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I don't get to hear Esperanto speech often so I am not sure how to pronounce . For example Neŭtrala or Eŭropo.

How do you pronounce it?

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    Why makes you think that could be anything else than the sound of e followed by the sound of ŭ? – miĥaŭ Nov 27 '16 at 14:28
  • @miĥaŭ Diphthongs have different sounds. For example 'aj' does not make the sound of 'a' followed by a 'j' – Lumo5 Nov 27 '16 at 14:30
  • Well, I do pronounce aj by combining a and j. And that's correct, according to Fundamento: "Every word is to be read exactly as written, there are no silent letters". Where did you learn that it should be pronounced in some different way? – miĥaŭ Nov 27 '16 at 14:44
  • While I would disagree with Tony's thought that AJ is anything more than A+J, the original question is a legitimate question. See answers below. – Tomaso Alexander Nov 27 '16 at 15:57
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    @Tony - I think you're splitting hairs, and two can play at the wiki game: (i̯) "The close front unrounded vowel is the vocalic equivalent of the palatal approximant [j]. The two are almost identical featurally. [...] [i̯] with the non-syllabic diacritic and [j] are used in different transcription systems to represent the same sound." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_front_unrounded_vowel – Tomaso Alexander Nov 28 '16 at 8:58
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Here is John Wells pronouncing the words feŭda, neŭtrala and Eŭropo in the pronounciation CD of the EAB.

  • Thanks. John Wells considered Eŭ as a diphthong whereas many other early esperantists did not. This link is very helpful. – Lumo5 Nov 28 '16 at 6:27
  • John Wells, who is still alive today and who was born two or three decades after Zamenhof's death, should probably not be considered an "early Esperantist." – Tomaso Alexander Nov 28 '16 at 9:27
  • John Wells does not consider the Esperanto diphthongs to be separate phonemes like the diphthongs in English. So when he calls them "diphthongs", this is just his term for a combination of a vowel and a semivowel. It does not imply that the semivowel in the diphthong is pronounced differently than if it comes before the vowel in its syllable. – Marcos Cramer Dec 2 '16 at 18:08
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"American Esperantist" has a short video with the common diphtongs. The answer to your question is 34 seconds in. See link.

https://youtu.be/iEnWq3hSBUA?t=34s

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Tony, you seem to have some odd ideas about phonetics.

You say that "-aj" in Esperanto isn't pronounced like [a] followed by [j], but that is exactly how it's pronounced.

You claim that "early esperantists did not consider as a diphthong" — can you share the source of that claim, because I've never heard it before, and it doesn't make any sense to me.

Sorry to appear negative, but I don't think it's helpful to others to let strange assertions go unchallenged on a site that aims to curate the best information for future reference. Hopefully the audio and video links posted above will answer your actual question though.

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    Tim - I'm not sure what SE-etiquette requires me to do in this situation (contact you off board, flag the question for not being an answer, leave a comment like this one) - but while I agree with the content of your post, it's not an answer to the question and so would probably be better as a comment on the original question (using the "add a comment" link). There are already similar comments on the original question and on the chosen "accepted answer" in this thread. – Tomaso Alexander Nov 29 '16 at 11:04
  • You're quite right, the content I wrote above is a comment on an answer, not an answer in its own right. Not sure I can change it now though. – Tim Morley Nov 29 '16 at 11:17
  • @TimMorley Saluton Tim. Thanks for the question. -aj is pronounced as a diphthong, so it is not pronounced like [a] followed by [j]. It sounds like 'eye'. "There are also six historically stable diphthongs: /ai̯/, /oi̯/, /ui̯/, /ei̯/ and /au̯/, /eu̯/. However, some authors such as John C. Wells regard them as vowel + consonant combinations (/aj/, /oj/, /uj/, /ej/, /aw/, /ew/), while Wennergren regards only the latter two as diphthongs" - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto_phonology – Lumo5 Nov 29 '16 at 15:38
  • @TomasoAlexander Can you copy and past it into a comment so the content is not lost? – Lumo5 Nov 29 '16 at 15:44
  • If these details are important, my suggestion would be for someone to make them a new question/answer. – Tomaso Alexander Nov 29 '16 at 18:20

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