Estonian: consonant [d]

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by rovaniemi, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. rovaniemi Junior Member

    Portuguese - Portugal
    Hi everybody!

    I have a doubt about Estonian phonology. I know there is letter d in Estonian, but I presume, maybe wrongly, that it is always pronounced as [t] and there is no [d] sound in Estonian If it's true, do estonian speakers have problems pronouncing d or distinguishing between [d] and [t] when speaking/learning other languages?

    Thank you
  2. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Finland (North)
    It is true that Estonian generally doesn't have the sounds , [d] and [g], and that the letters b, d and g stand for the sounds [p], [t] and [k] respectively (actually they're often realized somehow half-voiced and marked with [ʙ], [ᴅ] and [ɢ], but that's beside the point).

    In my experience, some Estonians do tend to pronounce English voiced plosives, that is b, d and g as (almost) voiceless. I have wondered whether it is their orthography that at least to some extent causes this. But then again, Finns do it too, although maybe a little less, since (common) Finnish has the [d] sound. I would suppose that educational and language background play a big role, too.
  3. Ulfus Junior Member

    I think those letters are pronounced very shortly and in a half-assed way and this is due to a certain reason. D,g and b are more or less pronounced the same way as in english, but since we dont pronounce our t, p and k with significant stress on it like in English (if you get what i mean, as in Ta-da!), this is done with the d g and b in order to differentiate them from the t p and k.

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