'D' - The 'killer' consonant
I've seen quite a few posts on pronunciation of 'R' and 'V/B' but none on 'D'. And yet I have found 'D' the hardest letter to get to grips with, particularly when trying to understand spoken Spanish.
It seems to depend very much on where it is in the word. At the beginning I have heard it pronounced just like an English 'R' - "me ras" for "me das". This is really confusing when you are trying to get the meaning of something.
Then in the middle it seems to be like an English 'D' but softer, so I am alright there.
But then we get to the ends of words and we have 'R', 'L' 'RL' or even nothing at all! If I ever have to say 'Tengo sed' for real I am afraid I will die of thirst before I am understood.
The question is, am I alone or am I seriously DEficient?
What do others think?
It should never sound like the English "r" (which is, by the way, a very unusual sound; Mandarin is the only other language that I know of that has a "retroflex r sound")..
When "d" is intervocalic (or at the end of a word) it can sound very much like the "th" of English as used in "them" (the similarity of sounds also accounts for the Brooklynese "des, dem, dose" pronunciations). In a number of regions the "d" of "-ado" / "ido" (common as terminations for past participles, is often not pronounced.
For the "standard" pronunciation of "d" in Spanish, consult this pronunciation guide (under "occlusivas")
Try listening to the word Madrid in English and then in Spanish.
The English pronounces the 2 Ds whereas Spanish sounds more like "Mathrith" For my ears anyway.
You are DEficient! Haha just kidding. Depends on the country where it's spoken, I've heard (from songs and movies depending on the region) a normal sounding d to more of a kind of 'th' sounding soft d. Kinda like "días" sounds almost like "thee-ahs".
I think it depends on the word, who is speaking it, and what region or dialect/accent they speak.
In a number of regions the "d" of "-ado" / "ido" (common as terminations for past participles, is often not pronounced.
I've often heard Puerto Ricans say pesc'ao (pescado) and cuid'ao (cuidado). The also drop their "s" in many words, i.e., ¿Cómo e'tas?
You're not alone, English speakers do find them quite challenging. I guess you also find it interesting how the hard g (as in gato) is pronounced, at least in Spain. It's like a mixture of g & k.
place the tip of tongue on upper teeth. To see what 'am talking about go to http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/#
This isn't exactly have to do with D, but here is an example of how different people pronounce letters/words. BEBE from spain sings the song Buscome, but if you listen she drops the S so it sounds like bucome:
Seems many from spain do this with the S in words.