Re: Pronunciation question - "G" Russian vs. Belarusian #belarus #russia


Carole Shaw
 

There is no real H sound in Russian, and possibly in Byelorussian, as we know it in English/German.  What comes close is the sound Kh in Russian (pronounced like the German ch) and represented by the Cyrillic letter X but it is usually not used to represent the English H.  Instead the Cyrillic Г – hard G – is used.  Thus Herman becomes German (hard G), Harry becomes Gari and Hertz would become Gertz etc.

 

Interestingly, other Slavonic languages, e.g. Czech, have many words beginning with H where one would find a G sound in Russian. Thus the recent threads on JewishGen re Horodok/Gorodok.  In some regions of Russia, i.e. in the south, the local dialect replaces the hard initial Russian G with an H sound.  Pop group (groopa) becomes hroopa.  G, Kh and H phonetically are produced close by in the mouth.  G is a voiced velar plosive. Kh sound is a voiceless velar fricative. H is a voiceless glottal fricative.

 

Carole Shaw, London UK
SCHNEIDER: Kamanets Podolsk, Ukraine & Libava/ Libau/Liepaja, Latvia
KLUGMAN, GOLDSCHMID (plus variations), BRAUER: Libava/Libau/Liepaja, Latvia & Johannesburg
ROSENTHAL, ZUSCHNEIDER/CUSZNAJDER: Lublin, Poland
GREENBERG, BRZOZA/BJOZHA, SOBERSKI: Lomza/Nowogrod, Poland
SAMSON, BLIK: Amsterdam, Zandvoort, Holland

WOLFSBERGEN, BOSMAN: Holland

ZANDGRUNDT (plus variations), SANDGROUND: Warsaw, London and beyond

JACOBOVITCH/JACKSON: Staszow, Poland & London

KOSKOVITCH/KENTON: Staszow, Poland & London

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