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Ian's Pronunciation
« on: November 14, 2013, 02:54:26 PM »

In netcast FTL2013-11-12 Johnny Ray does a fun semi-stereotypical Spanish accent as he reads quotes from Nicolás Maduro. Johnny Ray stops a moment and asks Mark how he feels about his pronunciation of the name “Maduro” – Mark admits he finds it a little contrived and Ian chimes in (18 minutes, 4 seconds) with; “I support…uh…accurate pronunciations if at all possible.”

At this point a significant portion of my brain erupted out of my left ear, soiling my headphones and cubicle wall, causing me to go into convulsions for a short while.

Ian, with utmost love and respect; your attempts at “accurate pronunciation” to date have not been successful. My wife and I find your attempts at pronouncing Spanish words and names to be painful to listen to – I frequently skip ahead a few moments because I don’t want to hear it.

Here’s a tip: It is not necessary to roll every “r” you encounter in a Spanish word or name. Typically, you only roll the double r (rr) in words such as; “perro,” “tierra” and “abarrotar” or when the word begins with “R” such as; “rabioso” or “rápido.” A single “r” within a word is pronounced with more of a “d” sound.

But this is just a quick and dirty explanation of how to pronounce the letter “r” – I don’t hear you making any attempt to correctly pronounce the letters; “h,” “j,” “v,” “b,” “ñ,” “ll,” or “ch” – so why focus so much on “r” – what has it done to you for you to torture it so? Beyond letter pronunciation – I don’t hear you appropriately stressing syllables according to the written accents. The rolling of the “r” is a very small part of proper pronunciation in Spanish.

One more tip: not every language rolls the “r” – so when you’re attempting to pronounce a Swedish, Icelandic, Russian or any other languages word, rolling the “r” is just a shot in the dark and is more likely to be incorrect than correct.

There are fewer than 250,000 English words – including colloquialisms and words no longer in common use – nearly 100% of those words are either cognates or have been borrowed directly from other languages such as Latin, French, German, Spanish, etc.  We make no attempt to pronounce the words we use daily in the accent of their languages of origin because it would be exceedingly difficult and would sound silly.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just pronouncing a word in the style of your native language - it's preferable to butchering the pronunciation again and again and again and again...ad nauseam.
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