YOUR QUICK AND
EASY KEY TO THE PRONUNCIATION OF AFRIKAANS WORDS
SPEAK AFRIKAANS WITHIN MINUTES!
(PART 2 OF TUTORIAL)
§ Note: Using the key below as a phonetic guide could enable you to
pronounce the Afrikaans phrases in the list on the next pages with a
remarkable amount of accuracy. The compiler readily admits that it
has been designed to assist the layman and as such could not have the
precision of the international phonetic alphabet for which a much more
detailed study is required. Having said that, you are invited to put this
method to the test. You'll be amazed by the speed with which you learn
to say things in Afrikaans -- literally within minutes!
IF YOU NEED HELP: See end of this page *)
HINT: Copy this key page onto your printer. Then keep the
printout handy when proceding to page with phrases.
Key to pronunciation:
ah - vowel as in Eng. are, arm, bar, father, palm.
ah' - vowel as ``ah'' but short -- as in cup, dumb, dunce,
aw - vowel as in bought, caught, port.
ay - diphthong as in day, pray, stay.
b - as in Eng.
d - as in Eng.
eah - vowel as in dear, clear, here, near, beer.
euh - vowel as above in dear, clear, here, but with pouting lips,
rather like the ö or oe sound in German (Goethe).
eh - vowel sound as in chair, fair, bare, dare in some regions
but in many others rather more as in bat, hat, flat.
Actually the two sounds are so intermingled that they
could present a problem in any thorough study of Afrikaans.
HOWEVER, FOR THE TOURIST MERELY WANTING TO TEACH HIMSELF A NUMBER OF PHRASES IT WOULD CERTAINLY SUFFICE TO USE THE SOUND AS IN ``CHAIR'' THROUGHOUT.
e - vowel as the ``e'' in baker, butter, gather, etc.
ee - vowel as in deed, field, shield, machine.
ee' - vowel as in cricket, ditch, kitty, lick, tinker.
f - consonant - as the ``f'' in film, fortune, funny.
g - as in girl, good, guest. Not frequently used in Afrikaans.
Notable exceptions are the plural of certain nouns ending
in ``x'', e.g. b/eh/r/x (mountain) and b/eh/r/g/e
h - as in Eng. but with much less ``breathing out''
i - diphthong as in I or eye, abide, hide, ride, etc.
i' - as ``i'' but shortened - as in bite, kite, knight, fight.
k - as in Eng. - keep, key, kind, kitchen.
l - as in Eng.
m - as in Eng.
n - as in Eng. (for practical purposes). Afrikaans has a
distinct form of nasalisation resulting in the virtual
disappearance of the ``n'' sound inside many words, rather
as in French. But in certain areas with a strong English
influence, e.g. round Port Elizabeth, this form tends to
fade away. For the purpose of this booklet nasalisation has
been ignored because many English-speaking people find it
extremely difficult to imitate. As some Afrikaners
themselves do not nasalise, people would hardly frown upon
anyone learning their language who doesn't. In a more
thorough study of Afrikaans it would of course be another
ng - as in ding, ring, song.
oah - vowel as in moor, poor, sure.
oah'ee - diphthong sounding rather like Eng. ``oy'' in ``boy''
but elongated: a contraction of the sounds oah and the
oh - as in oh!
oo - vowel as in good, moon, shoot, soup.
oo' - as above but short: foot, wool, bull, bush.
oo'ee - diphthong as in Louis, cooey, shoeing, but shortened.
p - as in Eng. but with much less ``breathing out''
r - the rolling ``r'' as in Scottish. But if you cannot
pronounce it, you will probably be fully onderstood if you
use the Eng. ``r''. However, do remember this ``r'' is
s - as in Eng.
t - as in Eng.
ue - vowel sounding like ee said with pouting lips, as the
German ü in Führer.
uh - rather like Eng. vowel in burn, turn, bird, but
uh'ee - diphtong combining uh and the short ee'. Sounds like ay
said with pouting lips.
v - as in Eng.: various, veto, vote.
w - as in Eng.: water, wool, worth.
x - like the ``ch'' in German ``ach'' and Scottish ``loch''.
English-speaking people may well find this very difficult
to pronounce. Try saying ``k'' with a rasping sound -- or
even ``sh'' right at the back of your throat -- but don't
overstrain you voice. If you simply cannot say ``x'' you
will probably be reasonably understood if you use ``k''
y - the consonant as in yawn, yes, yo-yo.
Before going to the Afrikaans phrases on the next page, you may
want to see how this kind of phonetics works with a few
English sentences. Stressed syllables in polysyllabic words
are printed orange:
• We like Mary but we do not like to hear her speak.
[W/ee] [l/i'/k] [M/eh/r/ee'] [b/ah'/t] [w/ee] [d/oo] [n/ah'/t] [l/i'/k] [t/oo] [h/eah] [h/uh] [s/p/ee/k].
• Would you say you are truly stunned seeing us all here today?
[W/oo/d] [y/oo] [s/ay] [y/oo] [ah] [t/r/oo/l/ee'] [s/t/ah'/n/d] [s/ee/ee'/ng] [ah'/s] [aw/l] [h/eah] [t/oo/d/ay]?
• Once upon a time in a far, far distant country a girl named Nameless dwelt.
[W/ah'/n/s] [e/p/aw/n] [e] [t/i/m] [ee'/n] [e] [f/ah], [f/ah] [d/e/s/t/e/n/t] [k/ah'/n/t/r/ee'] [e] [g/uh/l] [n/ay/m/d] [N/ay/m/l/e/s] [d/w/eh/l/t].
OK -- now onwards to the phrases page --
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