Finnish pronunciation guide and tips for UTAU users

Guide for Finnish!

Tags:
  1. Pupuomena
    Notes

    - I use IPA in this post: IPA symbols of each sound are in [].

    Sounds that are often tricky for foreigners

    - vowel y (and sometimes “u” and “ö” depending where you’re from)
    - r sound

    Vowels

    Finnish has 8 vowels in total: a, e, i, o, u, y, ä, ö

    [ɑ] a - “a” sound like in English “car"

    [e] e - Same than Japanese e/え

    [ i ] i - Same than Japanese i/い

    [o] o - Same than Japanese o/お

    [ u ] u - If you speak Spanish then congratulations: Finnish u sounds exactly same than Spanish u sound!

    Not exactly same but English "book" sounds similar to Finnish u.

    [y] y - If you speak German or French then congratulations: Finnish y sounds exactly same than German ü or like "u" in French (e.g. "su" in French)! Sadly, there's no English equal for this sound...

    If you don’t know how to make "y" sound then do this: your tongue is in shape of “i” but lips are in same shape than in “u”.

    [æ] ä - Like in English “cat”.

    [ø] ö - The English vowel “bird” is the closest sound to ö BUT it’s NOT exactly same to that English sound!!!! Your tongue is in shape of “i” but lips are in same shape than in “o” when you do Finnish “ö” sound.


    Consonants

    These sounds are same than in English:

    b [ b ], d[d], f[f], g[g], h[h], l[l], m[m], n[n], ng[ŋ], s [ s ]

    “k”, “t” and “p”:

    Do NOT aspirate k/t/p sounds! Them are un-aspirated like in “stop” or “spot” in English.

    “j” sound:

    Finnish pronounces “j” like English y in word “yes”.

    So think that “Finnish j” = “English y”.

    “v” sound:

    Finnish “v” is labiodental approximant [ʋ].

    You can think this to be a sound between English “w” and “v”.

    It won’t be very dangerous if you think is that English “v” sound: as long as it do not sound too much like English “w” it will be all right! : )

    “š” sound:

    š (sometimes written as “sh”) is [ʃ], sounds same to English “sh” like in ship.

    However, this sound only occurs in loan words only and nowadays Finnish people often uses that sound less and less, often replacing š with normal s sound.

    It’s 100% fine to skip this sound because you will very VEEEEERY unlikely need this.

    “r” sound:

    If you speak Spanish (sounds like Spanish “rr”) - or Russian - then you're all ready familiar with this sound: Yes, It's trilled (rolled) R!

    If you don’t, well… you will need to watch some videos named “how to trill/roll r”. Unfortunately, I cannot explain how to do this R sound... ^^;

    Recommend Finnish recording lists
    • @Pupuomena 's Finnish CV+ and CVVC (and VCV if you can record a lot! I do NOT recommend Finnish VCV for beginners).
    • @Aura Autumnus ' Finnish VCCV (Violet Aura Finnish VCCV)
    Recording list and configuring setting notes

    Pupuomena’s list*
    *In Finnish VCV version
    • ä is written as “ae” in reclist but in oto.ini alias as “A”.
    • ö is written as “oe” in reclist but in oto.ini alias as “O”.
    • [ŋ] is written as “ng”.
    • š [ʃ] is written as “sh”.
    • “ks” [ks] sound is named as “x” in reclist/oto’s Alias. (this is cuz “x” is called as “äks” in Finnish alphabet)
    Aura’s VCCV list
    • ä is written as “ae” in reclist but in oto.ini alias as “A”.
    • ö is written as “oe” in reclist but in oto.ini alias as “O”.
    • “ts” [ts] sound is named as “z” in reclist/oto’s Alias. (“z” is called as “tseta” in Finnish alphabet. Finnish pronounces for example pizza as "pitsa", zombi as "tsombi" and so on)
    Other tips

    Because if Finnish "vowel harmony" system, some vowel+vowel and vowel+consonant+vowel sound combinations are hyper rare (rare because this are tricky to say - even for natives!) and you can see this only occurring in loan and combination words.

    Because of Finnish "vowel harmony" system, some lines drive me almost insane recording a full Finnish VCV: I had for example retake "mamämamyma" line like over 5 times for my full Finnish VCV because vowel harmony made be say "y" as "u" and/or "ä" as "a" or "e" if I didn't pay attention and it was really REEEEALLY frustrating.

    If you want to get easier with Pupuomena's Finnish VCV reclist, do NOT record this lines (this lines are located in recording pack's part2 folder if I remember right):

    _€a_€ae_€a_€y_€a
    _€o_€y_€o_€ae_€o
    _€u_€y_€u_€ae_€u
    _€oe_€o_€oe_€u_€oe

    *replase € mark with a consonant

    If won't be dangerous if you skip recordings this vowel+vowel sound combinations, you will not need this combinations frequently - trust me!

    a_y
    a_ä
    a_ö

    o_y
    o_ä
    o_ö

    u_y
    u_ä
    u_ö

    y_a
    y_o
    y_u

    ä_a
    ä_o
    ä_u

    ö_a
    ö_o
    ö_u

    I hope that this helped! If you have questions, just ask!
    Shahreen and Kiyoteru like this.