Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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What a difference sentence accent makes!

We went to Bachs this evening and used Daddy's Garmin navigation aid to find the way.

The quality of the German voice output was variable: for one thing, it had only one canned segment to translate "kilometres", which it would use regardless of whether the sentence required dative ("Nach fünf Kilometern rechts abbiegen") or accusative (*"Noch fünf Kilometern fahren, dann links abbiegen").

However, it was its misuse of sentence accent in one segment that genuinely confused me: it stressed "...dann rechts halten" as "...dann rechts hálten" (then stop on the right-hand side) rather than as "...dann réchts halten" (then keep to the right, e.g. stay in the right-hand lane).

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