Thursday, September 21, 2006

Linguistic notes after visiting Catalonia

Catalan language has some unusual reading rules
  1. The letter "x" denotes a "sh" sound, e.g. "xocolate"
  2. Consequently, "tx" becomes "ch" sound
  3. The letter "j" is like in French (the "s" sound in "pleasure"; Russian "ж"). This is not so unusual.
  4. The letter combinations "tj" and "tg" become what "j" is in English. As in "Platja" (=beach) or "Viatges" (=voyages, travels)
  5. The letter combination "ig" denotes, unusually enough, "ch" sound, at least in the end of a word. As in the word "Passeig" (=avenue) or the name of the famous Catalan architect Puig i Cadafalch
  6. Double "l" denotes a soft "l" (Russian "ль") sound and is common in the beginning of words, as in the name of the town Lloret de Mar, name Llorenc or words like Lleo, Llimones, Llibertat
  7. When double "l" has to denote just a double "l" and not the special "ll" sound, it is spelled with the dot in the middle, as in words Paral.lel or Instal.lacion. This is very uniquely Catalan and looks so unusual to a foreigner.
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