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Worldwide Guide: Numbers

by soj Wed Jun 15th, 2005 at 10:37:26 PM EST

I thought it'd be fun to create a series of introductory diaries about Europe that everyone can participate in.

One of the most wonderful (and sometimes) confusing things about Europe is all the languages spoken... from the big ones like German or French to the more obscure ones like Romansh,  Vlach, or Breton.

While nobody speaks them all, it sure helps when visiting a new place to learn a few words and among the most important are the numbers.  How else can you tell the waiter you want three more beers? ;)

Below the fold I'll start with the numbers 1-10 in Romanian.  Join the thread and post the numbers that you know, along with how to pronounce them (approximately) in English!


Romanian is a "romance" language (in more ways than one hehe) which means its a descendent of Latin.  Therefore some of the numbers will look familiar to a lot of you:

  1. unu/una (depending on gender) - oooh nu/oooh na (oooh as in "moo")
  2. doi/doua (depending on gender) - doy/dough-ah
  3. trei - tray
  4. patru - patroo
  5. cinci - cheench
  6. şase - shah-say
  7. şapte - shop-tay
  8. opt - opt
  9. noua - no-ah
  10. zece - zay-chay

BTW for those of you using Windows and want/need to add special characters, the easiest way is click START, then PROGRAMS then ACCESSORIES then SYSTEM TOOLS then CHARACTER MAP.

So... how do you count in 10 in Finnish? Czech? Gaelic? Catalan?....

Display:
This may not be as exotic as, say, Basque or Sorb, but I can lead off with German:

1 eins (the "ei" is pronounced like the "i" in "Hi".)
2 zwei stvi
3 drei dri
4 vier feer
5 fünf foonf (not quite, but English doesn't have an ü-sound)
6 sechs sex
7 sieben zeeben
8 acht oct (the "ch" is actually just as in the Scottish pronounciation "loch")
9 neun noyn
10 zehn tsayn

The number "eins" is also inflected as the indefinite article, but I will spare you the (potentially involved) grammar lesson.

Also, for those of you who know your way around multiple keyboards, you can add keyboard layouts in CONTROL PANEL -> REGIONAL AND LANGUAGE SETTINGS, "Languages" tab. A button then appears in the system tray showing the currently active language abbreviation; click here to load a different keyboard layout.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 01:02:27 AM EST
You might want to adjust your phonetic pronunciations a bit.  Tell a German that you want sex (or zex) and they're going to look at you a bit odd, especially in the south.

On a trip to Austria many years ago, a friend of mine got on an elevator.  Different people were calling out their floors to the person by the buttons.  She called out "sex, bitte" and everyone stared a bit.  Yes, she'd said "SEX, please" instead of "six, please."

I was always lousy at pronunciation, but I believe the chs sound is a bit softer than an x.  It sounds more like you're hissing towards the back of the the throat than the full stop you get with x.
by Hoya90 (hoya90jmk-at-yahoo-dot-com) on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 04:19:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well now of course you're reminding me of the classic movie "European Vacation" ;)

I've lived in more than one Spanish speaking country and to this day I still have difficulty getting people understand me when I say "tres" (3).  Usually I hold up three fingers whenever ordering 3 anything...

Approximate pronunciations are all we can do sometime ;)

Pax

Night and day you can find me Flogging the Simian

by soj on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 04:37:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I take your point about the s in sex. Zee it shall be!

I'm going to stick with the x though... Although you are correct, I suspect that difference may be a little fine for most US natives to master right off the bat.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 08:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember in German it is Sex (for sex) and sechs (for six), emphasizing the zee sound would only reinforce the problem!!

It's all in the x!!  Go with the ch as in the Scottish word Loch.  That might be enough to help most US natives.
by Hoya90 (hoya90jmk-at-yahoo-dot-com) on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 04:50:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1 Yksi      (y like the german ü)
2 Kaksi
3 Kolme   (e like 'fed')
4 Nelja     (j soft as in 'you'
5 Viisi      (double letters are always pronounced ie elongated)
6 Kuusi
7 Seitseman
8 Kahdeksan    (slight aspiration before the d)
9 Yhdeksan      (ditto)
10 Kymmenen

ALL finnish letters are ALWAYS pronounced. They are always pronounced the same - there are NO exceptions.

Making Finnish a perfect speech synthesis test platform

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 04:40:28 AM EST
.
Dutch and Flemish

  1. één - ayn
  2. twee - tway
  3. drie - dree
  4. vier - veer
  5. vijf - viyf
  6. zes - zehs
  7. zeven - zayvn
  8. acht - ahg*t
  9. negen - nayg*n
  10. tien - teen
  11. elf - ehlv
  12. twaalf - twahlv

      g* sound: "a sound like you make when you clear your throat to spit"

Never mind if it gets more difficult to choose the correct Dutch words, or get the pronunciation just right after a few drinks. The Dutch are almost all bi-lingual and many have learned the basics of German - French - English and the talented few also the classics Greek and Latin. The Dutchies who love their favorite European holiday destination, can often speak fluently Spanish, Italian or Turkic.

Dutch Pronounced!
see also:
Vermeer's World - Rembrandt - Old New York - Sailors and Ships of the 17th Century
Names and 'Old' Spelling (with Samples) - Geographical: Names of Cities, Provinces etc.
Longer Dutch Texts Read

On Pronouncing Dutch - Exercise in Dutch Pronunciation
Hebrew Words in Dutch - English, Dutch and German Words from a Common Root
... Hear Frisian Spoken

◊ Easy lesson how to insult someone - LOL
Do take care of correct pronunciation!

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by Oui on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 05:06:27 AM EST
I recall a couple of Amsterdam Dutch folks trying to teach me that glottal g-sound - they thought I was hilarious!

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 08:16:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reminds me of this page which discusses how to pronounce "Huygens", the physicist. It includes an audio file with examples from several speakers. I would have never guessed at the pronunciation. Very very interesting.

______
I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke. --Kierkegaard
by Kaitlin on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 08:40:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.
  • HUYGENS sends first Titan images

       

    Oui aka @dKos as creve coeur and new creve coeur

    USA WELCOME: Make Yourself Known @BooMan Tribune and add some cheers!

  • by Oui on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 01:36:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I've been trying to learn the g sound the past few weeks and can't get it right. Aren't there any dialects of Dutch which make it easier? Is there any way I can sort of cheat with my g's?

    You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes. --More--
    by tzt (tzt) on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 10:03:48 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    .
    Look under :  Spelling  G .
    G "a sound like you make when you clear your throat to spit"
    geel, legen, leggen, deeg, heg (ca 25K)

    [En: yellow, to empty v, to lay v, dough, hedge]

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    by Oui on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 01:17:00 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I was afraid someone would say that. :-)

    I once read somewhere that during the war the Dutch would ask suspicious persons to pronounce Scheveningen to prove their Dutchness.

    You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes. --More--

    by tzt (tzt) on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 01:31:28 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    .
    Traditional First Spelling Words at School

    aap noot mies wim zus Jet
    Teun vuur Gijs lam Kees bok
    weide does hok duif schapen
    hear MP3 (100K)

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    by Oui on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 12:52:22 PM EST
    Well, I'm not a native speaker of Russian, but I am trying to learn it, so here we go - please excuse any errors in my pronounciation.  I also sincerely hope that this cyrillic font shows up correctly on your computer, it does on mine.

    1. один - ah-deen
    2. два - dva
    3. три - tree  (roll that r)
    4. четыре - che-tir-yeh  (stress on the second syllable)
    5. пять - pyahst
    6. шесть - shayst
    7. семь - syem
    8. восемь - vosyem
    9. девять - dyea-vit
    10. десять - dyea-sit

    йцукенгшщзхъ
    фывапролджэ
    ячсмитьбю.
    by corncam on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 01:12:44 PM EST
    Looks just fine on my screen corncam.. thanks for posting this! My Russian is absolutely horrific by the way so I'm sure you're much better than I am at it ;)

    Pax

    Night and day you can find me Flogging the Simian

    by soj on Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 09:16:24 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Basque is an incredibly interesting but quite challenging language. I've been trying forever to get the whole 1-10 sequence, but for some reason I cannot for the life of me remember 8 and 9, so this is good practice for me!

    1 = bat
    2 = bi
    3 = hiru
    4 = lau
    5 = bost
    6 = sei
    7 = zazpi
    8 = zortzi
    9 = bederatzi
    10 = hamar

    And of course, the most important word is...

    beer = zerbeza or garagardoa (also: kaña = a half-pint glass of beer)

    Basque vowels = Spanish vowels; 'z' and 's' are pronounced slightly differently, but they are both kinds of s sounds--'s' is pronounced with a curled back tongue, and 'z' is pronounced with a flat tongue (like 's' in English).

    by wheylona on Fri Jun 17th, 2005 at 01:12:43 AM EST
    For those of you out there who don't speak French, here goes...

    1. un - uhn
    2. deux - duh (softly softly on the u)
    3. trois - trwah (roll that r)
    4. quatre - kaa-truh (in conversation, kat)
    5. cinq - saank
    6. six - seece (like the english geese,but raise your tongue on the 'ee' as opposed to lowering it - sometimes pronounced in conversation as see)
    7. sept - set
    8. huite - hu-eat (slur the two syllables together, and purse your lips together for the hu)
    9. neuf - nuhf
    10. dix - deece (same sound as six, but with a d as opposed to a s, and sometimes pronounced dee)

    Francophones out there are welcome to suggest phonetics improvements - some of these just don't sound quite right.
    by Scipio on Fri Jun 17th, 2005 at 03:49:18 AM EST
    While I was never clear on how to write the following out (my Hebrew education was minimal at best), counting in Hebrew is something like:

    1. eh-chad (roll the ch)
    2. shtie-im (where the tie in shtie is like the English word tie)
    3. sha-losh
    4. ar-bah
    5. ha-maysh
    6. shaysh
    7. shehvah
    8. shmonay
    9. tay-shah
    10. ess-air
    by Scipio on Fri Jun 17th, 2005 at 04:01:51 AM EST


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