HomeQ&AAre the v and b sound in spanish the same sound?

Are the v and b sound in spanish the same sound?

3
votes

Are the v and b sound in spanish the same sound? Cause Ive heard people say votella instead of botella and arvol instead of arbol

5191 views
updated MAY 13, 2010
posted by def78

5 Answers

1
vote

The letters ('b'/'v')n represent the same sound) in my experience and according to every serious discussion of Spanish phonetics that I've ever seen. I have encountered statements (like Calvo Viejo's) that somewhere a distinction is made but I've never encountered it in practice and I've never read a statement to that effect by any serious authority on phonetics (I discount such statements as "My teacher/friend/uncle said ...").

The are two sounds (allophones) in Spanish, one is termed a "oclusiva bilabial" (a "bilabial-occlusive") and is used when it occurs after a pause or before 'm'/'n'. it is very similar to the bilabial plosive of English (written as 'b'), however, it is a stop rather than a plosive (lacks the "puff of breath" that occurs in English). However, one can safely use the English 'b' and most people will not "hear" the difference" (unless they're seriously interested in phonetics). The other is the intervocalic allophone which has no equivalent in English. In Spanish it is called an espirante bilabial. The lips come close together but never completely cut off the air-flow. The closest approximation in English would be the formation of the "w" (but that is not the same sound, they are, at best "kissing cousins").

The English "v" is an entirely different question. First and foremost it is labial-dental (the teeth are in contact with the lower lip to produce the sound). In normal Spanish this sound does not exist. There are reports that in some schools in some (Spanish speaking) countries, young children are taught to make a distinction (using the labio-dental for the 'v') in order to help them to make the distinction when writing but this represents an artificial pronunciation for didactic purposes. Outside of school, they and their teachers, do not use the labio-dental. When they get older (and are presumed to know how to spell [whether or not that is the case]), this distinction is no longer made. If there is a region where the labio-dental is used with any consistency, it has not been mentioned by the phoneticians/dialecticians that go around studying such things. *

updated MAY 15, 2011
posted by samdie
1
vote

Here's what I got from my text book, Dicho y Hecho

"The consonants b and v are identical in pronunciation. Initial b and v (and after m and n) are pronounced like the English b in boy."

So the b's and v's in these words: bueno, vista, sombrero and violeta are with a hard "b" sound as it pronounced in English.

"In other positions they are pronounced less explosively."

So for words like these: lobo, favor, jueves, and adobe it's pronounced less "explosively"

updated MAY 13, 2010
posted by bmancornelious
1
vote

Go this the following website and they pronounce different words with "v" and "b".

Pronounce V and B

updated MAY 13, 2010
posted by Rolest
0
votes

Both are the same voiced bilabial fricative which is not used in English. An earlier thread has a longer explanation.

updated MAY 12, 2010
posted by geofc
0
votes

Yes, they're supposed to be pronounced the same, close to the English "b", but there are lots of variations. In some areas the two letters are pronounced differently, in some places they're pronounced more like the English "v". My suggestion: pronounce both the same, and be consistent.

updated MAY 12, 2010
posted by CalvoViejo
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