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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Welcome to AfrikaansPod101.com. This is Pronunciation, Lesson 3: The Pronunciation of Consonants in Afrikaans. I’m Eric.
Pieter: Hallo my naam is Pieter. I’m Pieter.
Eric: This lesson will give insight into how Afrikaans uses single and double consonants, and how to pronounce them. Let's start with the single consonants.
Pieter: Before we begin, listeners, please keep in mind that in this lesson we’ll be focusing on the way consonants are pronounced in words, not when said as a single letter.
Eric: Also, it’s a good idea to have the lesson notes open as you listen along. Let’s get started! In Afrikaans, we have 20 consonants.
Pieter: The good news is that most of the single consonants in Afrikaans sound the same as in English.
Eric: Great, so we can skip them!
Pieter: There are only 3 consonants that do sound different. They are the letters G, J and R. We’ll start with the letter G.
Eric. The letter “G”, in Afrikaans, has a sound you won’t easily forget.
Pieter: ggggggg
Eric: Yes, it’s a sound you’ll hear a lot in Afrikaans but never really in English.
Pieter: It’s difficult because it’s produced from the back of your throat.
Eric: And it’s a voiceless sound, so your vocal chords aren’t supposed to vibrate
Pieter: The Afrikaans G is a "fricative", meaning that it’s produced by passing air through the partly constricted opening in your mouth.
Eric: It all sounds a bit difficult, but I have a good tip for our listeners.
Pieter: What’s that?
Eric: Gargling!
Pieter: What!?
Eric; Well, to pronounce the G like a native Afrikaans speaker, you should try making a sound as if you were gargling.
Pieter: It sounds kind of gross, but you're right! That’s exactly what it sounds like!
Eric: Let's practice a bit. Ok Pieter?
Pieter: Goed!
Eric: (laughs) yes that’s a good example. In English, this word means “good” or “OK”
Pieter: Goed
Eric: One more; What’s “Yellow” in Afrikaans?
Pieter: It’s Geel. Once more, geel
Eric: This sound isn’t common in English, so you should practice it a lot to get used to it.
Pieter: Is the next letter gonna be this difficult too?
Eric: No, don’t worry, the letter J is not too hard. It sounds a bit like the letter “Y” in the word “May”. Ok let's see it in a word. “Yes” in Afrikaans would be
Pieter: Ja, ja
Eric: Let’s take my friend’s name, Jacob, as an example.
Eric: In English it would be Jacob (a pronounced as in ay in “way”), but in Afrikaans
Pieter: it’s Jacob. The last letter Eric mentioned was the letter R.
Eric: This sounds a bit different from the English “R”.
Pieter: The Afrikaans R makes your tongue vibrate.
Eric: It's pronounced more in the front of the mouth.
Pieter: The Afrikaans R sounds more like the Spanish “R”
Eric: Have you been to that promenade in Barcelona?
Pieter: Las Ramblas?
Eric: Yeah, let’s practice with the letter R. Listeners, please repeat after Pieter; “Randfontein”
Pieter: Randfontein, Randfontein
Eric: which is a city in South African. And now, “Red”
Pieter: Rooi. Okay, next let’s move on to double consonants that have a single sound; NG which is “N” and “G” together, and SJ, which is made up of “S” and “J” together.
Eric: Let's start with “NG”. It sounds like the “NG” in the word English word 'thing'
Pieter: Yes, not like the “NG” in the English word 'stranger'
Eric: So to take that English word, “thing”, what would it be in Afrikaans?
Pieter: Ding, ding
Eric: And now our last combo, SJ, which sounds like the “SH” in “Ship,”
Pieter: “Shhh.” This is also useful when you want someone to be quiet.
Eric: Yeah, but we don’t want you guys to be quiet! Please repeat after Pieter. The Afrikaans word for “scarf' is...
Pieter: sjaal, sjaal. Ok this brings us to some consonant combos that create separate sounds. They are NK made up of “N and K”, KN made up of “K and N”, and PS, which is made up of “P and S”.
Pieter: The first one is easy – it sounds like the “NK” in “Link” in English. For example. Ek dink jy sal sink
Eric: (laughs) Nice rhyme! Pieter just said, “I think you will sink”.
Pieter: Yes, ek dink jy sal sink. Next is KN, where you will hear both sounds separately.
Eric: What’s “knee” in Afrikaans?
Pieter: Knie, knie
Eric: And the last one is PS. Make sure to pronounce the P and S separately
Pieter: Okay
Eric: How about 'psychologist'
Pieter: That would be psycholoog
Eric: Great! That's it for this lesson, everyone! Boy, my mouth hurts from all that pronouncing!
Pieter: Thanks for sticking with us, listeners!
Eric: Premium members, remember, you can use the review track to perfect your pronunciation.
Pieter: Available in the premium section of the website,
Eric: and through iTunes via the premium feed,
Pieter: the Review Track gives you vocabulary and phrases followed by a short pause so you can repeat the words aloud.
Eric: It’s the best way to get good fast!
Pieter: Okay, that's it for this lesson.
Eric: Bye!
Pieter: Totsiens!