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Thread: I'm confused with voiced consonants

  1. #1
    kib
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    I'm confused with voiced consonants

    Hello everybody!
    I know, that the consonant 'd' at the end of the word 'bad' (when there's a pause after it) is not like the one in the word 'buddy' - it's almost voiceless (but most people who I've listen to, I suppose, pronounced them with no voice) What I would like to know is what voiced consonants would be like if there's a voiceless one after them? For example 'absolutely' or 'with Scotland Yard'. It seems to me that they should be completely voiceless in rapid speech, but you can pronounce them otherwise if you speak slowly. Am I right?
    Я изучаю английский язык и поэтому делаю много ошибок. Но я не прошу Вас исправлять их, Вы можете просто ткнуть меня носом в них, или, точнее, пихнуть их мне в глаза. I'm studying English, and that's why I make a lot of mistakes. But I do not ask you to correct them, you may just stick my nose into them or more exactly stick them into my eyes.
    Всё, что не делается, не всегда делается к лучшему
    Но так же не всегда всё, что не делается, не делается не к худшему. : D

  2. #2
    Увлечённый спикер
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    I'm not sure if I understand what you are asking. The best answer I can provide with my understanding is this:

    In English, many people will pronounce it differently, because there is such a wide variety of dialects. In reference to your example: "Bad" and "Buddy", as I read those two words out loud, the "d" in both of those words sounds the same to me.

    To answer your question about how they are pronounced while speaking quickly or slowly, it should not make a difference. It may just sound differently, because when you speak rapidly, sounds tend to blend more.

    I hope that those answers make sense.

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    I agree that the "d" sounds in "buddy" and "bad" are different, but I don't agree that the "d" sound in "bad" is voiceless -- rather, it is unaspirated (there's not a puff of air when you pronounce it), while the "d" is "buddy" is relatively aspirated. (Though not as strongly aspirated as the "d" in "door" or "doctor".)

    Note that voiced-ness and voiceless-ness relate to the vocal cords in the throat, while aspirated-ness relates to the amount of air released through the lips when a consonant is pronounced.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    English has voiced consonants before silence as well as voiceless consonants, unlike Russian.
    absolute (Eng.) vs. Absolut (Russian) (a brand of vodka) -- the first has /bs/ the second has /ps/.

    Americans pronounce them both the same, btw.

  5. #5
    Властелин
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, when you say 'bad' it's voiced; and the meaning is 'not well, not good'. If you say 'bat' (voiceless), you have an animal or a stick (so the meaning changes). That's a classic mistake Russians make. I remember asking one Russian guy to make his last sound voiced in the word 'as'; otherwise it sounded like in 'ass'. (Instead of 'as I know' it was 'ass I know' due to his phonetic mistakes).

    I think Russian speakers should at first develop a habit of making all consonants voiced in such instances as 'bad, bed, hub, mug, etc."; it's just a most classic mistake due to our Russian rule of making all sounds at the end voiceless.

    Another example I remember is when a Russian said 'room maid' with a voiceless 'd'. So everyone was thinking she meant 'roommate'.

  6. #6
    kib
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    Thank you all for your answers. But there's still something that I don't understand. And that's why I'd like to ask you to do something else for me. Here's a rhyme (стихотворение) and some fragments from it. Could you tell me what sounds do you hear in the fragments? In the fragments called 'noise1' 'with Scotland Yard' and 'waves' I hear voiceless consonants in spite of the rules as I know them. And only 'wind' is pronounced with voiced consonant as it it should be.
    I'm sorry for being annoying, but it really confuses me. I myself try to pronounce according to the rules. That is, I say [noiz] [wind] [weivz] and try to say a[bs]solutely and wi[ð] Scotland though it's really difficult, especialy when I speak quite quickly. And of course I do pronounce voiced consonants in cases like as I know (ass I know is really funny)
    Я изучаю английский язык и поэтому делаю много ошибок. Но я не прошу Вас исправлять их, Вы можете просто ткнуть меня носом в них, или, точнее, пихнуть их мне в глаза. I'm studying English, and that's why I make a lot of mistakes. But I do not ask you to correct them, you may just stick my nose into them or more exactly stick them into my eyes.
    Всё, что не делается, не всегда делается к лучшему
    Но так же не всегда всё, что не делается, не делается не к худшему. : D

  7. #7
    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Exactly. In Russian there are two phenomena concerned with voiced and voiceless sounds which are absent in English. Making voiced consonants voiceless at eh end of syllables is one. One which my native German shares, so it's a typical mistakes we Germans make as well when speaking English. And then in Russian consonant groups the last consonant decides whether the group as such is voiced or voiceless, so that сделать has a voiced first consonant, even though с as such is voiceless. That is absent from English as well, and absent from German. In English, a voiced consonant is always voiced and a voicless always voiceless, regardless of position and environment. Though dialects may vary!
    Спасибо за исправления!

    Вам нравится этот форум, и вы изучаете немецкий язык? Вот похожий форум о немецком языке.

  8. #8
    kib
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    Oops...
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Я изучаю английский язык и поэтому делаю много ошибок. Но я не прошу Вас исправлять их, Вы можете просто ткнуть меня носом в них, или, точнее, пихнуть их мне в глаза. I'm studying English, and that's why I make a lot of mistakes. But I do not ask you to correct them, you may just stick my nose into them or more exactly stick them into my eyes.
    Всё, что не делается, не всегда делается к лучшему
    Но так же не всегда всё, что не делается, не делается не к худшему. : D

  9. #9
    kib
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    And the rest.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Я изучаю английский язык и поэтому делаю много ошибок. Но я не прошу Вас исправлять их, Вы можете просто ткнуть меня носом в них, или, точнее, пихнуть их мне в глаза. I'm studying English, and that's why I make a lot of mistakes. But I do not ask you to correct them, you may just stick my nose into them or more exactly stick them into my eyes.
    Всё, что не делается, не всегда делается к лучшему
    Но так же не всегда всё, что не делается, не делается не к худшему. : D

  10. #10
    Властелин
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    it is unaspirated (there's not a puff of air when you pronounce it), while the "d" is "buddy" is relatively aspirated. (Though not as strongly aspirated as the "d" in "door" or "doctor".)
    They are all unaspirated. Voiced consonants can't be aspirated in English, and Englishmen cannot pronounce them while speaking Hindi without special training for example.

  11. #11
    Властелин
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    Making voiced consonants voiceless at eh end of syllables is one
    In Russian it happens only at the end of words, not all the syllables.

  12. #12
    Властелин
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    Короче, в реальной речи в англ. происходит оглушение звуков кое-где. надо слушать тексты, там слышно.

  13. #13
    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Kib, as a native American speaker, I'm not certain I understand what your concern is here. I've listened to the clips you've attached and they are all correct, even with the British accents. I don't hear anything incorrectly pronounced. Now when the female says "the rush of the wind" she is putting just a tad more emphasize on the word "wind" than one might normally and that might be for dramatic effect, but it's not that much.

    Why don't you make a quick recording of yourself saying the words and expressions you are concerned about, post it for us and we can then give you feedback.
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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