Slovak  for foreigners, Pronunciation guide, lesson 4

Soft spelling rule                                                         

Before e,í  and i you usually pronounce d, t, n, l as soft ď, ť, ň, ľ. In othe words the soft sign is omitted in the spelling :

ď    dedina, sedem, vidím                            

ť     otec, deti, tisíc            

ň     nemá, nič

Voiced and  voiceless sounds

In each of these pairs the first consonant letter is normally voiced in pronunciation(with humming vocal chords) the second is its nearest voiceless equivalent.

b-p, d-t, ď-ť, g-k, h-ch, v-f, z-s, ž-š, dz-c, dž- č

The voiced consonant letters are normally pronounced voicesly at the end of the word (before a pause).

Dub (dup), hrad (hrat), sneh (snech), muž (muš)             

The same happens to these consonants when followed by one of the voiceless consonants in this list:

Včera (fčera), vták (fták), ľahký (ľachkí), ťažký (ťaškí)

The reverse occurs in certain words, where the first  consonant becomes voiced to match the second:

Kde(gde), prosba (prozba), but not before v: svoj ( svoj ) one´s own

 

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