Finnish – Vietnamese, part VI: Intonation

I don’t even know anymore which day this topic was. There’s always rush after the meeting and this happens. We dived into the subtle intonations and tone marks in Vietnamese words and I found them the most confusing thing by now. There are so tiny variations that I don’t hear them right away.

Ngang is completely flat semi high tone. I find it like singing a note. Even though it’s flat there’s no equivalent in Finnish. Finnish is not as monotonic as some may think. Every word dives a little and in speech there’s some free arpeggios in music terms.

Nặng sounds like every Finnish short word independently spoken. Huyền sounds like really heavy word. Hỏi is like diving and returning pitch. Sắc sounds like question in English (really?). Ngã sounds like question as well but with a little break in between.
Every word I’ve seen have only one syllable. Guess the tonation gives so many possibilities, that there’s no need for longer words. There’s a diagram of these tones. I think y-axis measures the percents of average vocal range.



I thought that it’s better to focus more on Finnish because Suong is already living in Finland and my trips and potential moving to Vietnam are still far in the future.

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