Pronounciation J, G

Discussion in 'Català (Catalan)' started by orca, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. orca

    orca Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew

    I need some help with translating (transliterating) certain words in Catalan.

    * I've just read a thread about J here. Most of it is in Catalan, but I understand it's always like the French J. yes? Still, some wrote in that thread that there are places where it is pronounced differently. S0 - if I'm translating Los Herederos de la Tierra - would someone suggest to me which transliteration to use? Most of the plot takes place in Barcelona, though there are of course references to Valencia and Aragon.

    Jonqueres (the monastery)
    el rey Juan

    Genís (a name)

    Roger (a name)

    I'm translating into Hebew but if you give me examples from English, Spanish, Italian or French (to make it clear how it should sound), I'll manage.

    Thank you!
  2. Dymn Senior Member

    Catalan (native) & Castilian
    J is pronounced /ʒ/ (like French) in most Catalan dialects, including Catalonia and Balearic Islands. It is however pronounced as an affricate /dʒ/ (like Italian) in most of Valencian Country, and /tʃ/ (like ch in English or Spanish) around Valencia city itself. I suggest you use /ʒ/ if most of the plot takes place in Barcelona.

    IPA and approximate transcriptions in Spanish and French:

    /ʒuŋˈkeɾəs/, yunqueres, jounquéres
    /ʒuˈan/, yuán, jouane
    /ʒəˈnis/, yenís, genisse
    /ruˈʒe/, ruyé, rougé

    Taking a look at the Hebrew alphabet, I think "zayin with a geresh" is the most adequate.
  3. orca

    orca Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew
    Yes, Zayin with a geresh is just what I had in mind :)

    But just to be sure - since I have no clue what these signs mean - (my bad) - in all the names I gave, J and GE sound the same?

    But wait! Roger as you wrote it sounds different in other ways as well!
    O is OU?
    and the R is silent at the end??

    Are there other silent letters at the end of words? Is there a friendly site / source where I can get these basics quickly without having to take a course in Catalan?
  4. Dymn Senior Member

    Catalan (native) & Castilian
    Yes, they sound the same, French J.

    Unstressed o is /u/ in Central Catalan. Same for the o's in Joan and Jonqueres.

    R is silent at the end, exactly, this may also happen with other names.

    However, if you transliterated it as "rojer", with o and r, I don't think there would be any problem. Hebrew Wikipedia transcribes «Roger Grimau» as «רוג'ר גרימאו», I don't know how to read it. Russian Wikipedia uses «Рожер», which maintains the o and r. That's OK for me.

    I don't know about sites for basic pronunciation, but anyway I'll list it myself:
    • C is /s/ before e and i. Same for Ç in all situations (e.g. Barça = Barsa).
    • G is /ʒ/ (French J) before e and i. Same for J in all situations.
    • TG and TJ is /ʤ/ (English J, Italian G before e and i).
    • LL is /ʎ/ (Italian GLI or Portuguese LH, in some dialects Spanish LL). A kind of "y" would suffice is no /ʎ/ is present in Hebrew.
    • NY is /ɲ/ (Spanish Ñ, French GN).
    • X is /ʃ/ (French CH, English SH).
    • TX is /ʧ/ (Spanish and English CH). Final IG is also /ʧ/ (e.g. Roig = Roch).
    • S between vowels is /z/ (like French and Italian).
    • SS is /s/ (like French).
    • RR is /r/ (like Spanish).
    • QU is /k/ before e, i (like Spanish), but /kw/ before a, o, u.
    • GU is /g/ before e, i (like Spanish), but /gw/ before a, o, u.
    As for vowels and final r, you can simply transcribe all vowels as they are written (a=a, e=e, i=i, etc., I think Hebrew has five vowels), and always write R's, even if final Rs are often omitted.
  5. Penyafort

    Penyafort Senior Member

    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    I agree with Dymn in almost everything. But initial J (or GE-/GI-) is not always 'French j' in Catalonia. In fact, the whole Western/Southern area (Lleida, Tortosa) as well as the Tarragona area (considered Eastern), do it as 'Italian gi-', even if it may individually vary because speakers are aware of it being pronounced as the French j in the standard.

    For the OP purposes, though, if the plot takes place in Barcelona, then the French j is assumed, at least concerning modern Catalan. (But Aragon and Valencia being part of the Western Catalan area would make Italian gi-. And if we really get perfectionist, since it takes place in a medieval context, the Italian-like sound could be an option too, as the French-like didn't happen in Old Catalan)
  6. Dymn Senior Member

    Catalan (native) & Castilian

    I took this map as a guide, which only indicated some parts of Terres de l'Ebre with /ʤ/. I for one am from Camp de Tarragona and pronounce it with /ʤ/ after a pausa or most consonants, but /ʒ/ after a vowel or an r. Or so I think. But since I wasn't sure of the dialectal distribution and saw that map I didn't want to elaborate more.

    In any case, for the OP, French J, period.
  7. ernest_

    ernest_ Senior Member

    Catalan, Spain
    We don't know for sure that the pronunciation of /o/ was u for these particular words in the period in which the book is set though, because the shift of unstressed /o/ to u was gradual and was not complete until the 1500s:


    Excerpt from: Fonètica històrica del català / Daniel Recasens i Vives
  8. orca

    orca Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew
    Wow! Thank you so much, you're unbelievable!
  9. orca

    orca Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew
    Sorry, another thing - what about T at the end of words?
    like in the word Sant (Damià, or whatever).
    Do I hear it or does it sound like San?

    And... what about B? like abuela, banana, or like V ?

    La Ribera, for instance.

    I hope my question is clear, since I know that in spanish many times V sounds like B, so think of the English B (Barcelona) versus V (Venice).
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  10. orca

    orca Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew
  11. ernest_

    ernest_ Senior Member

    Catalan, Spain
    In most parts of Catalonia /v/ has merged with /b/ so there's no distinction in pronunciation between written b and v. Final t is dropped in groups -lt -nt in word-final position (molt, vent), but generally not after other consonants (fort, cost) in the same context. None of this applies to Balearic Catalan or Valencian though.
  12. orca

    orca Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew

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