Mutusen wrote:First, I've read that V is pronounced as a short U at the end of a syllable, but I have the impression that it's not always the case. Is the rule more complicated than this or does it depend on the speaker?
Hmm... I have been thinking about this for a couple of days and only today I discovered that what you asked about was V at the end of a syllable
, not at the end of a word
(I could not think of any example when V at the end of a word is not pronounced U, that is why it took me so long.)
So, to answer your question: when V is followed by vowel, it stays V, and when it is followed by consonant, it is pronounced as a weak U.
(Edit: re-reading this I wondered if it is possible for V to be at the end of a syllable and before a consonant at the same time (in one word)... If it is not, then your rule was right and I am sorry for so much mess for nothing
(Edit2: yes, of course it is possible, I am sorry. And my "rule" above does not seem OK either.)
Mutusen wrote:... in some cases, they transcribe the L in li, lí, le as a soft L. So is the L in words like blízko or stále supposed to be soft? And when I hear Slovak I hear almost no difference between L and Ľ; I've read that the Ľ sound tends to disappear, is it ok if I pronouce it as a normal L?
This is connected with the development of the language. In some cases, "li" and "le" should be soft, or originally were. However, as Mikey93
wrote, nowadays it depends on a particular dialect whether the speakers pronounce it soft. There are also some exceptions, when "li" and "le" must not be pronounced soft, but these are usually words adopted from other languages.
The Ľ sound indeed tends to disappear (at least in some regions), but it is a great pity... There is nothing like the true melodic Slovak pronounciation
To sum it up, I should not recommend you to pronounce Ľ always as L, but it would probably make little difference to the Slovaks now and cause you less trouble, so, whatever
Mutusen wrote:does väčší sound like väč-ší or *väčí? I wondered how double consonants should be pronounced in words like mäkký, plynný, bližší, etc. Should I say “bliší” or “bliš-ší”?
The double consonants in these words and generally any double consonants are pronounced longer. So it would not be ["väčí"] but ["väčší"], ["blišší"] instead of ["bliší"] etc. (I did not dare to use the International Phonetic Transcription
Mutusen wrote:how do you use pronominal verbs in the past tense? I know that the auxiliary should be in the second position of the sentence, but so does the reflexive pronoun. So how do I say, for instance, “I played”"? Hral som sa? Hral sa som?
In these cases the word order is always this. Auxiliary first, then the reflexive pronoun. (Are you learning the past tense yet? You must have made a great progress
Mutusen wrote:And what are the rules about the instrumental case after byť? Here are two sentences taken from Wikipedia:
Slovensko je vnútrozemský štát v strednej Európe.
Slovenská republika je parlamentnou demokraciou.
Why is the instrumental used in the second sentence but not in the first one? Is it mandatory? If it's not, does it change the meaning?
This has been discussed a couple of weeks ago in "Practise Slovak language" thread, page 6, and as I was not sure myself, I waited for others to reply to this question. kotrcka
wrote both are correct and equal. To my ears, however, the second version sounds slightly old-fashioned or a bit formal and I would use it in my official school essay rather than when talking to my friends. Just my opinion, though; I agree with kotrcka
that both are correct.