"No vas a llegar allí."
Translation:You are not going to arrive there.
Twice now I've heard this one and thought she said "No vas a jugar allí." I'm not sure if it's because I'm a lousy listener, she's a so-so pronouncer, or if it's just my brain saying "You aren't going to play there." is a more likely sentence than "You aren't going to arrive there." I'm still having trouble even when I go into turtle mode! Is it me or do these two sound very similar?
I think that in another discussion our buddy Marvy left a hint about the text to speech program IVONA. https://www.ivona.com/us/
You can go to that site and select a Spanish speaker, like Penelope, from latin America. To start enter a long series of words alternating llegar and jugar. Let "her" read it to you. This should teach you both the difference between the sound for "ll" and "j" as well as the difference between "e" and "u". Then try jumbling the order of the words instead of just alternating. Then advance to the challenging lines of text. No vas a llegar allí. No vas a jugar allí. ... Then let "her" read it to you.
You are right that what you expect to hear affects what you hear. It is not just about the sound-waves, what happens between the ears is very important.
I also like the pronunciation lessons at www.studyspanish.com
Years ago, when I started learning Spanish (I am a slow learner), I practiced online with native speakers from many different countries. Their pronunciations of "ll" varied widely. As a consequence, they always corrected my pronunciation. :) I have settled on trying to get a pronunciation that is a cross between Colombian and Mexican. It doesn't really matter.
Many thanks! Great resource. I have real trouble with the DL voice. The first Spanish I heard was in Newfoundland and Labrador, when the Spanish fishing fleet used to put into port in St. John's, so, I have to second-guess a lot of sounds. I've been listening to the examples on SpanishDict.com, but it's a lot of clicking back and forth, or a lot of windows open at the same time, to have "side-by-side" sounds. The variety of speakers on IVONA is really useful - as is the ability to listen to the sounds so close to one another! Thanks again!
I hope the practice you get with those resources will help. I like the DL voice and find that when I struggle with it, that it is usually my personal problem. For example, I know the the Spanish b/v between vowels has a sound that is very close to an English /v/ but with the lips very close together. Despite this I was surprised by the sound of the word había. I'm hoping that with enough practice I'll be able to understand conversational Spanish at normal (quick) speeds.
Check out this wonderful tool for learning more about the phonetics of Spanish, English , and German. http://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/