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Be careful with your pronunication!!


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In Spanish, many words can sound the same but depending on how they are said can have completely different meanings. "pero" is the word for "but" and the same word with a double 'r' "perro" means dog!

A person who tries to order the following in a Spanish restaurant "chicken but no sauce" can often end up asking for "chicken, dog, no sauce" which may cause a bit of a tense moment with the owner!

(This actually happened with a friend of mine in Mallorca!)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Haha! Excellent example of pronunciation gone wrong. When I learnt Spanish in school, our teacher always nagged us about pronunciation, but I can definitely see her point - it seems like words which sound similar have the most awkward meanings when interchanged. For example, she would stop us on the spot if, when talking about our age, we said "tengo...anos" rather than "tengo...años", which hopefully you can translate for yourself. Now that would be an awkward one to use in conversation with a native speaker!  :shy:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, those are all spelled differently, "pero" and "perro" are different because one 'r' and two 'rs' are different, likewise 'ano' and 'año', the 'n' and the 'ñ' are completely different letters same as an 'i' and a 'j' are.

So there are a few instances, but overall you're much less likely to run into that in Spanish than in English, where there are so many variations on how to pronounce letters on their own and in combination.

You're more likely in Spanish to run into words with more than one meaning, or words that have regional meanings. Also common in English, I guess.

The biggest example of that for me is "coger" which is a normal verb that means "take" or "get" in Spain but is r-rated in Mexico. I had to unlearn that one when I went to DF since it's such a common verb.

That said, an accent will usually get you a lot of leeway in either case, since it will be obvious that you're not being malicious.

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I don't think any waiter in Spain will confuse your order with dog. Its very common for most languages to have words that a pronounced the same but spelled slightly different for instance in English, right-rite, weight-wait, which-witch, no-know.

I guess you'd say "Pollo pero no salsa por fabor":  :wacky:

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  • 2 months later...

yeah..  it is never good to flirt with someone in spanish and say ´ I have 33 anos´..

I created a few tongue twisters that I used to help with certain pronunciations.. when you say the words together, it makes it easier for your to learn to pronounce them differently.  The kids I work with also laugh at them.  One for your example

un plato de pato para el gato, pero el perro esperas para una pera

( I plate of duck for the cat, but the dogs waits for a pear)

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Hahaha, that's so funny - it even got my mom laughing.  :D

What you said is so true. It's a problem I've fallen into too. I struggle with the double "r"s too. Funny enough, I struggle with r's in french too. One is tongue roll forward and the other is another hard to do tongue thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it happens to almost all people when they learn a new language, which I think having trouble with pronunciation is forgiven in some situations. I believe try to pronounce precisely but not perfectly is just as hard as being able to learn the language in a short period of time.

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Wow so "pero" is a borrowed word from Spanish. :) It also means "but" in Filipino, our native language. :) Yes, we should be careful in the correct pronunciation of words and not just the pronunciation but as well as the correct spelling of  words. :)

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Wow so "pero" is a borrowed word from Spanish. :) It also means "but" in Filipino, our native language. :) Yes, we should be careful in the correct pronunciation of words and not just the pronunciation but as well as the correct spelling of  words. :)

Tagolog is very similar to spanish and has a lot of borrowed words.  I would say it is almost as similar as portuquese is to spanish.  Probably has to do with the 18th century explorers and stuff like that, similar to why central and south america speak spanish.  A person who is fluent in spanish could probably understand most of what you are trying to say.

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I am the worst, when it comes to pronunciation! I have always had a problem with rolling "r's". For some reason, my mouth likes to flub it up. When I was little, I even had to take a speech class because my mouth did not seem to want to work with me! Thanks for the hints, maybe with practice I can get pronunciation down pat.

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