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10 Pronunciation mistakes Spanish speakers make

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Are you making these mistakes?

In July, a video of a couple having sex in the fitting room of a Uniqlo clothing store in Beijing took the Internet in China by storm. Some commenters speculated that it was a publicity stunt by the retailer, which denied the claim. Several people were detained on suspicion of uploading and distributing the video.
Fudan University and Peking University, two prestigious comprehensive universities in China, were ranked fourth and sixth on the salary ranking, while the remaining of the top 20 were dominated by finance/economics and science/technology schools.

Adding pictures of family or objects that are close to you will remind you of what you’ve accomplished and why you work so hard. Keep them on your desk or on a shelf nearby to help you when you need encouragement and motivation. We love the Set of Ten Gold Frames, $28, at UrbanOutfitters.com.
Employees of state-owned firms also expressed more satisfaction with their bonuses than those at private companies – and little wonder, as the average payout at the former was Rmb17,318, or about Rmb6,000 more than what their private-sector counterparts could expect.
adv. 绝对地,完全地;独立地
在第三场也是最后一场总统候选人辩论中,奥巴马就外交政策发起攻势,一再指责罗姆尼在重大国际问题上的立场不坚定,但未能给他对手迅速崛起的竞选活动一个致命打击。
Against: There was no love from the New York nor LA critics.
标有*符号的奖项已于9月10日到11日举行的艾美奖创新艺术典礼上公布。

52% of the world lived in extreme poverty in 1981. This number dropped down by 21% in 2010, as 721 million fewer people no longer live in absolute poverty.

● “特朗普为想要离开美国的公民提供非洲或墨西哥单程机票”

Download the American accent guide for Spanish speakers

译文属可可英语原创,未经允许,不得转载。

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激情、毅力和积极的心态,是创业成功的关键。培养这些特质要有天赋和一些小技巧。
Miranda Lambert “Bathroom Sink” (RCA Nashville)
两名美国人因研究医生与医院、学生与学校和人体器官与被移植者之间的有效匹配,昨天被授予诺贝尔经济学奖。
有5个项目首次登上“无工作经验要求”项目排行榜。其中,排名最高的是新加坡管理大学(Singapore Management University)李光前商学院(Lee Kong Chian School of Business)。该学院在毕业生国际流动性方面排名第二,而且是首所同时登上“无工作经验要求”和“有工作经验要求”排行榜的学院。

Mistake #1:
Dropping final consonants at the end of words

In Spanish, words never end in a consonant cluster (when two or more consonants are pronounced together with no vowels between them, for example, strength, loved, texts).
While clusters may appear at the beginning or middle of words in Spanish (español, hombre, crédito) they never appear at the end of words and are almost impossible for Spanish speakers to pronounce.
Therefore, it is very likely for Spanish speakers to unintentionally drop one or two consonant sounds if they are part of a final consonant sequence in order to bring the pronunciation closer to what’s possible in Spanish – a single consonant.

Min instead of mind
Work instead of worked (pronounced workt)
Tess instead of test.

Mistake #2:
Substituting a final M with N

The M consonant sound exists in Spanish, but it never appears at the end of words.
Therefore, while it’s not at all difficult for Spanish speakers to pronounce the M alone, it can be quite challenging for them to pronounce it at the end of words.
This is why when a word ends with M in English (some, ham, cream)
Spanish speakers may substitute it with the closest sound available that does show up at the end of words in Spanish – N (or NG).
This substitution usually happens subconsciously, and awareness is the number one factor in improving this pronunciation challenge.

The word ‘game’ is pronounced as ‘gain’
The word ‘seem’ is pronounced as ‘seen’
The word ‘foam’ is pronounced as ‘phone’

Mistake #3
Z is pronounced as an S

Since there’s no Z (as in zoo) in Spanish, the Z sound is often misplaced with an S, especially when it appears in the middle or end of words.
The Z is the voiced pair of the S consonant sound. Basically, they are pronounced the same, except that for the fact that with the Z sound, the vocal cords are vibrating.
It’s very easy to make this mistake since both sounds look and feel the same, except for the vibrations of the vocal cords.

This is also a result of the orthography (the way words are written and the spelling). Since English, unlike Spanish, is not a phonetic language, many times the Z sound is represented by the letter ‘s’. In Spanish, the letter ‘s’ always represents an S sound. That creates an additional challenge and confusion related to how the word should sound (unfortunately, most speakers learn English by reading and writing first and their listening skills are compromised).

To practice words with Z scroll down download the free American accent audio guide.

Mistake #4
The /y/ (as in ‘yes’) consonant sound and the /j/ (as in ‘job) switch places.

Oftentimes, Spanish speakers may pronounce the /y/ consonant sound as in ‘yes’ ‘years’ and ‘yellow’ as a /j/ sound, pronouncing it as jes, jears, and jello (by the way, this is not the same /j/ as in ‘jalapeno’).
Also, quite often the substitution will be reversed too.
A word that begins with ‘j’ will be pronounced with a /y/
Yob instead of job
Yust instead of just.

Mistake #5
Different vowels are pronounced the same:

长久以来,科学家一直在研究干细胞分化为心脏组织的潜力,今年当他们创造出可以自己搏动的心脏组织时,这一研究工作达到了一个重要的里程碑。
Headquarter shifts: With Toyota leaving for Texas and Mercedes headed toward North Carolina or Georgia from New Jersey, look for Subaru to chart its own path when it builds its new headquarters. One option: Moving closer to its customers by relocating in Vermont.

The other two tweets from Obama that made the list were posted when he was leaving the office.
亚太地区是地区国家共有的家园,我们不希望、也不愿意看到冷战思维下所谓“选边站队”的事情发生。

Example of different words that are usually pronounced the same:
sheep-ship, reach-rich, leave- live (微利时代下2017年中国家居建材业如何迎接挑战?)
pool-pull, food-foot, fool-full (央行旗下媒体:楼市“冰与火之歌”还能唱多久?).

Mistake #6
The /v/ consonant is pronounced as /b/

Since the pronunciation of the letter ‘v’ in Spanish is more similar to the pronunciation of /b/ in English, this pronunciation carries over to English as well.
The V is a fricative and to pronounce it, the bottom lip has to touch the top teeth, and air passes between the teeth and the lips (it’s a voiced sound).
The B is created as both lips close and touch each other.
If a B is pronounced in place of a ‘v’, words may change meaning:
‘very’ will sound like ‘bury’ and ‘vote’ will sound like ‘boat’.

Mistake #7
The American R is replaced with a Spanish R

The Spanish R and American R are pronounced differently.
In Spanish, there are two R’s (pero, perro) and for both sounds, the tip of the tongue touches the upper palate.
For the R in English, the tip of the tongue doesn’t touch the upper palate, but curls back a bit as the lips round (click to watch a video tutorial about the R).
Spanish speakers often pronounce the American R as they would pronounce the Spanish R, bringing the tip of the tongue to touch the upper palate.
2016全国楼市成交小幅增长 房价增幅约7%


Mistake #8:
Mispronouncing the H

Since the letter H is silent in Spanish, and in American English it is generally pronounced (not always, you can learn more about the H here), some speakers mispronounce the H and create a velar fricative instead (just like the ‘j’ sound in ‘jalapeno’).
While the H in English is soft and sounds like a whisper, the substitution is more dominant – the back of the tongue is high and close to the soft palate.
老家具成国内外收藏热点 断代判定难文物应保护
Download the American accent guide to practice more.


Mistake #9:
A vowel is added to words beginning with /st/

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“如果贷款机构在市场繁荣时过于乐观,而在市场下行时过于悲观,这或许是当局设定保守的资本金要求的一个最好理由,”他说。“加大折幅可能会抑制最初的涨幅,但当市场转向,它们也能抑制随后的跌幅。”
3. 经济已经在崩溃,2014年到2016年的GDP将会更加难看

‘estreet’ instead of ‘street’, ‘estrange’ instead of ‘strange’.

Mistake #10:
The /th/ consonant sound is substituted with /t/ or /d/.

For the TH, the tongue has to stick out from between the teeth.
Since Spanish speakers don’t have the TH consonant sound in their language,
they tend to keep the tongue inside for words with TH.
It is a common mispronunciation and sometimes will result in pronouncing different words the same.
The /th/ in ‘thanks’ (soft, voiceless TH) will be replaced with a /t/ and the word will sound like ‘tanks’. The /th/ in ‘they’ (voiced) will be replaced with a /d/ and the word will sound like ‘day’.
Interestingly enough, the voiced TH does occur in Spanish, unintentionally, when the d appears between two vowels, (for example in ‘pedir’, ‘estado’, ‘lodo’). It’s called an allophone.
Watch TH video lesson

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7 Comments on “10 Pronunciation mistakes Spanish speakers make”

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  2. ac+cur关心+ate→一再关心,弄精确为止→准确的,精确的
    8."Homeland" (2.4 million)
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    补救办法:虽然自己当老板的想法很诱人,但并不是每个人都适合创业。创造属于自己的事业,让家人过上幸福生活,改善顾客的生活,这些听起来肯定很浪漫,但漫长的工作时间、没有闲暇时间、承担资金风险,身兼老板、职员、营销人员、会计和门卫等多个职位于一身,这些你能承受吗?如果你喜欢稳定的工作和专注于某项具体任务而不是身兼多职,又或者你不喜欢冒险,你就无法想象整天为工作忙碌的生活。如果你属于以上情况,那么创业并不适合你。
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    这一数字也是自2011年以来的最高增长率。五年前,中国的总票房只有100亿元。
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  4. Never accept the job immediately. Say you need to think about it overnight. Once you sign on the dotted line there's no room for negotiation.
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  5. Hi Hadar,
    8 pronunciation mistakes out from those 10 are the same we Brazilian tend to make . Thanks a lot !

  6. “能够有这些天赋异禀的艺术家为电影的音乐进行神助攻,我们非常能高兴。”这场秀的制作人Michael De Luca 和Jennifer Todd周五发表申明时如是说。“能邀请到他们登上第90届奥斯卡也是一种荣幸。”
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    An earlier plan by activists and the US-based Human Rights Foundation to send 100,000 copies of the film in January was postponed until after last month's Lunar New Year.

  7. I’m a native Russian speaker, but my in-laws are Spanish . We speak English and now I understand them much better, it’s great! It’s exactly what they are doing with “ our” Language!
    Just kidding!
    Very good and exact notes!!! Thanks Hadar!

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