Consonants in European Languages (Full List)

Hey guys, you can point out mistakes without being so damn negative or insulted. Imagine the amount of work that was needed to try to get all these languages right.


I think the Flemish will not take kindly to the suggestion that their "g" sounds the same as the one in Netherlands Dutch. Flanders in Belgium and Brabant/Limburg in the Netherlands use a less guttural "g".

Exactly! These maps are actually really good. There's no need to be butthurt if there are some minor inaccuracies.

Wow the "q" is mentioned for Võro language, nice.

Jesus christ.

From wikibooks on Icelandic:

like "g" in "good" at the beginning of a word, "k" in "wick" between a vowel and -l, -n; /ɣ/ after vowels, before a, u, ð, r, and when it's the last character of a word; like "ch" in Scottish "loch" after vowels and before t, s; like "y" in "young" between vowel and -i, -j; dropped between a, á, ó, u, ú

/ɣ/ is a gh sound like g in Spanish "amigo".

Love how Portuguese and Spanish are so close in structure yet so far appart in pronunciation.

Maps and languages, the two loves of my life. This thread is making me so happy.

/sub/europe and /sub/mapporn have a personal union, and /sub/vexillology is our vassal

I once saw a choking Swede out in the street, so I tried the Heimlich maneuver on him. Turns out, he was just Danish.

There are plenty of inaccuracies. Recently there was a linguistic report on the use of the letter R in the low countries and they found 14 varieties, not uniformity... Not to mention that we get a special mention for pronouncing the v as w sometimes, but that's one of the more stable letters IMO.

And a lot of letters we purportedly only use in loanwords nevertheless have specific generic pronunciations that people use when encountering unknown words, for example x is always ks..

G isn't always hard in Norwegian. It is soft (sounds the same as our j) in the combination 'gj' or 'gi' at the beginning of a word.

Yeah, these maps seem to generally overly optimistically assume basic usage of all consonants; in Danish for instance, all of H (hvor), G (og), R (bord), and J (sej) have counter-examples to the listed pronunciations.

Every time I browse /r/europe.


Ah Wales. Allowing the UK to have multiple colors.

Yep. I can read a Portuguese newspaper and understand like 90% of the text. But a spoken conversation? Well, that's another story... It's fascinating how much pronunciation has changed between close Roman languages while maintaining a very identifiable grammar structure.

Obviously it must be hard to get things accurate with a work like this, but I'm slightly bothered by what counts as loan words. Mainly going to talk about Swedish here, but e.g. we have lots of words that begin with c (about ten pages in the dictionary). Sure, they usually of foreign origin, but some of them have been used for ages (like "citron" 17th century, "ceder" 16th century, "cirkel" 16th century). Or words like journalist (pronounced pretty much like French), these words might be fewer, but have also been used for a long time. Going with purely "Scandinavian" words isn't very practical as many loan words are well integrated into the language by now.

(And on another note: w and q are still used in Swedish last names, as they were present in older, about pre-1900, spelling. Though I do realise this is pretty much nitpicking.)

It was quite an interesting read, however.

Edit: another problematic point, we have a third pronunciation for g in Swedish (something like sh). Yeah, sure, it's mostly used in French loan words (again) like "garage" or "genant", but what about words like "generös" (there's an ö in it, can it still be counted as "only" a loan when the "original" word is généreux?) or "slitage" (the -ge is French, but it's been created from the Swedish word slita and thus really can't be a loan)

The Latin alphabet is a rather poor fit with the Dutch language. The vowels are worse than the consonants, considering all the tricks we need to get a sufficient number of vowels. These words all use a different vowel: as, aas, pet, heet, pit, piet, pot, poot, oor, put, huur, ijs, poet, kou, reus, huis. We have at least 16 vowels while Latin only has 5.

EDIT: /u/Rubykuby is right, changed accordingly

These maps seem to only show languages with Latin alphabet.

Võro olõ eiq nii väikugõ joht kiäkiq tä kaartilt välla jätt.

Definitely. And as your example shows, in English they didn't even bother to come up with an orthography that systematically distinguishes the vowel sounds in writing.

insert here a random joke about the pronunciation of the danish language

The map adresses that, giving two pronounciations for Swedish [g/j].

Obligatory: /sub/etymologymaps

I spent my childhood summers in the area so I can understand the general flow of the language but can't remember much of the unique vocabulary.

I'd say I get 30% of written Finnish right off the bat, without any extra experience, and around 60% of spoken and 90% written Võro.

One interesting difference is also that Estonian has lost its vowel harmony but Finnish and Võro haven't.

What is so complicated about the Icelandic 'g'?

Very interesting! I never considered the fact that the Dutch language never uses some letters except for loanwords, but now that I read it on this map it seems so obvious. I also appreciate how in depth the map is, giving explanations even for tiny differences on the map. Well done.

This is some amazing work done by u/HappyRectangle. Take note thought there may be some small slight colloquial quirks in different places of a country, especially more rural parts.

The first map in this list works as a disclaimer, and regardless, the linguistic research is impressive so no need to be so negative about it.

Yeah they even got Malta right!

Whoever compiled this information lacks basic knowledge of Modern Greek.

Mainland Portuguese sounds like a drunk Russian trying to speak Spanish is the anecdote I have heard

/sub/paradoxplaza offers a royal marriage. Do you accept?

Thanks. It's realized as /ʝ/ for those curious.

I believe this is actually the case in most of Europe.

Huh, we use Y and not only for loanwords.

Not to mention the fact that the rolling 'r' is not used in Rogaland.

Fluent is every sound you can hold. Like, you can't just go ttttttttttttttttttt but you can do Dutch gggggggggggggggg.

Shhh. He's angry.

That's pretty common in Germanic languages, German and English have about this many vowels as well. In English, these words all use different vowels: Be, send, cute, cut, June, push, it, ice, lock, look, house, cord, work, toy, day, cat, park.

Most of the Northen-Estonians don't understand shit. They mostly get the idea of what's being discussed, but can't fully understand.

First word come to mind was "Yla"

We appreciate your corrections, but there is no need to be a dick about it.

This man surely begs to differ, as he's singing about the fact that "he has a soft g, but a hard d"

Likewise, some of the dutch women have a different of pronunciation the 'r', but they make up for it with... well, you'll translate it fine by yourself.

*changed 'dick' to 'd', as it's a more accurate representation of the chorus while the one-letter abbreviation of the word for 'dick' still works.

I think the coloring in northern Sweden (well, parts of it) is for Sami.

The "r" in portugal in that map is complete bs. It depends on words if we have "rr" in a word or "r" in the begginning its like the french "r" but if its a lonely "r" in the middle of the word and you say it like rough a "r" you arent speaking portuguese correctly.

It's quite fun. We sound lispy and you sound like Cthulthu drunk

It sounds wrong to you because in German, w is pronounced /v/ and v is pronounced /f/. The /kv/ on the map is pronounced like "kw" in German.

Gretige gruisloze grutten gaan geen geërger geven

Furthermore G isn't always soft in Italian. It's only a (English) "J" sound when followed by an I or an E. All other vowels render it as a hard "G", but when it's followed by an N it's pronounced "ny" (as in gnocchi - "nyocky").

In South Slavic languages there are more then two variants of c and g.

Um, no there aren't. Č is a completely different phoneme that happen to be written in a similar way as C. Same thing with Ć.

A very good work in progress! Doesn't take account of a lot of local dialects, but not a bad generalisation!

E.g. In the North of England, a lot of regional dialects drop the 'h' in most words, just like French.

I would often pronounce 'happy' as just 'appeh'.

But I suppose it'd be impossible to have the much variation on one map.

It seems like /u/HappyRectangle didn't get this part right...

Actually the Roman dialect does use the letter J and with a certain regularity, too - something which is indeed pronunced as the Y in "yes" (the city and its environs should have thus been couloured as purple on the map).

Fijo, pajata, gajardo, cojone [ko'yone] are only a few of the words with that letter... and our dialect's rife with them!

EDIT: I think that the other Central Italian dialects (those of the Marches, or Umbria) might use it as well.

They use the English "w" as a reference point and it is not the same as the Dutch one. English "want" is not pronounced the same way as Dutch "want" for example. I think the Surinam accent of Dutch does use the same "w" sound as the English though (at least it is very similar).

there was a reform that pretty much made V and W the same thing in swedish, like sometime in the 30s or 60s in the same wave we got rid of the hv combination in stuff

The UK could really do with it's own map. There's a new UK accent at the very least every 20 miles or so. I've lived in some places where it's possible for a lot of people to identify which village someone came from by their accent, even though they maybe only less than 5 miles apart.

In French (and Spanish as well, not sure about other languages) we just call y "greek I".