Catalan: Vocabulary and Useful Expressions (2/3)

Pronunciation

In Catalan, as in French but unlike in Spanish, words are run together, so si us plau (please) is more like ‘sees-plow’.

à at the end of a word (as in Francesc Macià) is an open ‘a’ rather like ‘ah’, but very clipped

ç, and c before an ‘i’ or an ‘e’, are like a soft ‘s’, as in ‘sit’; c in all other cases is as in ‘cat’

e, when unstressed as in cerveses (beers), or Jaume I, is a week sound like the second ‘e’ in ‘centre

g before ‘i’ or ‘e’ and j are pronounced  like the ‘s’ in ‘pleasure’; tg and tj are similar to the ‘dg‘ in ‘badge’

g after an ‘i’ at the end of a word, as in puig, is a hard ‘ch’ sound, as in ‘watch‘; g in all other cases is as in ‘get’

h is silent

ll is somewhere between the ‘y’ in ‘yes’ and the ‘lli‘ in ‘million’

l.l the most unusual feature of Catalan spelling, has a slightly stronger stress on a single ‘l’ sound, so paral.lel sounds similiar to the English ‘parallel’

o at the end of a word is like the ‘u‘ sound in ‘flu‘; ó at the end of a word is similar to the ‘o‘ in ‘tomato‘; ò is like the ‘o‘ in ‘hot’

r beginning a word and rr are heavily rolled; but at the end of many words are almost silent, so carrer sounds like ‘carr-ay’

s at the beginning and end of words and ss between vowels are soft, as in ‘sit’; a single s between two vowels is a ‘z‘ sound, as in ‘lazy’

t after ‘l‘ or ‘n‘ at the end of a word is almost silent

x at the beginning of a word, or after a consonant or the letter ‘i’, is like the ‘sh‘ in ‘shoe’, and at other times as in ‘expert’

y after an ‘n‘ at the end of a word or in nys is not a vowel but adds a nasal stress and a y-sound to the ‘n’

 

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