alef, ayin, (hearing)
ButhFam at compuserve.com
Wed Jan 23 03:30:25 EST 2002
Your question represents a common perspective that needs a better
answer than you've been taught.
>I was taught that Alef and ayin should be thaught of as silent until I get
>fluent. Where can I hear them pronounced on the WEB?<
First of all, `ayin is very much vocal in the speech of someone who
fluently uses it in their dialect. It is the voiced counterpart to a
true Het (voiceless pharyngeal fricative with retracted tongue root).
But if you were taught that `ayin is silent you were probably taught a khaf
a substitute for Het.
Secondly, if you became fluent in your system, then you would be fluent in
a dialect without `ayin or Het.
If you want to hear Het distinguished from khaf, there is now a Demo
available on our website:
You will need RealPlayer/RealMedia on your computer, though you can
download it from the site above. The demo lesson does not have `ayin by
accident of the examples chosen and maybe we'll remedy that, too, in the
near futures. (The course it is describing has both `ayin and Het from the
beginning, correctly, on CD, with very clear `ayin.)
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