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Tengo un problema con la pronunciacion de palabras como "guapo" o "guardia" .

'Es que la letra "g" deja totalmente silencia como en la palabra "huevo" o es que la "g" se pronuncia pero muy discretamente?

Saludos

  • Posted Jul 13, 2009
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6 Answers

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Hola George, eso depende un poco de dónde es la persona que lo pronuncia.

Acabo de venir de Tarifa donde un pescador lo pronunciaba "wuante", con la w inglesa.

En Madrid se pronuncia guante, con la g sonora como en garden.

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Tengo un problema con la pronunciacion de palabras como "guapo" o "guardia" .

'Es que la letra "g" deja totalmente silencia como en la palabra "huevo" o es que la "g" se pronuncia pero muy discretamente?

Saludos

The letters b, d and g have two pronunciations, depending on their position:

(1) After a pause, m or n, their sound is closest to English, although none of the sounds are identical (and the d is quite different).

(2) In all other cases (like in "agua"), their sounds DO NOT EXIST in English. In a nutshell, what happens is that the lips and the tongue only approach their usual points where they obstruct the flow of air, instead of touching them, so the sound is far far softer than in English; that's why it sounds almost as if they were not pronounced. It sounds very bad when you use the "normal" pronunciation stated in (1). The Spanish d normally touches the upper teeth (in English it is placed much higher, above the gums), but in this case, it stays millimetres away from the upper teeth. In the normal "b", the lips are totally closed at some point (in English the air comes out differently, but the difference is not very noticeable), but in this case, the lips never touch; they only get very close. In the normal "g", the tongue touches the soft palate, but in this case, it just gets close.

Some speakers tend to use the soft pronunciation described in (2) for all "g", but when people try to pronounce more clearly, you can hear the difference. Remember, any word beginning with "d", "b" or "g", pronounced in isolation, will sound like in (1) (unless the speaker' dialect only uses the soft "g" version in all cases), but if you read it in a sentence, chances are they will be pronounced as in (2).

En Madrid se pronuncia guante, con la g sonora como en garden.

Heidi, "guante", at the beginning of a sentence, should sound be close to "get" (not identical), but if there is no pause, and it doesn't follow an n or an m, its sound is softer, and it doesn't exist in English (see above).

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For some reason ''? ... I think the degree of detail in this answer has something to do with me.

At any rate, and sincerely, thank you Lazarus for that explanation. That draws a picture in my mind (and very aptly) of some things I had noticed, but for which I had not been able to discern the "why."

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Heidi, "gua", at the beginning of a sentence, should sound be close to "get" (not identical), but if there is no pause, and it doesn't follow an n or an m, its sound is softer, and it doesn't exist in English (see above).

I was thinking about the most similar sound in English and I think it might be the wh like in what.

Actually, I was trying to point out, that in Cadiz, the g in gua is non existent, but over here we do , like you say, pronounce the g, a softer sound, definitely, but one does distinguish the sound itself. I agree, there is no such sound in English, but the most similar one is the w (for gua).

How do people pronounce it in Seville? NO g like in Cadiz'

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In Sevilla the g is softened a lot more than in other parts of Spain further from the south, but maybe not as much as in Cádiz. I'll pay more attention next time I go to Cádiz. Anyway, what I described above is supposed to be the standard pronunciation.

For those interested in IPA transcriptions:

1) /b/, /d? /, /g/
2) /'/, /ð/, /'/

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For some reason ''? ... I think the degree of detail in this answer has something to do with me.

At any rate, and sincerely, thank you Lazarus for that explanation. That draws a picture in my mind (and very aptly) of some things I had noticed, but for which I had not been able to discern the "why."

I agree: that was a great explanation. I'm still waiting for Lazarus' book.

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