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I am, of course, refering to Spain's diminutive midfield maestro. (Soccer player for our North American friends). I understand that Mr X is from Catalunya (but I may be wrong)

Commentators on British TV call him "ZH" avi (ZH as in "vision") possibly trying to copy the Catalan pronunciation. However, I don't think that Spanish non-Catalans can do this sound - so I guess it would be-

"ZH" avi (in Catalunya)
Javi (Castillian)

Am I right? Sorry for not explaning myself very well

Muchas gracias.

  • Posted Jun 21, 2009
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12 Answers

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The sound is, I believe, voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative.

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Oh yeah a voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative. Oh yeah I have no clue what that sounds like.

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Oh yeah a voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative. Oh yeah I have no clue what that sounds like.You are right, raven, neither do I wink
A somewhat simpler approach:

His name is "Xavi" , which in Spanish would be Javi (javier). However, we use the same name for him in Madrid too, as this is his chosen name (some footballers chose their surname for example).

so, the pronounciation is "chavi" (the spanish ch, like in cheese)

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"CHavi" it is then.

Thanks everyone!

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Oh yeah a voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative. Oh yeah I have no clue what that sounds like.

How else do you expect me to describe to you a sound that does not exist in your language, and maybe you've never heard in your life? Alveolo-palatal means that the tongue is close to the top of the roof of the mouth (palatal), but closer to the gums (alveolus); "fricative" means that the something is trying to block the air (the tongue in this case), but not enough to prevent the air from coming out, which causes a vibration that accounts for the sound, like in the sound F, where the teeth and the lips partiallially block the air, but this escapes producing a friction.

If you have a better way to describe a foreign sound, please let me know.

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Well I know using words no one has heard of won't work. How 'bout you write the word that uses that sound and write how its pronounced. For example hay=I.

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How 'bout you write the word that uses that sound...

The word that uses the sound is "Xavi" in Catalan, and the sound does not exist in Enlish, so there are no words in English with this sound. "Hay" in Spanish and "I" in English are identical, but the sound of X in Catalan does NOT exist in English.

How would you use your method to teach the sound of the Spanish strong R using English words?

English has about 44 different sounds, but there are languages with over 100 different ones. How can you teach how to pronounce so many sounds using a much smaller set of sounds'

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I'd say roll your tongue. People who have never been exposed to Spanish will know what I'm talking about. I'd say think Ertha Kitt as catwoman. Purrrrr!!!! Jeje

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There are four different sounds in Chinese which, to an English speaker's ears, sound like two pairs of nearly identical sounds. Get one sound wrong, and you will say "death" instead of "strawberry". How do you teach someone ona post how to differenciate these sounds if your language does not have these sounds? You can't. That's why technical descriptions like the one I gave above are useful: they tell you how to position and move each part of your mouth, lips and tongue.

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Sorry how did we get from Spanish to Chinese. Look I didn't mean to offend you I just don't agree with your method.

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Well... I was trying to be as accurate as possible; sorry if I offended you. I don't agree on your method either: to give a completely inaccurate and useless approximation that sounds only good to a beginner when he can't tell the difference between two foreign sounds.

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ooh i know this one from football XD. xavi (chavi) hernandez from spain and barca :D

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