HomeQ&AMixed Vowel Sounds - Confused

Mixed Vowel Sounds - Confused

0
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Hola - learning spanish but having problems with diphthongs (unaccented) Please verify this is correct. And when is e pronounced hard or soft. Sometimes eh and sometimes a.

ai = eye (hard i)
ia = yah

ei = ay (hard a)
ie = yeh

oi = ay as in boy
io = yoh

iu = ee(oo) hard e than u unless except after g or q then u is silent
Than why is Ruiz (Reese instead of Roo(ee)s)''''''''?
ui = oo(ee) except after g or q then u silent

eu = eh(oo)
ue = weh like pueblo u silent after or or q

ua = wah
au = aw(oo) ahw as in "ouch"

6999 views
updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by La-Cosa

11 Answers

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You rock! Exactly what I needed!

motley said:

This will helphttp://www.studyspanish.com/pronunciation/diphthongs.htm

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updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by La-Cosa
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La Cosa said:

I work with many different spanish speaking people. Most who have english as a second language. They don't sound like native english speakers. Language center in the brain closes around age 12 after that unless your gifted or have exposed to the language early on you normally sound like a foreign speaker. I am happy with being very close. I think you guys helped solve my problem with mixed vowels.

And even spanish people don't speak spanish the same. The girl from columbia speaks different than the two men from peru. We get many people from different parts of mexico not to mention the different education levels. They don't speak the same either. My coworkers don't have time to explain....and they are all different.....

I do have programs that pronounce but I wanted input from you at Spanishdic.com My co-workers don't have time to teach spanish at work.


Most of the differences in "regional variations" relate to vocabulary. The obvious exception being the difference in pronunciation (between Castillian vs Latin American Spanish) for the c/z/s (and, to a lesser extent the ll/y or the "softness"'/"hardness" of the j/g). But, even there, within a region pronunciation is remarkable consistent and has a simple correspondence to the writing system.

For learning purposes, the ideal would be a native speaker with experience in teaching the language. Native speaker for the obvious reasons. Experience as a teacher because most non-teachers will stop correcting your pronunciation once it becomes "reasonably close" (mostly because conversation becomes difficult if your partner is overly "picky" and they may consider it impolite to be "too critical").

The good news is that about 2-4 weeks (of fairly serious effort) should be all that you require to really learn the sounds of a (any) foreign language. The bad news is that if, after that time, you still sound like a "foreigner", you probably always will. For most people, somewhere around the age of 10-12 there is a loss of ability to learn to recognize/produce new sounds. This is not to say that there is no point in studying a new language after that time but, rather, that you should not hope to be hired by the CIA (or whatever) as a spy who needs to "pass for a native".

updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by samdie
0
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updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by motley
0
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I work with many different spanish speaking people. Most who have english as a second language. They don't sound like native english speakers. Language center in the brain closes around age 12 after that unless your gifted or have exposed to the language early on you normally sound like a foreign speaker.

I am happy with being very close. I think you guys helped solve my problem with mixed vowels.

And even spanish people don't speak spanish the same. The girl from columbia speaks different than the two men from peru. We get many people from different parts of mexico not to mention the different education levels. They don't speak the same either. My coworkers don't have time to explain....and they are all different.....

I do have programs that pronounce but I wanted input from you at Spanishdic.com My co-workers don't have time to teach spanish at work.

updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by La-Cosa
0
votes

samdie said:

Unless you're willing to devote the time/effort to learning (a subset of the IPA) forget about written indications of how to pronounce a (any) language. Get yourself a native speaker (live/recorded). Pronunciation is learned through the ears not the eyes.

P.S. For starters you can go to reference (link above) --> grammar --> pronunciation --> the alphabet for the sounds of individual letters. They will point out (as did Lazarus) that diphthongs are produced by saying the vowels (with their usual pronunciation) but "rapidly & run together".

updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by samdie
0
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Like my student who told the class, when it was his turn to say his name, that in English (at school) it was Diego (dee-ay-go) but in Spanish (at home) it was .... Jay-go.

Now of course I call him 'Jaygo.'

updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by Jmarie
0
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Unless you're willing to devote the time/effort to learning (a subset of the IPA) forget about written indications of how to pronounce a (any) language. Get yourself a native speaker (live/recorded). Pronunciation is learned through the ears not the eyes.

updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

Hola, my goal is to be able to speak spanish properly and correctly. I have several different books and programs but they seem to conflict each other. I have all the sounds down correctly except the mixed vowels.

samdie said:

As Lazarus pointed out, the sounds in English and Spanish are simply not the same. Unless your goal is to learn to speak Spanish but sound like a foreigner (i.e. non-Spanish speaker) thinking in terms of English sounds is counter-productive because it reinforces English sounds. You need to learn the Spanish sounds. Because of the simplicity of Spanish spelling, once you learn the basic sounds of Spanish, reading Spanish (in other words knowing how to pronounce based on the spelling) is easy. However, you should resist any temptation to write (as notes to yourself) things like "buenos días" sounds like "bwey-nos dee-as". The latter doesn't sound like the former. It sounds like an English speaker (who doesn't know Spanish) trying to say the former (and not really succeeding).All of that said, if your goal is to learn a few phrases that you can use during a short trip to some Spanish speaking country (and you have no expectation of going back) then you're not really trying to learn Spanish; you just want to say some things that will be (more or less) understood by the "natives". In that case, your pronunciation doesn't need to be good, it just needs to be intelligible. Also, in that case you can save time by not learning much grammar either. Reasonably intelligent Spanish speakers (especially those with some experience in dealing with "gringos") will be able to figure out your "broken Spanish".

>

updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by La-Cosa
0
votes

As Lazarus pointed out, the sounds in English and Spanish are simply not the same. Unless your goal is to learn to speak Spanish but sound like a foreigner (i.e. non-Spanish speaker) thinking in terms of English sounds is counter-productive because it reinforces English sounds. You need to learn the Spanish sounds. Because of the simplicity of Spanish spelling, once you learn the basic sounds of Spanish, reading Spanish (in other words knowing how to pronounce based on the spelling) is easy. However, you should resist any temptation to write (as notes to yourself) things like "buenos días" sounds like "bwey-nos dee-as". The latter doesn't sound like the former. It sounds like an English speaker (who doesn't know Spanish) trying to say the former (and not really succeeding).

All of that said, if your goal is to learn a few phrases that you can use during a short trip to some Spanish speaking country (and you have no expectation of going back) then you're not really trying to learn Spanish; you just want to say some things that will be (more or less) understood by the "natives". In that case, your pronunciation doesn't need to be good, it just needs to be intelligible. Also, in that case, you can save time by not learning much grammar either. Reasonably intelligent Spanish speakers (especially those with some experience in dealing with "gringos") will be able to figure out your "broken Spanish".

updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

You're making your life unnecessarily hard, like most English speakers: just pronounce every letter, one at a time! (not like in English) All letters in Spanish sound ALWAYS exactly the same. Why is this so hard to understand?

Anyway, if you insist in using English spelling to pronounce Spanish, you'll never achieve a good pronunciation, because no diphthong in English matches exactly any in Spanish, and only one short vowel sounds identical in both languages, but there it goes:

:

ai = eye (hard i) - more or less, but the i is slightly different ia = yah - the vowel is shorter in Spanish than in English ei = ay (hard a) - more or less, but the i is slightly different ie = yeh - Not very close. It sounds like in yell, but without the ll

oi = ay as in boy - More or less, but it should be pronounced more closed.

io = yoh -

iu = ee(oo) hard e than u unless except after g or q then u is silent - both shorter than in English "deep" plus "doom"

Than why is Ruiz (Reese instead of Roo(ee)s)''''''''? - It is pronounced like that because it has an I, and an U. Just pronounce one, and then the other.

ui = oo(ee) except after g or q then u silent - both shorter than in English "doom" plus"deep"

eu = eh(oo) - Not like "eh"! Try the "e" in "pest" plus the "oo" in "doom"

ue = weh like pueblo u silent after or or q - Better not. Use "well".

ua = wah- Better not. You need the w sound, plus the Spanish "a", which is like in "bar", but shorter.

au = aw(oo) ahw as in "ouch" - like in "sound", but the "u" must be slightly more open and backwards

What you are trying to do is like trying to memorize how to pronounce all figures by heart, instead of remembering that 5 sounds like five, and three like three, so 503 is five hundred and three. Why memorizing how to read all the figures one by one if they follow strict rules'

updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Probably would have helped if you had given some example words to help check your "pronunciation". Here's some if you want to add them.

Baile, hay
Diablo

Aceite, rey
miel

Oigo, doy
Sitio

viuda
fuimos

Deuda
bueno

guapo
jaula

And you don't seem too confused.

updated SEP 20, 2008
posted by 0074b507
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