Interlingue is phonetic, that is to say, after studying the few rules of pronunciation given below you can read any text without difficulty. At the same time these rules allow us to write the words in a recognizable way.
The following consonants are pronounced just as in English --
b d f h k l m n p r t v w y. The letter
r should however be trilled and must always be pronounced.
g have two sounds. Before
c is "ts", elsewhere "k". Before
g is pronounced as in the middle of our word "vision" ; elsewhere as in "go" ;
j is also as in "vision".
Qu is always "koo" ;
z is "dz" ;
zz is "ts" and
x is "ks" ;
sh are as English "sh". The letter
s between two vowels is like our "z", elsewhere as in "say". In order to preserve this sharp sound between two vowels we double the
s, e.g., "possibil".
At the end of words in the combinations
tion the "t" sound is followed by "s", e.g., "national" (natseeonahl) unless an
s precedes, e.g. "question".
Each vowel has two sounds, a short and a long. These are heard in the following series: "pat", "pet", "pit", "pot", "put" and "barn", "bane", "bean", "bone", "boon". There are in Interlingue the following diphthongs:
au (as in "cows"),
ay (as in "high"), and
ey (as in "they"). Other combinations of vowels must be pronounced separately.
Vowels are short in unstressed syllables and when followed by two consonants. All other vowels are long ; if however the second consonant is
l a preceding stressed vowel is long. Hence the first vowels in these words are long : -- "pur", "robe", "blu", "fibre", "table" and short in these : -- "calm", "old", "potte", "flagga".
The stress is on the vowel preceding the last consonant. The endings
-men and the plural
-es however do not take a stress. Unusual stresses are marked, e.g., "societé", "armé".
Read these words carefully after studying the above mentioned rules. Most of the words in this lesson will be known to you from their similarity to English : --
special (spehtseeAhl), musica (mOOzica), long, militari, normal, present, rigid, station, stomac, organisation, papere, parte, expert, impulse, lettre, machine, metalle, agreabil, dangere.
Do not forget to sound the final "e".
"De li" and "a li" are usually abbreviated to "del" and "al", e.g.
Li patre del púer vadet al dom (The boy's father went to the house).
Note how we express the possessive by the use of "del".
Read aloud and translate.
Li lune es blanc. Li bocca del mann es apert. Un electric tren es rapid. Leer es un plesura. Un fertil region. Libertá es dulci. Li actressa es famosi.