2 Vote

Ex. in the word "triste", should I pronounce e as "ay" or like English e?

Also, how do I ask : How do you spell your name?"

Thank you!!!

  • Posted Jan 26, 2012
  • | 2174 views
  • | link
  • | flag

6 Answers

3 Vote

I'm so glad you asked this question!

Really, the "e" at the end of a word is like a short "e" sound in English, NOT an "ay" sound.

For example, the name "José" is often pronounced "Hose- ay."

Really, it should be (phonetically) "Hos (s sound, not z)... -é (like in ed, not aid).

People tend to elongate it into "ay" but it's really choppier and sharper than that.

It's like the e in Egg (not pronounced "Ay"g or Every (not Avery) or Evolution (not Ay-volution) or Extreme (not Ay-xtreme).

We do have the equivalent sound in English, but people don't transfer it intuitively because it never falls at the end of a word in English.

Great question!

  • I'm not sure I completely agree withe the e in egg. I know people name Jose and I never heard them say it like "Hos-eh" its a pretty clear long A to my ear, like "Hos-ay". - discostew02 Jan 26, 2012 flag
  • Oh definitely, a lot of people named José go by the more English-sounding pronunciation, just like people named Carlos do. I suppose I should have chosen a word word instead of a name for my example. (Madre, come, qué, adelante...) - TejanaJo Jan 26, 2012 flag
  • "ay" sounds like day and that is not like the Spanish "e" which is more like the "e" in edit. - ian-hill Jan 26, 2012 flag
  • @discotew02: I think it's just your perception. As a native speaker, I'd go for "ho-SEH" (or "HO-seh", depending on various factors) any time. It may sound like "Ho-say" because of the stress on the "é" - Heimy Jan 26, 2012 flag
2 Vote

"ay" is correct. To ask how to you spell your name: "Como se escribe su nombre?"

  • I think "write" should not be confused with"spell"!! one is the verb "escribir" the other"deletrear" two quite different concepts. - faliron Jan 26, 2012 flag
  • @ faliron: I think both are acceptable in the Spanish-speaking world. "Escribir" might actually be more commonly used... Según el diccionario: how do you spell it? -> ¿cómo se escribe? (it also has "deletrear") - Goldie_Miel Jan 26, 2012 flag
1 Vote

I agree, however, maybe we should make a distinction between "ay" (as in pay) because it is not really the sound of the final e in Spanish. If you listen carefully and pronounce the word slowly, you will hear those "ay" sounds come out as a long a followed by an "ee" (try Sunday, it is most evident there). The sound of the final e in Spanish sounds more like the English "long a" as in gate or eight. It is a fine point, but maybe native Spanish speakers can hear the difference and find it part of an American/English accent?? tongue rolleye

0 Vote

I'm a native spanish speaker, fo me, the sound "e" in any pary of the word sounds as the E in: The, evolution, or any e of september.. **About triste.. It sounds TRIS-te, tris: trees but with a short ee (e like in theenglish alphabet). "te"like te in september.

I hope havent made the thing more complicate. XD

0 Vote

Because the English language is such a melting pot (and not so melted!) of many disparate sources, it is correct in some circles to use a phonetic (as in make it sound according to the "rules" of English) translation of foreign language words. That said when I hear someone pronounce José as Joe-see it REALLY grates my noodle! There are many examples of words (especially of Asian origin) that get 'mangled' thus - many because they are unpronounceable to English speakers! I believe that if you know where the word comes from you should respect the source and use the pronunciation that is apropos.

0 Vote

"ay" sounds like day and that is not like the Spanish "e" which is more like the "e" in edit.

Answer this Question
Download our free app
Connect with SpanishDict
Comentarios