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Idiomatic pronunciation


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Hello linguaholics! I'm greatly interested in the different idiomatic pronunciations throughout the Spanish speaking world and couldn't find much information on this forum.

There are the obvious splits between Castillian Spanish and Latin American Spanish (the Castillian "lisp") but are there any others you know about that you can share? For example, I'm currently in Chile where they replace 's' at the end of a syllable with the English 'h' sound and 'd' frequently disappears when between two vowels so you hear "Muchah graciah", "loh pehcaoh" (los pescados) etc. This can be very confusing when you have learnt Spanish from a text book.

Anyone have any more examples?  :smile: Thanks in advance!

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Hi there,

I can see why it is confusing for you, I felt the same when I arrived in Chile, only that I had a long time friend from Colombia from which I learnt Spanish which made it easier to pick up the different words.

If you want to get better at it, you's have to socialise more with local people, don't be afraid of making them see that you didn't understand and ask people to speak to you "despacio"-slowly. Hope this helps :) Hope you have a great stay in Chile.

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This post made me smile. In fact, there are a lot of different pronunciations within spanish speaking countries. I'll give you a few.

1) The "double L":

For words like "lluvia" (rain), in most countries the "double L" sounds like the letter "y" in words like "youth". However, in Argentina and Uruguay, the double L (and the "y" as well) sounds like the phoneme "sh" in words like "shower".

2) "C", "S" and "Z"

This is a tough one. In Spain, these three letter have different phonetic sounds. However, in most latin american countries they sound exactly the same. So, in Venezuela, for example, the word "casa" (house) and "caza" (hunt) will sound exactly the same. Other examples are: "cede" and "sede", "cocer" and "coser", "taza" and "tasa", amongst others.

3) The silent "S"

This one happens in all spanish-speaking countries, and it's the tendency of not pronouncing the last "s" on a word. Your example of "Los pescados", it would end up being "lo pescao".

Hope this helps you understand spanish a bit better.

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  • 4 months later...

Hello linguaholics! I'm greatly interested in the different idiomatic pronunciations throughout the Spanish speaking world and couldn't find much information on this forum.

There are the obvious splits between Castillian Spanish and Latin American Spanish (the Castillian "lisp") but are there any others you know about that you can share? For example, I'm currently in Chile where they replace 's' at the end of a syllable with the English 'h' sound and 'd' frequently disappears when between two vowels so you hear "Muchah graciah", "loh pehcaoh" (los pescados) etc. This can be very confusing when you have learnt Spanish from a text book.

Anyone have any more examples?  :smile: Thanks in advance!

It is super funny you mention that, because they do the same exact thing in a state in Mexico!  It is named Veracruz and is very close to the coast. They also speak like that, replace the s with an h, it is so hilarious!  It's funny, but you will see that even in the same country, specially in a country as big as Mexico, the pronunciation changes a lot.

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  • 1 year later...

Oh boy. 

I had an exchange student in my place when we were in High School. He was taking AP Spanish, so his level was pretty good. But when he was trying to understand people in my country (Dominican Republic) he was so lost, because we tend to cut some letters in the words and speak really fast. Just tell whoever you are speaking to that you are still learning, and that you need for them to be as clear as possible they well help you!

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