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Thread: Does "g" = "v"?

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    Does "g" = "v"?

    I know that typically the "g" makes a "g" sound, but does it ever make a "v" sound, as in Russian? The pronoun njega (which resembles the Russian него), for instance? Is it pronounced just like it's spelt (nyega) or with the "v" sound (like nyeva)?
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    I would bet it's /g/. That Russian thing is unique to East Slavic (R, U, BR). West Slavic keeps the /g/ e.g. polskiego /pol'sk'ego/. So does Serbian, another South Slavic language.

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    chaika is correct. njega (and short form ga) is pronounced exactly as written, with a g-sound, not a v-sound.
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    OK! Thanks to both of you guys!
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    I would bet it's /g/. That Russian thing is unique to East Slavic (R, U, BR). West Slavic keeps the /g/ e.g. polskiego /pol'sk'ego/. So does Serbian, another South Slavic language.
    It is actually just unique to Russian. In Belarussian and Ukrainian, the letter Г always = h.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    In Belarussian and Ukrainian, the letter Г always = h.
    Sometimes Ukrainian (and Belarussian) Г = g. In modern spelling Ґ used.

    Гайдеґґер (Heidegger)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wowik
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    In Belarussian and Ukrainian, the letter Г always = h.
    Sometimes Ukrainian (and Belarussian) Г = g. In modern spelling Ґ used.

    Гайдеґґер (Heidegger)
    Well! In Ukrainian Г should always be h. Ґ is G and is a seperate letter. The official Ukrainian alphabet goes А Б В Г Ґ Д (A B V H G)

    In Belarussian however the letter Ґ does exist but is non official (the letter was not allowed in the Soviet Union apparently, in both Ukrainian and Belarussian), Ukrainian made it official again after independance and there is still debate over the matter regarding Belarussian. So in Belarussian, Г may be G (when it would be the letter Ґ). The official Belarussian alphabet goes А Б В Г Д like the Russian.

    But words with Ґ are very rare in both languages and mostly either foreign names or borrowed words. 99.99% perhaps even 100% of native Slavic words with the letter Г have an h sound. It's like the letter Г developed a G sound in Russian, but H sound in Ukrainian and Belarussian.

    It is interesting that in other Slavic languages there is a difference between G and H.

    Where you find Г in Russian you usually find G in Polish, but in Czech and Slovak you find H.

    E.g. Град - Hrad in Czech
    Голуб - Holub in Czech


    Probably the most common word starting with Ґ in Ukrainian is ґрунт which means ground and entered Ukrainian diretly from German.

    Ґ is quite interesting. I have a big orange dictionary printed in the 1950s made by a Ukrainian living in Canada (Canada has a large Ukrainian diaspora). In the dictionary there is a proper page for Ґ. If you look Ukrainian stuff printed actually in Ukraine around that same time, you will notice that Ґ is absent. It was removed in 1933. I have a Self-teaching Ukrainian book from the 1970s (so printed in Soviet Ukraine) and Ґ does not exist according to the book. It just says Г is usually pronounced h but may sometimes be pronounced g. Then if you look at stuff printed in Ukraine post independance you will notice Ґ has returned.

    The reason for Ґ being removed is believed to be so that the languages would be more like Russian.

    The G sound is not really a proper Ukrainian and Belarussian sound as it doesn't occur in many native words.

    An annoying thing happened in a Ukrainian examination and there was a handwriting test. The examiner only went a put a Ґ in the text; I'd never written it in cursive before and didn't know what it looked like. If it was the same as a cursive Г but with a hook on it, or did it look different. Turns out it

    But anyway! In standard Ukrainian and Belarussian the Г in the genitive endings never becomes V:

    голос - holos (voice)
    великого - velykoho (from великий - big, large, great)
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    In Serbian the word for "mountain" is gora, but in Czech it's hora. Is the G pronounced like an H in Serbian?

    And in Russian, words that begin with H in English start with G in Russian. Like Hawaii is Гаваий (or something like that, but I know it starts with a Г)

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