HomeQ&AProper pronunciation'? "LL" is it pronounced "JO" or "YO" ?'?

Proper pronunciation'? "LL" is it pronounced "JO" or "YO" ?'?

0
votes

I hear "ll"s pronounced differently in various readings/translations.

For example:

Hammer/ Mantillo - Is it pronounced "man-TEE-jo" or "man-TEE-yo" ?

Wonderful/ maravilloso - "mara-vee-YOSO" or "mara-vee-JOSO"?

There/ allí - "ah-JEE" or "ah-YEE"

call/ llamar - "ja-MAR" or "ya-MAR"?

Thanks for any help,

Rachel

53744 views
updated AGO 7, 2009
posted by RachelC

28 Answers

0
votes

The LL's have two ways of pronunciation and is mainly based upon region. You can pronounce it with a y or j. I have noticed most Latin Americans pronounce it with a j and most Spaniards with the y sound. I myself, like to blend in so use the j sound. Also, there is a ch, sh sound for the double l as previously mentioned, mainly people from Argentina.

Hopefully these voice recordings will help you.

  1. http://forvo.com/word/maravilloso/
  2. http://forvo.com/word/allí
  3. http://forvo.com/word/llamar/
updated AGO 7, 2009
posted by angelbabyliz
0
votes

So you don't believe you can write out the similar sound in English at all?

Believe? I've studied a couple of years of phonetics, and I can assure you that you can't. But despite my studies, English speakers using those spelled pronunciations... don't sound Spanish at all!!!! Don't take it bad, but it sounds horrible!

Think of scrabble: can you write the word "aventure" if I give you this letters?

b b i c r m a o h

Well... easy: "abbimchor". Not exactly the same, but it is similar, isn't it? No, it's not. You cannot write a "v" without v's, you can't write an "n" without n's, no matter how close the "m" is to the "n". They are different! Spanish has sounds that English doesn't, and English has many sounds that don't exist in Spanish. Even if you use the English sounds that are nearly identical in Spanish, you are lacking sounds, like you lacked letters in the scrabble. If you use English sounds that don't exist in Spanish, it would be like introducing Greek characters instead of letters from the Roman alphabet, and spell "aventure" like:

i'i'dor

Similar? Maybe, but it is not English, it doesn't look like English, and it doesn't sounds like English.

Your spelled pronunciation does not sound Spanish. English has 44 sounds, and Spanish only 26. from those 26, 5 have no counterpart, 3 are pronounced differently enough, and 4 of the vowels only appear in diphthongs in English, so there are at least 12 sounds (46% of all available ones) that you are going to get wrong with that spelled pronunciation, and probably more after you introduce sounds that do not exist (17 sounds!)

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Anyone posting here, obviously, as access to a computer. In this day and age there is absolutely no reason to rely on "spelling pronunciations". This site provides pronunciations for individual words, I've mentioned one for connected speech and Lazarus has mentioned (at least one) other. You can use these sites to hear a native speaker produce these sounds (which, despite some regional differences for certain sounds, is the final authority on how they are pronounced).

If, of course, your goal is to speak Spanish with a foreign (American/British) accent, by all means, continue to use English sounds in place of Spanish ones.

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by samdie
0
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"llamar" sounds like a cross/mixture between "y"amar and "j"amar does it not?

Are these "y"amar and "j"amar English spelled things again? blank stare Ok, here we go again: None of them!

There are FOUR different ways to pronounce the Spanish "ll" depending on the country. The easiest ones for you to get perfect are the ones used in Argentina and Uruguay (but hardly everywhere else), which would sound like "ge" in "beige" (http://www.howjsay.com/index.php'word=beige&submit=Submit) and "sh" in "ship". The sound you are more likely to find other parts of Latin America is similar to the "y" in "yard", but the tongue has more tension and it is positioned slightly different. If you don't want to follow instructions on how to position your tongue, get a good recording, and then hear it, again and again... until you get it.

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Take the link I gave you to that Text-to-sound web, enter words, or simply letters, and listed to the sounds. It is much easier, believe me.

"llamar" sounds like a cross/mixture between "y"amar and "j"amar does it not?

Rachel

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by RachelC
0
votes

My husband cannot roll his RRs. I am going to post a thread on that. Do you have any tricks for help with that?

Rachel

Can you make a Brrrrrr! sound with your lips, as if you were freezing? You don't move your lips fast, but you expel air, while trying to block it with your lips, hard enough to get a vibration, but not so hard that the air gets blocked. Put the tip of your tongue like you would for a "t" in "butter", widen your tongue so it touches all your upper teeth. Now the air should not be able to go out if your tongue is tight enough when you try to expel the air gently. Same as with your lips, all you have to do is to control the tension in the tip of your tongue, so is tight enough for the air to make it vibrate (normally, it happens 2-3 times), but not so tight that the air is completely blocked. The sides of the tongue must still remain tense, so the air does not escape sideways.

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

We need something as a starting point to begin to speak! It is similar isn't it?

I have a book that spells out the pronunciation in ways we (English speakers) can understand the words without hearing them. I find it very helpful.

Very helpful... to make sounds that are not Spanish, if that is of any help at all. Spanish has a rather logical spelling system: there is only one way to pronounce a word, and there are nearly twice as many sounds in English as there are in Spanish. Learn a few very simple rules about how every letter sounds, put them all together... and you are pronouncing perfect Spanish! Why using that rubbish pseudo-pronunciation (called spelled pronunciation) that does not sound like Spanish, and memorize both the word and the spelled aberration, if the word alone tells you accurately how it sounds? You English speakers are used to regard words and sounds as two nearly completely unrelated entities, which is not surprising given your illogical spelling system, but in Spanish, the illogical thing to do is to add crappy spelled pronunciation to words that give you an accurate pronunciation.

I've taught some people whose first language was not English (or even European), and some of them needed less than half an hour to read Spanish perfectly clear and properly pronounced, except maybe for a couple of sounds, like the thrilled R. Of course, they didn't know what they were saying, since they hadn't studied Spanish, but they could read aloud practically as clear as I do, and they found it easy. A lot of English speakers, on the other hand, decide to do it the hard way, and spend years learning pseudo-pronunciations... to achieve a horrible accent!

Take the link I gave you to that Text-to-sound web, enter words, or simply letters, and listed to the sounds. It is much easier, believe me.

So you don't believe you can write out the similar sound in English at all'

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by RachelC
0
votes

We need something as a starting point to begin to speak! It is similar isn't it?

I have a book that spells out the pronunciation in ways we (English speakers) can understand the words without hearing them. I find it very helpful.

Very helpful... to make sounds that are not Spanish, if that is of any help at all. Spanish has a rather logical spelling system: there is only one way to pronounce a word, and there are nearly twice as many sounds in English as there are in Spanish. Learn a few very simple rules about how every letter sounds, put them all together... and you are pronouncing perfect Spanish! Why using that rubbish pseudo-pronunciation (called spelled pronunciation) that does not sound like Spanish, and memorize both the word and the spelled aberration, if the word alone tells you accurately how it sounds? You English speakers are used to regard words and sounds as two nearly completely unrelated entities, which is not surprising given your illogical spelling system, but in Spanish, the illogical thing to do is to add crappy spelled pronunciation to words that give you an accurate pronunciation.

I've taught some people whose first language was not English (or even European), and some of them needed less than half an hour to read Spanish perfectly clear and properly pronounced, except maybe for a couple of sounds, like the thrilled R. Of course, they didn't know what they were saying, since they hadn't studied Spanish, but they could read aloud practically as clear as I do, and they found it easy. A lot of English speakers, on the other hand, decide to do it the hard way, and spend years learning pseudo-pronunciations... to achieve a horrible accent!

Take the link I gave you to that Text-to-sound web, enter words, or simply letters, and listed to the sounds. It is much easier, believe me.

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Personally, I learned from watching my spanish friend speak English(she is just learning) that the y sound in spanish is not the English y sound because she cant pronounce the English y sound.

BTW, im going to refer to it as the y sound because I do not know phonemes. Anyway, I pronounce the j sounding sound by raising my tongue midway to the top of my mouth and forcing air over the top.

It works for me. One thing that is much easier to do with spanish than portuguese, is to mimic the spanish speakers accent in English. If you do it properly(and you need someone that speaks bad english) then your spanish accent will be near perfect.

smile What a neat trick! I'll try that.

My husband cannot roll his RRs. I am going to post a thread on that. Do you have any tricks for help with that?
Rachel

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by RachelC
0
votes

I'm afraid your explanation did nothing to help me. Sorry but I do not understand.

Ok, let me simplify it for you: you can't pronounce Spanish using English sounds.

So, does "llamar" does sound like 'ja-MAR? or 'ya-MAR'? NEITHER!

You can't find any "...MAR" thing in English that will sound like Spanish. You don't have the sounds in your language. Period.

Can you tell me how to say those words I listed? Does the audio on this site do it justice? What dialect is it using? Spain or other?

Try this site and choose "Spanish - Antonio" (sounds better than María):

http://www.acapela-group.com/text-to-speech-interactive-demo.html

Wow! That is a neat site! Thank you for that link.

If you want the Latin American pronunciation, simply replace all Z with S, and all CE and CI with SE and SI respectively. In Spain, Z, CE and CI have the "th" sound of "thing" in English, but in Latin America, that sound is not used. Instead, they pronounce them as S.

Can you give me some example words for this?

it sounds like aDee

What do you mean by aDee? Well, when I listen to it, it sounds like ahDEE not AhYEE .

I'm afraid your explanation did nothing to help me. Sorry but I do not understand.

Not even when I said that the LL in Argentina sounds like "ge" in "beige"?

Yes, this is the sound I'm speaking of. I say, "j" you say "ge". Like maravilloso. Or maybe there are better examples.

So, does "llamar" does sound like 'ja-MAR? or 'ya-MAR'? NEITHER!

You can't find any "...MAR" thing in English that will sound like Spanish. You don't have the sounds in your language. Period.well, what can i say'?

We need something as a starting point to begin to speak! It is similar isn't it?
I have a book that spells out the pronunciation in ways we (English speakers) can understand the words without hearing them. I find it very helpful.

Thanks for your help.smile

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by RachelC
0
votes

I'm afraid your explanation did nothing to help me. Sorry but I do not understand.

Can you tell me how to say those words I listed? Does the audio on this site do it justice? What dialect is it using? Spain or other?

Rachel

Hi Rachel, it is difficult to understand Lazarus at times cheese

You can find a correct pronounciation both on our site as on this site. My opinion is that the pronounciation is clearer on WR. The speaker is from Spain. Just introduce the word in the search in the dictionary and you will get the pronounciation.

I guess your ear will catch y like in *yogurt. *

there ARE places in Spain where the ll and the y is distinguished. Mostly the sound is y, like in yo-yo.

Hola! Thank you for the explanations and that neat website wordreference.com! This website forum is great!

For some reason my notifications are turned off so I am just reading these responses.

I'm still trying to learn which words are often sounded like j and which more often like y. My newslady is from Peru. She said the people there have a harder "j" sound for many LL words. Her daughter, raised in Argentina - uses the y sound.

Rachel

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by RachelC
0
votes

What I mean is, you dont form your lips to make any of the sounds. Those words can be pronounced simply by letting your lips touch each other.

Do you, perhaps, mean "purse" or "pucker" your lips? You can move (or not) your lips to form sounds but your lips are already formed (at least, once you have stopped growing); even if you never utter a word.

updated AGO 1, 2009
posted by samdie
0
votes

What I mean is, you dont form your lips to make any of the sounds. Those words can be pronounced simply by letting your lips touch each other.

For the consonants alone, maybe, but not for the vowels. And since there are vowels between those consonants, you are going to have to stretch and round your lips accordingly almost all the time.

updated AGO 1, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

By the way, the best thing you can do to help your Spanish accent is not use your lips to make sounds.Then how do you say:

boca

franco

mar

palo

vale

What I mean is, you dont form your lips to make any of the sounds. Those words can be pronounced simply by letting your lips touch each other.

For instance, my friend cannot say you. She cannot make the r sound either. Any sound that involved forming the lips, she cannot make. In english.

updated AGO 1, 2009
posted by WhyAmIHere
0
votes

I accept the fact that we do not have the sound in English basically because you are telling me, hehe. Whilst trying to learn Spanish, some thirty five years ago, I was told the "LL" sound was similar to, not exactly like, but similar to the "LL" sound in our word "miLLion". Does this help the English trying to pronounce this particular sound?

If you read my detailed explanation above, you'll see that the sound of the English J must be close, since the tongue is nearly in the same position as in the Spanish sounds described. The difference is the pressure and where the air comes out through. Similar? Yes. Good enough? Mmmmm... it clearly sounds like a strange foreign sound to me here, but I recognize it, of course. If your aim is just to get understood, and not to try to sound crystal clear (even though you can tell you are not a native), then the English J is fine, but any native who hears you will be thinking "Why does it sound so funny when this guy says "llamar"'".

Sorry, I missed that bit. Looking at this again, I find myself pronouncing the "ll" with the the sides of my tongue against the roof of my mouth and not the tip of my tongue at the front of the roof. This appears to muffle the "l" sound.

updated JUL 31, 2009
posted by Eddy
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