[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Importance of diacritic letters
otto at schienke.com
Tue Oct 18 15:36:04 PDT 2011
On Oct 18, 2011, at 3:24 PM, fenenga at connpoint.net wrote:
> is there a diacritic in Wagner? in some files I find few or no
> returns for this very common surname.
In the German language diacritical marks are used to denote "Umlaut". German is basically a guttural, back of the throat, language (try saying 'ach' or 'ich' at the tip of the tongue). When a trailing vowel follows a leading one (in certain cases), the leading one is brought out of the throat into the mouth about half way but not to the tip of the tongue. Two little dots, indicating an umlaut vowel, are placed over the leading vowel to indicate the vowel is sounded in the mouth and not the throat. The trailing vowel is sounded at the front of the mouth near the tip of the tongue as most English words are.
Example German 'fallen'=English 'to fall, German 'fällen" = English 'to fell'.
Using the Roman (latin) alphabet (its been jury-rigged to suit English, German, Polish and others) for the Polish sound system diacritical marks are necessary to change the sound of a Roman letter to a Polish sound and add sound letters not existing in the 26 letters. Using it to write Polish words without diacritical marks is bastardizing the spelling and language. The Poles are correcting and updating their websites to Polish language standards. You must remember that 40% of the Internet is in the U.S., coded in our form of the English language. it is up to each country to get up to light speed but remember, progress is always sure yet slow.
There are 32 letters in the Polish alphabet.
It may seem difficult at first but it is the Poles language, not yours. We are slowly becoming multilingual. Trying to pronounce a Polish word as it is spelled in Polish is almost impossible for me. I type the word in Polish with its necessary markings into Google Translate and have it speak the word for me. . . I must be slow, how do they get those sounds out of that spelling? No wonder the Poles referred to the Germans as "Niemiec", meaning 'mute, can't speak'. They've pegged me. . . I am still working on understanding Canadian English and the funny way they spell some 'English' words.
Anyway, here are some helpful diacritical markings sites.
(scroll to Slavic)
The Russian Cyrillic alphabet was created specifically to fit Russian vocal sounds and is the reason some of our sound letters are missing.
The modern Russian alphabet contains 33 letters.
. . . Otto
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