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 Post subject: Finnish voice.
PostPosted: Mon 26. Aug 2013, 08:18 
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This might be my wild imagination, but I've started to notice something from my American point of view...bear with me, this is hard to explain with words...

It seems like besides the accent, there is a distinct "Finnish voice". When hearing Finnish or saying the few words I picked up, the vowels seem to be really bowing and rolling deeply in the back of the throat, while most English speakers focus their sounds sharply between the middle of the tounge and the front teeth. To me, whenever I hear a Finn speak English, they have a richer fuller voice in addition to the accent which is perfect for singing in English (Tony Kakko in Gravenimage or White Pearl Black Ocean for example). An opposite effect can be heard in south Asian voices that are high and sharp.

Can anyone back me up, or am I crazy? :|

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 Post subject: Re: Finnish voice.
PostPosted: Mon 26. Aug 2013, 10:51 
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Elder Indican
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Not sure what you're really aiming at but I'll give it a shot: it's easier for Finns to get into English pronunciation and learn the English language without the distinctive accent because of the way they pronounce the words in their own language. In Finnish, there aren't much changes between same letters like there is in English so therefore they kinda have the neutral ground to work from. Example: in English, letter 'A' is pronounced differently in words 'ARGO' and 'BACK'. There is no such thing in Finnish. Every letter is always pronounced and you can hear it when someone is saying it in some Finnish word. In English you have those silent letters, weird changes and so on... I think that's the reason Finns can easily adapt to English because they don't have to struggle with their own language and it's influences.
Side note: my language (Croatian), has very similar thing to Finnish (letters never change sound between different words), and I was told that I don't have an accent when speaking English.


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 Post subject: Re: Finnish voice.
PostPosted: Mon 26. Aug 2013, 12:20 
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Elder Indican
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What Wishmaster is referring to is known commonly as a phonetic alphabet in a language, or phonemic ortography (listening in class finally payed off), which basically means that almost every letter is always pronounced the same way, so there is never any question as to how something might be spelled or pronounced, which is mostly what gives them the "fuller voice" you're referring to. Finnish is a good example of such a language, as well as some of the south Slavic languages (a group which Croatian and Serbian belong to, in cases of Wishmaster and myself, respectively), dialects excluded.

While it is hard to explain unless you're a linguist (and if you are a linguist, others are probably going to have a tough time understanding you anyway :roll: ), I understand what you meant, and you're not crazy (well, we're all a bit crazy on some level, but you're not imagining this particular thing).

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 Post subject: Re: Finnish voice.
PostPosted: Fri 30. Aug 2013, 15:29 
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True Indican
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I don't think the ortography explains why the Finns pronounce wovels in different part of the tongue than Americans. I think the reason is that Finns use the Finnish wovels while speaking English.

According to Wiki Answers, there are 15 wovels in the English language. In Finnish, there are 8 wovels and two of them (y and ö) don't exist in the English language. Each Finnish wovel can be pronounced as short and long.

This is how the short Finnish wovels are pronounced:

a ---> bug
e ---> bet
i ---> big
o ---> toe
u ---> good
y ---> -
ä ---> cat
ö ---> -

When I speak English I use Finnish wovels in the following way:

a ---> bug
aa --> father
e ---> bet, pay
i ---> big
ii --> machine
o ---> toe, cost
u ---> good
uu --> cool
ä ---> cat
ö ---> about, butter
öö --> bird, work

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 Post subject: Re: Finnish voice.
PostPosted: Fri 30. Aug 2013, 19:39 
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It's not just the pronunciation. Finns usually have excellent pronunciation, but the whole voice is thicker.

English has 5+1 vowels with dual pronunciation created by the context or phonetics (placing a vowel after another vowel, or an "e" at the end makes vowels long in theory). English writing is learned with phonetics, then you learn why phonetics only applies 50% of the time and vowels can sound however they like. English is just crazy like that, most pronunciations must be memorized.

Vowel...........Long....Short
a..................game....ham...(e at the end of game is silent)
e..................heat......bet....(a in heat is silent)
i...................bite........bit.....(e at the end of bite is silent)
o..................boat......bot....(a in boat is silent)
u..................flute.......but....(e at the end of flute is silent)
+
y...mystery..."sometimes y" (It replaces the short "i" sound if in side the word, it is not a vowel if placed at the end.)

W is never considered a vowel, idk who wrote that wiki answer. The number of vowel sounds (that article claims 15) is not standardized in English because vowel sounds change considerably across dialects.

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 Post subject: Re: Finnish voice.
PostPosted: Tue 22. Oct 2013, 16:44 
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Teen Indican
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I actually know, what you mean. In Finland people tend to mumble, so the pitch of the voice is often lower, than what for example American people have. I personally am a lyric soprano, which means a really high, and fair, clear female voice, but my speking voice is really low. If that wasn't what you meant, the voice of a Finn is usually "placed" (idk how to explain this in English) in far back of the throat, whitch (according to my singing teacher) is a major problem among Finnish opera singers. In some warmer countries (yes, for some weird reason it goes by the temperature of the country) people tend to have their voice placed way more forward, whitch can also be a problem, because the voice doesn't get enought resenance(if that's the word in english) and goes out the wrong way.
But we weren't talking about singing, the thing that I was trying to explain is, that Finns have their speaking voices placed differently, than most other people, and even if the pitch is same, the voice has a different sound, if that's what you meant.

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