Carl wrote:This is something I'm trying to figure out in Danish. I often hear the Danish "meget" pronounced like "mæl" or something. But sometimes like "meget." I suspect it depends on the speaker's dialect.
Written "meget" generally sounds like English "my" plus a hard (but not too hard) 'd'. Or alternatively with a 'soft d' - you can do both and even switch between them.
If you stress the word it may be pronounced as /meee/ (with a flat 'e' sound, not an 'æ') plus something that in English might be spelled "yeut": "meee - yeut". Luckily this last variant isn't as common as the first one. There isn't much dialectal variation with precisely this word, except that the open 'a' sound in the first version (i.e. the 'y' of "my") can be more or less open - but a very open 'a 'here may appear as slightly vulgar.
There is also an inflected form "megen" (for instance "megen omhu"), but this is quite formal and will mostly be pronounced as (short) English "mine", with "meee-yeun" as the alternative form.
And ahem, all this would be much easier to explain if it weren't supposed to be illustrated with letter sequences in English with its arcane writing system.
And as Carl I find weird to refer to things as "er" oder "sie" in German and to living neutra as "es". It doesn't bother me much to say "das Mädchen", but after 50 year with German I still cringe when i have to refer to a lady with the word "es" just because there is a -chen attached to the word that denotes her. In Danish you can humoristically refer to ships as "hun" (feminine living form), but that's the only case I can think of. Otherwise you always refer to things as "den" or "det" and to persons as "han" eller "hun". However you can refer to animals with both sets of pronomina, depending on your relation to them. A beloved pet (female) dog would be "hun", but my neighbour is "det" because the thing irritates me. However I'm sure its family call it "han".