HomeQ&AHow are acronyms (such as E.E.U.U., DOA, etc.)

How are acronyms (such as E.E.U.U., DOA, etc.)

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How are acronyms (such as E.E.U.U., DOA, etc.) pronounced in Spanish? Would I use the sounds of the Spanish alphabet like I do in English, i.e., say "eh eh oo oo" for E.E.U.U.'

14965 views
updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by Alicia2919

17 Answers

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For example, encountering "ch" for the first time is unusual for an English person and the pronunciations like "A" sounds like a "R" etc etc.

"MAHK BAY-kuh", the only time "A" sounds like "R" is if you're from England or from Maine. They don't round their "R's" at all, but pronounce them "AH" or "UH". We tease those people here in the US when they say things like:

"AHeem fr'm BAH HAH-buh" ("I'm from Bar Harbor")

or

"PAHK thuh CAH in thuh HAH-vuhd YAHD" (Park the car in the Harvard yard").

harshhh! I'm from boston! we don't talk like that... We write it like, "Pahk the cah in hahvad yah-d.

(it's not THE havad yad... just harvard yard...)

although funny story. I didn't know the name 'Martha' had an R in it until I was about nine. We always say "matha"

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by redsoxnia
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In the Video lesson either 2.8 or 2.9, Paralee actually says the letter "r" by itself if anyone wants to hear how "r" should sound.
In reference -> grammar -> pronunciation -> the alphabet (in the last subsection [labeled "exercises"]) there's a link that will let you hear the/a pronunciation of each letter in the alphabet (including "ch", "ll" and "rr").

updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by samdie
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In the Video lesson either 2.8 or 2.9, Paralee actually says the letter "r" by itself if anyone wants to hear how "r" should sound.

updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
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How are acronyms (such as E.E.U.U., DOA, etc.) pronounced in Spanish? Would I use the sounds of the Spanish alphabet like I do in English, i.e., say "eh eh oo oo" for E.E.U.U.?

"A" "A" "OO" "OO" (By the way it is EE.UU. or EEUU). I am not sure what DOA stands for other than Dead on Arrival.

Alicia, I, too, am curious to know how native speakers treat the abbreviation EEUU in oral speech. In regards to other acronyms, I have heard them pronounce the letters (e.g., DOA = "deh oh ah"), pronounce the "word" that the acronym forms (e.g., PRI = "pdee" [Mexican political party], or UNESCO = "oo-NEHS-coh"), or just say what the acronym refers to (e.g., OEA = Organización de Estados Americanos [OAS in English]).

Also, you were correct in your phonetic description of the pronunciation of the Spanish letter "e." It is similar to the short "e" sound in English, NOT the long "a" sound. Usually the first indicator to me of a non-native speaker is hearing someone say, "BUAY-nose DEE-uhs, MEE NAHM-bray ES ..." This gets on my nerves more than just about any other error that "gringos" make. And we even have so-called Spanish "teachers" that teach people to pronunce the Spanish "e" like "AY"! But then they aren't even consistent with it, because they have their students pronouncing a word like "fuente" as "FWEN-tay" (two different pronunciations for the "e" in the same word).

I repeat, these should be pronounced similar to the short "e" sound in English. Nobody (except for some people from Michigan and Minnesota) says "ayg" (egg) or "layg" (leg). And since Spanish vowels are prounounced uniformly throughout the language, the "e's" in "buenos" and "nombre" should receive the same pronunciation as the ones in "es" and "estoy." The "AY" sound in Spanish is made either by the diphthong "ei" or by "ey". There is a big difference (in pronunciation and in meaning) between "un peinado" and "un penado", for instance.

updated JUL 7, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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By the way, when we're talking about pronouncation of "r"... what about "r" in spanish words like hablar, estar etc.? La Profesora says "ablah" and "estah", and the man in next section pronounces a clear "r" (like in the word "read") at the end of those words. Which is correct?

In Spanish, except for the h, you pronounce every single word; that is the correct pronunciation. However, the Spanish r is not the English r: the closest sound in English to the Spanish r (not thrilled) is the American d.

updated JUL 3, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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By the way, when we're talking about pronouncation of "r"... what about "r" in spanish words like hablar, estar etc.? La Profesora says "ablah" and "estah", and the man in next section pronounces a clear "r" (like in the word "read") at the end of those words. Which is correct'

updated JUL 3, 2009
posted by Maciek071
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Recently I went to a Doctor and when he looked down the back of my throat, he said say "AAAAAH" or rather say "R"......I guess we are saying the same thing AH = r.

updated JUL 2, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
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Sounds like you've been talking to people from New Jersey or New York! smile What an interesting tangent....

updated JUL 2, 2009
posted by Alicia2919
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For example, encountering "ch" for the first time is unusual for an English person and the pronunciations like "A" sounds like a "R" etc etc.

"MAHK BAY-kuh", the only time "A" sounds like "R" is if you're from England or from Maine. They don't round their "R's" at all, but pronounce them "AH" or "UH". We tease those people here in the US when they say things like:
"AHeem fr'm BAH HAH-buh" ("I'm from Bar Harbor")
or
"PAHK thuh CAH in thuh HAH-vuhd YAHD" (Park the car in the Harvard yard").

updated JUL 2, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
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How are acronyms (such as E.E.U.U., DOA, etc.) pronounced in Spanish? Would I use the sounds of the Spanish alphabet like I do in English, i.e., say "eh eh oo oo" for E.E.U.U.?

At the risk of sounding pedantic, these are not acronyms. An acronym is an abbreviation that is (and is designed to be) pronounced a though it were a word. e.g. NATO, UNESCO. "USA" and "DOA" are read as a sequence of letters, not as "words" i.e. we don't say "uusa" nor "yusa" for "USA" nor "dowa" for "DOA". Of course the real acronyms are designed to be pronounced in some specific language (in this case, English) and may, or may not, invite "pronunciation as a word" in some other language (especially one with different phonetic patterns).

I guess we meant "mnemonic" rather than the word "acronym". Maybe we could persuade Paralee to include a section in the Reference Section dedicated to the Spanish Alphabet. For example, encountering "ch" for the first time is unusual for an English person and the pronunciations like "A" sounds like a "R" etc etc.

updated JUL 2, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
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The others that are not acronyms are initials or abbreviations (EEUU, DOA, OAS, US, USA, HHS, HUD, etc.). These are not intended to be pronounced as words, as acronyms are.

Again, EE. UU. (it should be written with dots and a space in the middle) is an "abreviatura", EUA (not dots, no spaces) is a "sigla", and láser is an acronym.

updated JUL 2, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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If you ask me, samdie, I think the mere usage of the word pedantic, is pedantic! Haha. I just say that because I had to look it up, myself.

And yes, you are correct about what an acronym is, by definition. I let that one get by, and got sucked into it, concentrating on the question at hand. Thank you for keeping us accurate.

The others that are not acronyms are initials or abbreviations (EEUU, DOA, OAS, US, USA, HHS, HUD, etc.). These are not intended to be pronounced as words, as acronyms are.

updated JUL 2, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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It is not an acronym in Spanish either. There is a distinction between acrónimo, abreviatura and sigla (they sometimes overlap), but most people ignore it altogether. "EE. UU." is an "abreviatura"; "EUA" (Estados Unidos de América) is a "sigla".

updated JUL 2, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
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How are acronyms (such as E.E.U.U., DOA, etc.) pronounced in Spanish? Would I use the sounds of the Spanish alphabet like I do in English, i.e., say "eh eh oo oo" for E.E.U.U.?
At the risk of sounding pedantic, these are not acronyms. An acronym is an abbreviation that is (and is designed to be) pronounced a though it were a word. e.g. NATO, UNESCO. "USA" and "DOA" are read as a sequence of letters, not as "words" i.e. we don't say "uusa" nor "yusa" for "USA" nor "dowa" for "DOA". Of course the real acronyms are designed to be pronounced in some specific language (in this case, English) and may, or may not, invite "pronunciation as a word" in some other language (especially one with different phonetic patterns).

updated JUL 2, 2009
posted by samdie
0
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The correct acronym is EE. UU., and we read it as Estados Unidos (at least in Spain), y no como "e u" (I wouldn't even understand that, if I heard it); we are not so obsessed about acronyms in Spanish (yet). The double E and double U only means that the words beginning with "E" and "U" are plural.

updated JUL 2, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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