V vs B

0
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when the spanish people pronounce the V, or they usually pronounce it B'

27183 views
updated DIC 3, 2009
posted by Dana

20 Answers

2
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Hi June10! You may have opened a can of worms by asking your question, although it is a good one. The issue of how a English speaking Spanish learner should pronounce the letters 'B' and V' has been a hot debate before. You can read more about it here: http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/110724/pronunciation-of-b-and-v

But the basic answer is that for a native Spanish speaking person there is little or no difference in how they are pronounced. (Think of how at times the English letters 'K' and 'C' sound the same.) However neither one are truly pronounced like the English letters 'B' or 'V'. They are close, but not exact. Read through this entire thread and the other one that I linked to for more details. smile

updated DIC 3, 2009
posted by chaparrito
good answer chaparri
I may be slow, but I get it eventually. I think... ;-)
1
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Mirad estos interesantes artículos.
Sobre uves y bes
Con /b/ de vaca: mil años de antirromance de una letra con el roman...

En España:
DVD = deuvedé
V = uve
B = be

En hispanoamérica:
DVD = debedé
V = be chica
B = be grande

updated OCT 20, 2012
posted by Kiermel
1
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Dana said:

muchas gracias amigos, so there is no "v" at all in spanish , but i wonder even when i say television i pronounce it with B?

You want to sound perfect in Spanish? Replace EVERY single V with a B, and read it again. Yes, "televisión" sounds exactly like "telebisión", no more, no less, no exceptions, no what-if's.

updated OCT 20, 2012
posted by lazarus1907
0
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MOkay, not almost, but completely! The v and the b sound the same, and they have always sounded the same.

Hay, pues, pruebas mil de que en el castellano —el román paladino («En qual suele el pueblo fablar a su veçino») del poeta primordial Gonzalo de Berceo (cuyo origen y apellido aparece frecuentemente como Verceo en documentos de su época)— nunca hubo diferencia entre la pronunciación de la b y de la v.

updated DIC 3, 2009
posted by 00494d19
Lo que quise decir es que aún hay personas que tratan de diferenciar el sonido de la "v" mordiéndose el labio (labiodental), aún y cuando para nuestros oídos no haya diferencia.
0
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Kiermel said:

En hispanoamérica:

DVD = debedé

V = be chica

B = be grande

Older people in México still says "be labial" (/B/) and "ve labiodental" (/V/) too, but nowadays the (/V/) sound is almost lost in Spanish. link

updated DIC 3, 2009
edited by Mokay
posted by Mokay
0
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James, ¿por que pones "bay"? =(

En España decimos "be" o "uve".

Las letras son completamente diferente si se leen como letra.

updated DIC 2, 2009
posted by 00494d19
Well, in English, ay is how we write that sound out.
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I'm confused. So when a Spanish person says: Voy a la iglesia, we (English speakers) would pronounce it like a "b" (or "v") but there's really no correct pronunciation? It's simply interchangable?

updated DIC 2, 2009
posted by june10
0
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Mark W said:

This is an interesting discussion. In linguistics terms, the 'v' and 'b' are considered 'bilabial' (sound made by using both lips) and normally 'aproximantes' (they don't quite block the passage of air - they only approximate the blockage). There are exceptions in their pronunciation. For example:

When the 'v' or 'b' are preceded by a vowel, they are 'aproximantes', as in 'la vaca', 'la boca'.

When the 'v' or 'b' are preceded by a nasal consonant, they are 'oclusivas', as in 'con botas', 'con vacas'. Oclusiva means the total blockage of air for a short instant followed by an explosive release. The English 'b' and 'p' are examples. So, in the phrase 'con vacas' the 'v' would be pronounced much like the English 'b' (although still probably softer).
Bilabial, yes (unlike the English "v" which is labibodental). When intervocalic (that's the easy and most common case but there may be a few other phonetic environments) the sound is what some people call a "soft b" (using English values, somewhere between a "b" and a "w") The airstream is severely restricted but not quite to the point of stopping it completely. After a pause (and some consonants (especially "m") the closure (of the lips) is complete. Despite what I said in another post, the "strong b" is more of an occlusive that a plosive (in Spanish). In English we have plosive/occlusive allophones for "p","t" and "k" but the usual practice is to call all of them plosives (while in Spanish they only use the occlusive form).

updated DIC 13, 2008
posted by samdie
0
votes

This is an interesting discussion. In linguistics terms, the 'v' and 'b' are considered 'bilabial' (sound made by using both lips) and normally 'aproximantes' (they don't quite block the passage of air - they only approximate the blockage).

There are exceptions in their pronunciation. For example:

When the 'v' or 'b' are preceded by a vowel, they are 'aproximantes', as in 'la vaca', 'la boca'.

When the 'v' or 'b' are preceded by a nasal consonant, they are 'oclusivas', as in 'con botas', 'con vacas'. Oclusiva means the total blockage of air for a short instant followed by an explosive release. The English 'b' and 'p' are examples. So, in the phrase 'con vacas' the 'v' would be pronounced much like the English 'b' (although still probably softer).

updated DIC 13, 2008
posted by Mark-W
0
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Heidita said:

Yes, punni, you are wrong. As he said, no "what-if's".

James, lo siento, no entendía en absoluto lo de "bay".
For an English speaker, if you write "be" to suggest the pronunciation of the Spanish letters v|b, the hearer is apt to assume that you mean the English word "be" (as in "To be or not to be ...". To indicate (using English sounds/words) the pronunciation of the Spanish word "be" you would do better to use "bay" (as in 'San Francisco Bay' or 'bay leaves' or 'to bay at the moon').

Although b|v are indistinguishable in spoken Spanish there are two widely used allophones (possibly more, if one considers the entire Spanish speaking world). One of those allophones is the sound that is used in English for "b"; the other does not exist in English. There was a discussion of this last summer in a thread entitled "Boy of Voy").

updated DIC 13, 2008
posted by samdie
0
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It can still be a v sound in some countries. I had a spanish teacher from Chile once and she said it was a v sound and not a b sound. She also explained that while this was different from other dialects we might encounter, we could use either pronunciation in practice and we would be understood either way.

updated DIC 13, 2008
posted by Joel
0
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Yes, punni, you are wrong. As he said, no "what-if's".

James, lo siento, no entendía en absoluto lo de "bay".

updated DIC 13, 2008
posted by 00494d19
0
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i thought that V is a bit lighter than B. or im wrong?

lazarus1907 said:

Dana said:

muchas gracias amigos, so there is no "v" at all in spanish , but i wonder even when i say television i pronounce it with B?

You want to sound perfect in Spanish? Replace EVERY single V with a B, and read it again. Yes, "televisión" sounds exactly like "telebisión", no more, no less, no exceptions, no what-if's.

>

updated DIC 12, 2008
posted by PUNISHER
0
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samdie wrote:
Surely James' "bey" was intended (simply) to distinguish it from the English word "be" (i.e. a phonetic spelling (geared towards English speakers).

Precisamente. Lo escribí así a fin de que Dana lo entendiera. Claro que habría podido escribirlo como lo de Lazarus ("BE-grande" (B) or "BE-chica" (V)), pero para un anglohablante, eso le parece raro y le hace pensar por qué no se escribe como "VE-grande" (B) o "VE-chica" (V), si las letras se pronuncian igual. "Bay" (o "bey") es solo una manera de representar la pronunciación.

Dana, although B and V are interchangeable in Spanish (in terms of pronunciation, but not of correct spelling), neither is exactly like the B or V in English.

updated DIC 12, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
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muchas gracias amigos, so there is no "v" at all in spanish , but i wonder even when i say television i pronounce it with B'

updated DIC 12, 2008
posted by Dana