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Pronunciaton of "yo"

to me, it sounds like the speaker is pronouncing "yo" as "jo" or "cho." I once heard that this is how it is pronounced in Argentina. Is that true? And if so, why select it for these lessons? Do these lessons follow a constitent style of pronunciation? I know that there are variations in spoken Spanish in different places.

January 6, 2015



In this link you can hear different pronunciations of 'yo', compare the Mexican ones (each one sounds different), or the Argentine with the Ecuadorian, Colombian and Spanish.


The pronunciation by native speakers can run anywhere from yo to jo. I most commonly hear something like a yo with a little bit of jo thrown in, so that could be what she is doing. But truly, edit the title, because I thought it might be spam also.


It's a good question you asked... but you might want to edit the title, before it get's down voted :) - (Many people will mistake it for spam) -SM


You will find this to be true with so many words and letter sounds in the Spanish language! Which makes it so beautiful! I took a translation course called "The Art of Translation" and it totally opened my eyes up to how diverse the language is. None of the pronunciations are incorrect, nor would any of them impede another Spanish speaker (from a different country) from understanding your pronunciation of the same word.

I wouldn't look at pronunciations as one being better than the other, or more "correct." As most people are partial to the pronunciation of the word that they were taught as a child. Same with English, as some would prefer to say "y'all" , "youse guys" , "you all" . etc...

If you are a very new beginner, I would first focus on building vocabulary and learning sentence structure. Then, once you get to learning 60% of texts, I would start investigating different pronunciations.

If you are interested in hearing other pronunciations of Spanish, I recommend Castellano (Castilian, in English). It really threw me off when I got to college and my teacher spoke Castellano Spanish. It took me a week or two to adjust, but on the first day I swore she wasn't speaking Spanish. :)


In my school Spanish class my teacher says YO like yo whats up and my friend who is from Panama says JO like his name is JOE


I am not sure about the exact reasons (may depend on the sounds immediately proceeding or following it) but I have heard real life speakers even fluctuate in their pronounciation across the spectrum of what would sound like 'y' to english speakers to 'j' for english speakers.

I don't hear the 'ch' exactly but more of a 'zh' (or the 's' in pleasure) in some speaker's pronounciation. I think it is accurate that some countries will have more of a tendency towards this pronounciation, but you will hear fluctuations between y-j in most countries.


That "zsh" sound is particularly strong in Argentina. One of my favorite Spanish songs, by Fito Paez, is a great example of the Argentinian accent. Eso Que Llevas Ahí

You can hear the "zsh" sound when he says llegar, yo, llevas, caballo, lloré, mayo, and allí.

He also says "vos y yo" instead of tú y yo, which is also typical of an Argentinian accent.

If you want to follow along with the music video, the lyrics are here


I've heard the letter "Y" pronounced many different ways. My high school Spanish teacher from Columbia pronounces it like a French "J" and my current teacher, who is from Mexico, at my university pronounces it like a typical American "J." It all really just depends on the region I guess.


I heard it Like ( Djo )


I hear it in a similar way, like if you merged a t with cho. tcho


The speaker voice for spanish on duolingo is very non authentic. I Have met a few spanish teachers and individuals that were very kind and sounded nothing like the speaker voice.


Thanks for all these interesting replies. Here is another "yo" related question. Mostly, don't we omit "yo" from a sentence when the antecedent is clear. Como = I eat. Leo = I read, etc. Is that informal usage, or just in spoken Spanish?


You are correct. "Yo" is used for emphasis when needed.


It is true - they have a different pronunciation. I think they have the speaker switch between them so that we can learn them all and realize that even though it's a different pronunciation it's the same word.


Yeah, the Mexicans around here tell me that's a South American thing too.


my puerto rican spanish teacher pronounces it as "jo" as in "jo" soy "amarrijo" (she also does this with double l. ) Please explain this to me!


In this link the word "llama" is pronounced, you can hear 4 different pronunciations of "ll". In most of Spanish-speaking regions "ll" and "y" sound the same, but in some Andean and Spanish regions they're different. For more info click here


Thank you very much.:)


p.s. you are awesome. Since you are so awesome, you deserve a lingot and i will friend you


I agree, her pronunciations make it difficult for me to understand and answer properly


Talking about phonetics without using a proper system (IPA) and some knowledge about it is like to try to make an omelette without eggs!

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