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Old June 6th, 2017, 09:35 AM   #36321
keber
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Quote:
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in Croatia we have switched the last remaining 3 kV between Moravice and Jelane (around Rijeka) to 25 kV 4-5 years ago. but those are only lone projects.
That project took quite a long time with some serious difficulties (as I heard), even with only one part of a single track line and as you said "lone project" on a single track line without major branches. Even new 3kV power substation has been built 2 years ago in Slovenia close to the border because it was needed after Croatia completed conversion (I was taking part with the project).
It is too difficult to make a major conversion to 25 kV in one country or even on a significant part of a railway network.
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Old June 6th, 2017, 12:53 PM   #36322
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Something odd I've noticed in the forums is the tendency for our Slavic friends to misspell "length" as "lenght".

Neither are particularly phonetic, of course. But I would pronounce them differently. "Length" ends with that weird English th-thingy -- the one that becomes T or D in most Germanic languages and can be approximated with F -- while "lenght" comes across sounding like Lent. Literally.
Maybe because height is spelled with ht and not th. And they misspell length by analogy.

Slavic people cannot pronounce the th correctly anyway, they often replace it with t or d (sometimes with f), and when they do it, it's not so easy to see the difference.

By the way, when someone replaces th by the t, d or f sound, it sounds OK and it can be easily understood in most cases. But I have heard a Chinese pronouncing it as s. "I think" pronounced as "I sink". In such a case, it is getting weird.
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Old June 6th, 2017, 01:16 PM   #36323
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Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
Maybe because height is spelled with ht and not th. And they misspell length by analogy.

Slavic people cannot pronounce the th correctly anyway, they often replace it with t or d (sometimes with f), and when they do it, it's not so easy to see the difference.

By the way, when someone replaces th by the t, d or f sound, it sounds OK and it can be easily understood in most cases. But I have heard a Chinese pronouncing it as s. "I think" pronounced as "I sink". In such a case, it is getting weird.
You should have helped him! 😁
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Old June 6th, 2017, 10:31 PM   #36324
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I cannot pronounce th correctly either.
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Old June 6th, 2017, 11:06 PM   #36325
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Maybe because height is spelled with ht and not th. And they misspell length by analogy.

Slavic people cannot pronounce the th correctly anyway, they often replace it with t or d (sometimes with f), and when they do it, it's not so easy to see the difference.

By the way, when someone replaces th by the t, d or f sound, it sounds OK and it can be easily understood in most cases. But I have heard a Chinese pronouncing it as s. "I think" pronounced as "I sink". In such a case, it is getting weird.
Our dental fricatives -- [θ ], think "thought this" -- are so hard to pronounce not even us native speakers can do it with any real consistency. That said, they occur between the labial fricatives [f v] and alveolar ones [s z], so to a native speaker, "tink", "fink", and "sink" are all understandable approximations for "think".

The problem is that it's the kind of mistake most L2 speakers won't notice but naturally stands out to an L1 speaker. Interestingly, when you read a text, you quickly process a few heuristics -- word length and first and last letters -- and fill in the rest. I can poblarby raed tihs bteetr tahn you ... but it also makes mistakes like "lenght" stand out more, because it forces me to go back and reread something, slowing down my pace.

PS the "gh" cluster in English is the remnants of an otherwise lost consonant, [x], which most Slavic languages have. The trend was for this fricative to merge into preceding vowels, lengthening them, in the early modern period ... that's why "bright" is pronounced [bɹaɪt] today. But it also means that the "gh" cluster is almost always found after a vowel.
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Last year I took the IELTS testing. Since it is internationally covered, I was curious about the success rate by countries. Surprisingly, the worst results were from anglophone countries (English-speakers are required to pass it as well in order to apply for visa in another country). I asked my native-speaking teacher about that and he just answered laughing: "They underestimate the preparation phase because they think they know it".

Everyone does mistakes. There are pretty much things in Slovak language I am still not sure about yet.
Unlike English, though, Slovak is a phonetic language. You don't have ghost consonants and random letters and ghotis and whatnot all over the place. Easier to learn.

Last edited by hammersklavier; June 6th, 2017 at 11:21 PM.
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Old June 6th, 2017, 11:39 PM   #36326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
"Length" ends with that weird English th-thingy -- the one that becomes T or D in most Germanic languages
Even more often it becomes S or Z. I sink zis is ze most common pronunciation among ze Germans.

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Slavic people cannot pronounce the th correctly
What? That's rubbish, I pronounce it correctly and it's not hard.
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Old June 6th, 2017, 11:46 PM   #36327
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I can poblarby raed tihs bteetr tahn you
All the words were trivial to understand - except for "bteetr", in case of which I had a moment of hesitation "bl... something"? "beer"?

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PS the "gh" cluster in English is the remnants of an otherwise lost consonant, [x], which most Slavic languages have.
I sometimes watch a Polish vlog on YouTube for people learning English, and there was a whole episode about the pronunciation of ch in English. In Polish it's pronounced more or less as this [x] (we have "h" and "ch", which used to be different - "h" voiced and "ch" unvoiced - but now most people pronounce them in the same way, so now the children must learn when to spell "h" and when to spell "ch" when they hear this sound), so some Poles mispronounce it as [x] also while speaking English. Especially when the word exists also in Polish and it's practically identical. And the author of this vlog (by the way, she is a woman - it's so awkward to write about it without indicating the gender; in my language it's inherent that you do it in such a case, i.e. you write something like "authoress" instead of "author", while English doesn't even give the possibility to do it implicitly) was indicating that there is only one word in English that has this sound, and it's the word "loch" as in Loch Ness. It's a Scots word meaning a lake, but supposedly it is also present in the English dictionary, so it can be said it's an English word (loan word).

It's this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYaKtceCCCw - if you want, you may check how much Polish you understand.

In Polish, h used to be pronounced as [ɦ], while ch as [x]. Now both are (by most Poles) pronounced as [x].

By the way... why is [x] in the English spelling of cyrylic names usually represented as kh? Then people try pronouncing it as k instead of h. Wouldn't h be much better to represent it? If the "h" sound in words like hat or hallo is different from it, it's anyway quite similar, definitely much more similar than the sound normally represented by k.

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Old June 6th, 2017, 11:46 PM   #36328
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Even more often it becomes S or Z. I sink zis is ze most common pronunciation among ze Germans.
In modern realizations, yes. But you have to remember, that TH is an archaic consonant. In German and Dutch, it tends to become D (Eng. "thing" -> Ger. "Ding") while in Scandinavian languages, it tends to become T (Eng. "Thor" -> Swe. "Tor").
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Old June 6th, 2017, 11:56 PM   #36329
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There are some town names in German that contain th. Wrth near Karlsruhe or Hrth near Cologne. I believed they are pronounced as the "proper" Germanic th - but I asked a German, and according to him, it's pronounced just as "t".

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(Eng. "Thor" -> Swe. "Tor").
Does Tor in Swedish has any other meaning than a name of a mythological character? It's funny that originally it was a very powerful god, like Zeus from the Greek mythology (or at least he could also use thunders) - and Tor in German means what...? A dumb man. Or a gate.
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Old June 7th, 2017, 12:02 AM   #36330
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Dutch has a number of digraphs that may be confusing too. In the case of 'ij', if it is the first letter of the sentence or a name, both are capitalized.

So the river near my city is the IJssel and not Ijssel. In Flanders they used to write Ij but apparently they are also switching to IJ. In Dutch 'ei' and 'ij' have the same pronunciation. Y is called a 'Greek IJ' or I-Grec, but Y is not natively used in Dutch, only in names and loanwords.
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Old June 7th, 2017, 12:05 AM   #36331
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There are some town names in German that contain th. Wrth near Karlsruhe or Hrth near Cologne. I believed they are pronounced as the "proper" Germanic th - but I asked a German, and according to him, it's pronounced just as "t".


Does Tor in Swedish has any other meaning than a name of a mythological character? It's funny that originally it was a very powerful god, like Zeus from the Greek mythology (or at least he could also use thunders) - and Tor in German means what...? A dumb man. Or a gate.
"Tor" in English refers to a type of high hill found in parts of England. I believe German "Tor" is cognate to English "door" (like German "Tier" is cognate to English "deer").

Incidentally, Germans would pronounce Thor and Tor the exact same way. Der Tor des Thors ...
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Old June 7th, 2017, 12:21 AM   #36332
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Dutch has a number of digraphs that may be confusing too. In the case of 'ij', if it is the first letter of the sentence or a name, both are capitalized.

So the river near my city is the IJssel and not Ijssel. In Flanders they used to write Ij but apparently they are also switching to IJ. In Dutch 'ei' and 'ij' have the same pronunciation. Y is called a 'Greek IJ' or I-Grec, but Y is not natively used in Dutch, only in names and loanwords.
We have quite many digraphs and one trigraph in Polish, but we spell it the normal way, i.e. we make only the first letter uppercase. "ch" at the beginning of the sentence or own name becomes "Ch".

Polish took a bit different way than Czech, which usually has diacritics for what we spell as digraphs.

But we have some quite unique diacritics too, like a tail (ą, ę) indicating a nasal vowel. Some languages use a tilde for that, we have a tail. Ę is a nasalized e, but ą is not a nasalized a - it's a nasalized o. No idea, why. I guess, it was difficult graphically to add a tail to o. And a handwritten a has a "cane", to which it's easy to add it.
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Old June 7th, 2017, 01:12 AM   #36333
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All the words were trivial to understand - except for "bteetr", in case of which I had a moment of hesitation "bl... something"? "beer"?
See? That's your heuristic in action.
Quote:
By the way... why is [x] in the English spelling of cyrylic names usually represented as kh? Then people try pronouncing it as k instead of h. Wouldn't h be much better to represent it? If the "h" sound in words like hat or hallo is different from it, it's anyway quite similar, definitely much more similar than the sound normally represented by k.
I suspect it goes back to CH being the Latinization of Greek chi (X χ), which is how the digraph tends to be used in most Germanic languages, as well as Slavic languages written with Roman orthographies e.g. Polish and Czech.

In Attic Greek, chi was an aspirated K. (Aspiration occurs as an allophone in every Germanic language e.g. "kink" [kʰɪŋk].) When Greek was first transliterated to Latin, the sounds of theta, phi, and chi where understood as breathier, h-flavored variants of T, P, and C -- always a K sound in classical Latin, don't forget.

The Greek alphabet implies a three-way contrast between voiced (beta, delta, gamma), voiceless (pi, tau, kappa), and aspirated (phi, theta, chi) stops, but sometime between Attic and Koine Greek, the aspirated stops developed into fricatives: [f θ x]. As a consequence, the Latin digraphs PH, TH, and CH remapped to the fricatives they had become in Greek, and this remapping carried forward into modern languages.

However, as a result of French influence, CH in English came to represent two distinct sounds -- [x] in Greek loanwords (but not the native [x]) and an affricate, [tʃ], that developed under Old French influence, seen in words like "challenge". As [x] was lost across the board, Greek CH's became understood as [k], along with those from other Germanic and Slavic loanwords.

But the fact that one digraph maps to two distinct sounds is rather inconvenient when trying to transcribe words from different alphabets, especially if the target alphabet has two distinct letters for the different sounds your language has a single digraph for e.g. Ч vs. X). Several solutions, like tch for che, can be seen in romanizations from different periods, but in the early 20th century, reanalyzing chi CH as KH in transliteration became prevalent, probably under influence of TH and PH.

Of course, since English doesn't have the [x] sound -- to the point where loch and lock are homonyms in 9 English dialects out of 10 -- the longstanding pattern is to substitute the velar stop for the missing velar fricative, hence [k].
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Old June 7th, 2017, 01:26 AM   #36334
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So, making it short... "K" is anyway the natural way of interpreting "ch" in English. So representing the Russian "ch" (spelled "x") as "kh" makes sense - for English speakers it is a "k" sound anyway.

And the true English "h", like in "hat", is more related to the Slavic "h" (not "ch", but "h" - being, by the way, related to "g" in the Slavic languages) - do I understand it well?

By the way... looking at the Slavic "h" - "g" relationship... one can see the "ch" - "k" relationship (even though it's not visible in the Slavic languages) by analogy!

This Slavic "h" - "g" relationship is also interesting. It's seen in the name Bogdan, for example, which has also an alternative version - Bohdan. If I am not wrong, in Ukrainians many words which are spelled with "g" (it's cyrylic equivalent) are actually pronounced with "h", which is really the old-Polish voiced "h" and not the "ch"/"x" sound. There are some pairs of equivalent words spelled with "h" in one language and with "g" in another, like "horyzont" in Polish and "gorizont" in Russian, both meaning a horizon.

And... the word "horizon" is also of Greek origin. So "ch"/"x" and "h" had to be separate sounds already in Greek. You mentioned the gamma - kappa - chi triad, but I see a missing element here.

This very "h" is interesting from one more point of view. In some languages it is sometimes not pronounced. I know it happens in German, it happens in French - but also in Belarussian. Their song in this year's Eurovision - supposedly the first ever in Belarussian - was "The History of My Live". Pronounced - using the Polish spelling - like "istoria mojego życia". Or "istoria mojeho życia", I am not sure. The thing is, it's not "historia", it's "istoria". H is neglected. Or at least it sounded like that. No, I checked it, and I definitely hear "h" there. And the Latin (English) spelling of the title is with "h", but the cyrylic one... with "g".

But - well - even the English name of the letter "h" ("eich") is usually pronounced without "h", although I have heard the "heich" version too. But what they teach us on English classes in Poland is definitely "eich" and not "heich".
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Old June 7th, 2017, 01:35 AM   #36335
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So, making it short... "K" is anyway the natural way of interpreting "ch" in English. So representing the Russian "ch" (spelled "x") as "kh" makes sense - for English speakers it is a "k" sound anyway.

And the true English "h", like in "hat", is more related to the Slavic "h" (not "ch", but "h" - being, by the way, related to "g" in the Slavic languages) - do I understand it well?

By the way... looking at the Slavic "h" - "g" relationship... one can see the "ch" - "k" relationship (even though it's not visible in the Slavic languages) by analogy!
I think you're on the right track, but I don't know enough about the Slavic G or H to say whether you're exactly right.

However, in Modern Greek, gamma has subsequently developed into [ɣ], which would appear to be the H in Hrvatska or Hradec Kralove. This sound is, if anything, even more alien to English than [x]. Dutch has it, but in their own long and winding evolution there seems to be an orthographic but not phonemic distinction between between Dutch [x ɣ] (i.e. in writing the two sounds have different letters associated with them but in practice the voiced and voiceless velar fricatives occur as allophones of one another).
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Old June 7th, 2017, 01:45 AM   #36336
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And... the word "horizon" is also of Greek origin. So "ch"/"x" and "h" had to be separate sounds already in Greek. You mentioned the gamma - kappa - chi triad, but I see a missing element here.
Greek doesn't have a letter for the glottal fricative -- the Germanic H sound. The Phoenician letter for it, he, got repurposed into a vowel, eta (H η). In Attic and Koine Greek, [h] would be represented with a diacritic, but glottal fricatives are easily lost consonants and are no longer found in modern Greek.

You will rather quickly note that he stayed a consonant in the varieties that developed into the Latin alphabet.
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Old June 7th, 2017, 01:58 AM   #36337
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Dutch? I know it also has another a very weird and specific to that language only "thrilling" version of "h".

By the way, about the pronunciation of "ch" in different languages... Swedish is definitely a Germanic language. If I remember well, "and" in Swedish is "och". Pronounced as something like "ock" (or "ok", but not "okay", just "ok").

But about the "g"... don't they pronounce the "ig" connection as "ij"/"iy" or something like that? And Linkping is "linshopping"...
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Old June 7th, 2017, 02:06 AM   #36338
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Dutch? I know it also has another a very weird and specific to that language only "thrilling" version of "h".

By the way, about the pronunciation of "ch" in different languages... Swedish is definitely a Germanic language. If I remember well, "and" in Swedish is "och". Pronounced as something like "ock" (or "ok", but not "okay", just "ok").

But about the "g"... don't they pronounce the "ig" connection as "ij"/"iy" or something like that? And Linkping is "linshopping"...
I know very little about Swedish, but very little of that surprises me. "Ok" for "and" occurs in Old Norse, and there's a long history of k --> s or k --> ʃ, often as a trend involving vowel fronting and palatalization of the preceding consonants. (This is, by the way, where we get the weird behavior of Romance/English C and G.)
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Old June 7th, 2017, 02:31 AM   #36339
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In modern realizations, yes. But you have to remember, that TH is an archaic consonant. In German and Dutch, it tends to become D (Eng. "thing" -> Ger. "Ding") while in Scandinavian languages, it tends to become T (Eng. "Thor" -> Swe. "Tor").
Sorry, I thought you were talking about pronunciation.

PS: English-speaking people have difficulties pronouncing "hv", they just say [v] instead. For example in the Croatian island of Hvar, or hvala (meaning 'thanks' in Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian).
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Old June 7th, 2017, 02:54 AM   #36340
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Do the Serbo-Croatian languages use the same letter (just "h") to write both the former "ch" and "h" sounds?

Because the equivalent of "hvala" in Polish is "chwała". Not meaning "thank you", but still meaning "glory".
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