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How not to sound like a "gringo"

joyannava
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What are some common pronunciation and grammar errors that people with English as their first language make when learning Spanish? I hope to avoid sounding like I'm not even trying.

3 years ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/G0108

1) "t" before "r" is not a "ch" sound, it is a "t" as in "tea"

2) The o in Spanish is shorter than the o in English

3) Try to roll your tongue. It is difficult but it definitely makes your pronunciation sound better.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joyannava
joyannava
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Thanks! The first two suggestions are completely new to me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/J.R.Nogal
J.R.Nogal
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1.. In Spanish we use only short vowels.

2.. H has no sound.

3.. R initial and double r (rr) are stronger than non initial single r. Think in a cat purring.

4.. The sound of LL can be different in some countries, but in Mexico is like J in jeep.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joyannava
joyannava
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Thanks! Are there a lot of differences between Spain Spanish and Mexican Spanish? I must have learned the Spain version because I had one year of formal Spanish in school, and they said to pronounce the LL like a "y".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/J.R.Nogal
J.R.Nogal
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Really the sound of 'LL' (and 'Y') can vary from country to country. In Mexico LL and Y sound alike, but in Spain Y sounds (more or less ) like 'Y' in yell, and in Argentina both LL and Y sound like 'S' in 'sure'.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El_Gusano
El_Gusano
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If you are trying to speak Spanish to a native Spanish speaker, it looks like you're trying, regardless of what you sound like. So don't worry too much about that. Are you offended when an English learner tries to speak English to you but uses common pronunciation and grammar errors? I would hope not! Anyways, don't worry about what you sound like. Just get out there and start talking! The accent will take care of itself.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joyannava
joyannava
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That's true. I actually think it's cute when Spanish speakers pronounce English words with an accent. Thanks for putting it into perspective.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carterf
carterf
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The "b" and "v" are pronounced the same, like a softer form of the English "b". The English "b" sound will be fine though. In Latin America, the "s", "z", and soft c all sound like the letter "s". Therefore, it's not "comenzar", but "comensar" in English transliteration.

The main difference, though, is in rhythm and timing. English has different rules for timing, stress, and emphasis than Spanish, so don't try to apply the same rules. For example, don't make the final "a" in words like "bota" into an "uh" sound. It should sound like "bo-tah", with both vowels as clear and distinct as the consonants. Avoid the Anglophone "eating" of vowels, which sounds like mumbling to Hispanophone ears.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joyannava
joyannava
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Thanks- I'll keep that in mind :)

3 years ago