The Djao'Mor'Terra Collective (fayanora) wrote in linguaphiles,
The Djao'Mor'Terra Collective

Banging my head

So I'm trying to figure out the pronunciations of certain Navajo words for a novel of mine that has Navajo characters in it, and I'm getting a little confused by some of the things this site is saying. Here's one:

I/i - Like the i in hit or the i in police.

What the FRACK? The I in hit and the I in police are TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SOUNDS! The first is IH, while the second is EE. What is this person trying to say? At first I thought they were pronouncing "police" as "poh-lyse" rather than "poh-lease" (which would be hilarious, comparing police to little blood-sucking parasites), but given that the name of the Navajo people is Diné and I know for a fact that that is pronounced dean-AY, this means the site writer pronounces the English word "hit" as "heat." WTF???

Then there's this letter: ł . The site I'm on says this:

"This sound is a lateral fricative that doesn't really exist in English. The Navajo pronunciation sounds like the "ll" in the Welsh name "Llewellyn." Some English speakers can pronounce it well if they try to pronounce the "breathy l" in the word clue without the c in front of it."

What the FRACK does any of that even MEAN? The LL in Llewellyn is just a fracking L! I even checked with other sites that provide spoken pronunciations of words to verify that the LL in Llwellyn is just an L.

And what does "breathy L" even mean??? Also, I try saying "clue" without the C, and it's just "loo." To add to the confusion, another site said the word "Łizhin" is pronounced clih-djihn, meaning ł is said like cl, which contradicts the above. So... what the fraggedy frack? (Oh, and if the I in Navajo words is EE, shouldn't that be clee-djeen?)

Oh and I have no fracking idea how nasal vowels are supposed to work. Their explanation doesn't help me, their examples, French words with nasal vowels, all end in consonants, I don't know how to remove the consonants to say the vowels.
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