 months in Prague, what do I know?! But I have definitely heard babi on trams - my fail safe check for whether a word is current Czech as it is actually spoken! And I think it's babi, short a and i.
  3. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    I had hard time to imagine how to pronounce "bu-bie" or "bah-bie" but pronunciation of "babi" should be: "ba" as banana and "bi" as in dustbin - and if you connect this two sounds/ i guess/ you get something close enough to original "babi" - sorry for crappy explanation but this was first words with similar sounds i found in my mind...

    "Stará máma" - I would never use it.. especialy not to call my babička.. sounds horrible
    Babi is the best way and i use it all the time..
  4. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    My husband's grandchildren call me babi. But they pronounce it like Bobby. He taught them to call me that and he's czech so I assume it's the proper way. However, perhaps is more like the ba in banana and my husband just didn't want to take the time to teach it exactly correct - given that the grandchildren don't speak czech.
  5. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    Or maybe i just cannot prounounce "banana" correctly:)
  6. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

  7. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    "babi" is common.

    "Stara mama" is grandmother in Slovak.
  8. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    Then i WAS wrong.. it sounds more like "B´nána"..
  9. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Now that just confuses it further. What the heck does B'nána" sound like? :)
  10. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    In the song you posted - i clearly hear no A sound after the fisrt B in word banana...

    btw: do you know that the second link is exactly the same as the first one?;)
  11. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    Quite right. B'nána is just how I would say it.
  12. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Sorry, let me try again.

    ok, at about 30 seconds she starts talking about bobby brown.
  13. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    The syllables [ba] and [bi] are so simple, so basic in the whole world that I am amazed some persons have problems pronouncing them.
  14. szkott

    szkott Member

    I have a question about how to pronounce babička.

    is it

    1) "ba beech ka" or
    2) "ba bitch ka"?

    (sorry about the b-word in the 2. example, but it's the only way I could get the sound right)

    and by "beech" I mean a shorter "ee" sound than is typical in English (not í).

    when my son says it, it sounds like 2., but when my niece says it, it sounds more like 1.

    I have a hard time distinguishing "a" and "á" usually, but not i and í - except sometimes the "i" sounds very short like in "dustbin" and other times not so short...

    I guess my question is: Is the Czech "i" simply a quickly spoken "í"? Or is it a completely different sound as in English (AmE, at least)?
  15. bibax

    bibax Well-Known Member

    There are (at least) two I's in the Czech pronounciation. Generally I is a close front vowel (see Wiki - IPA), but the long í is more close and front than the short i (compare dík vs. ty). It depends also on the adjacent consonants. Finally there are some regional differences (Prague, Brno, ...).

    I should say: BAH-bitch-kah.
  16. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    For me, the Czech /i/ is similar to the same vowel in French, German, Italian, Spanish, etc. The difference is that it can be punctual or long [i:]. English has no similar /i/. Compare the vowels of bit and beet in English with those of bit and bít in Czech. :)
  17. Swordslayer

    Swordslayer Well-Known Member

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