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https://www.duolingo.com/AthenaIak

"C" pronunciation: "ss" or "th"?

AthenaIak
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I've been watching a Spanish series to get acquainted with the Spanish accent and I noticed that they pronounced every (or almost every) c as th (the sound th has in the word thought). This applied to the word gracias and many more. However, the story was placed in the start of the 20th century so I wonder whether this is a regional or just older accent.

To be honest, I liked much more the sound of Spanish when they used the th sound instead of the ss one. Is it ok if I do the same or will it be weird given that I'm a foreign learner living in the 21th century? In case it is ok to use it, are there any rules? I bet caballos remains the same as c there sounds as "k", but does this th sound apply to all Cs that are pronounced as ss in duolingo? Also, are there more rules that I should follow if I choose to follow this one? For example, if it's a regional accent maybe the "th" rule should be accompanied with a set of other pronunciation rules so as not to feel weird.

3 years ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
no.name.42
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Soft Cs and Zs are pronounced like TH in Spain.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WordJigsaw
WordJigsaw
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As has been said, it's regional, and th is most mostly used in Spain. I was taught to pronounce c this way (also z is a 'th' sound and v is a 'b').

I believe c in caballo is hard because it's followed by an a, also if it's followed by an o or a u it has a hard sound, but followed by an e or i it is soft, either th or ss.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

Duolingo is mostly Latin American Spanish. So the pronunciation will be different from Castilliano in Spain.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cyneburg
Cyneburg
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The Spanish you're interested in is how they speak in Spain. All z's in Spain are pronounced as th for example zapatos is thapatos. Alcanzar is alcanthar (to reach). Ci and ce's together are th as well like the word cierto is thierto or gracias and grathias. Cebolla is thebolla. Just try and mimic when you hear them. Its a little different than the English th, more air goes through. You're right caballos does stay the same. Those are the only rules really. It's not old or anything like that. It happened over time in Spain. I prefer the Spanish accent as well and I do it when I speak. I also learned it in high school and I didn't feel like changing what I had already learned. Good luck and happy learning!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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It's standard Spanish (i.e. Castillian). There are accents that use a soft c - in Catalonia it's Barselona, not Barthelona.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WanderingMonk
WanderingMonk
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I don't know if it's true or not but I once read that there was a king in Spain that had a lisp, everyone loved him so much that they all started speaking with one. And that's where the "th" pronunciation comes from.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanD_8
DanD_8
Mod
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This article is has a good explanation of why that can't be true.

http://www.cranberryletters.com/home/2014/3/23/the-origin-of-the-spanish-lisp

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

I think that might be a myth, or so I've heard.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AthenaIak
AthenaIak
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This doesn't make sense because they still pronounce sί and senora as ss. Also, a person not capable of making the ss sound, would still be able to make the z one (e.g. azúcar wouldn't sound as athoucar).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElimGarak

https://youtu.be/IwO3u6QJU6Q
You can hear it in this scene - especially when the waiter uses words with the letter 'c'. The movie is set in Spain, so it is pronounced as 'th'.

3 years ago