Originally Posted by Finndog
Thanks so is like "gawtama" with little pronounciation of the "t" and little promounciation of the "a" at the end?
Flat means there is equal emphasis on all three syllables so you basically don't say any of them louder than the others. That is actually quite comon in Indian languages and you hear it when Indians speak say English with Indian accents: a flattish monotone.
There are actually 4 "t" sounds in Sanskrit and modern Hindi while English only has one t. Its not the "Tom" t which is a harsher sound. Yes, its a soft t also found in some Eastern European languages.
The last "a" is soft and short. Its closer to an "uh" sound and done for a fairly short time.
Damn, that became a dissertation. I think the main problem with foreign language words in English is that English is a non-phonetic language. Sanskrit is a completely phonetic language (you say what you read) and has almost no exceptions in spelling, grammar, pronounciations etc. Its the most "scientific" of all languages I know. Modern Hindi is worse but still decent. English is by far the worst in consistency in phonetics, spelling and grammar (perhaps because of the myriad influences from everything: greek, latin, norse, asian languages...). German is somewhat better than English but still with lots of exceptions (and I hate those stupid umulauts).