Friday, 29 June 2012
'Graag' (more or less 'gladly') is a tricky word for me to pronounce and I'm guessing it's tricky for lots of native English speakers. The switch from an whispered 'h' sound (ɣ) to an r then back to ɣ is tricky so I asked my Flemish buddy what his tongue was doing. Mine goes from being flat in the mouth to the top of the mouth (as English speakers tend to do when pronouncing r) whereas his stayed flat throughout! He did warn me that his way of saying it may be a Brussels accent but it has to be better then mine!
From now on I'll try to keep my tongue down (and slightly back) throughout the pronunciation.
Out of interest graag seems to have the same root as 'greedy' in English:
Graag: From Middle Dutch gradig (“desirous, willing”), from Old Dutch *grādag (“desirous, hungry”)
Cognate withOld Saxon grādag (“hungry”), Old High German grātag (“greedy, thirsty, gaping”), Old English grǣdig (“greedy, hungry, covetous, eager”). (reference here)