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Glen February 06, 2015 07:25 PM

Pronouncing acronyms
I've already picked up the fact that Spanish speakers, at least the ones whom I know, are not as fond of acronyms as English speakers - especially those who have military jobs - seem to be. Which makes me wonder, how are they usually spoken?

NATO=nay toe, but OTAN=oh tahn or oh teh ah eh-neh?
UN=yew in, but I've heard ONU spoken as oh noo
FARC=fark, but do Spanish speakers say it that way or eh-feh ah eh-reh seh?
FSLN would obviously be eh-feh eh-seh eh-leh ehn, right?

Just curious. The last two are the ones I was mainly interested in but didn't want to place them in the title, for political reasons!

AngelicaDeAlquezar February 07, 2015 09:52 PM

Right, Glen.

If the vowels are placed so acronyms can be pronounced as words, we pronounce them as words; if there are too many consonants or unnatural combinations of them, we spell them.

OTAN -> /otán/ (some pronounce /otan/)
ONU -> /onu/
FARC-> /farc/
FSLN -> /efe ese ele ene/

SRE [Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores] -> /ese erre e/
FMI [Fondo Monetario Internacional] -> /efe eme i/
CFE [Comisión Federal de Electricidad] -> /ce efe e/
DF [Distrito Federal = Mexico City] -> /de efe/
ADN [Ácido Desoxirribonucleico] -> /a de ene/
OEA [Organización de Estados Americanos] -> /o e a/
PNB [Producto Nacional Bruto] -> /pe ene be/
PIB [Producto Interno Bruto]-> /pib/
UNAM [Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México] -> /unam/
IVA [Impuesto al Valor Agregado] -> /iba/
IMPI [Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial] -> /impi/
BID [Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo] -> /bid/
OMS [Organización Mundial de la Salud] -> /oms/
INEGI [Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática] -> /ineji/

Roxerz February 15, 2015 11:10 AM

My question is, are some of the acronyms changed because of the way they are said in Spanish. For example, Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), I think I read in class as ADN so I assume Ácido de Deoxy...N...

ATM, I dunno how it's said so I just always say Cajero Automatico which for me is a mouthful.

Rusty February 15, 2015 12:28 PM

Yes, the acronym changes to match the language structure.
AIDS changes to SIDA in Spanish, for example.

AngelicaDeAlquezar February 15, 2015 04:58 PM

@Roxerz: Say "cajero". It has the same number of syllables. ;)

Nogaluz July 07, 2015 12:45 PM

In spanish the use of acronyms it´s no so common than in english. you have acronyms for everything.
We don´t said efe ese ele en for FSLN, we said Frente Sandinista, we said Comisión, or Comisión Federal para decir CFE (comisión Federal de Eléctricidad).

AngelicaDeAlquezar July 07, 2015 04:05 PM

Well noticed, Nogaluz. In Mexico we tend to use less words more tan pronouncing the accronyms for the most common ones. :)

Sancho Panther September 30, 2015 05:34 AM


In spanish the use of acronyms (it´s) is not so common (than)as in english. you have acronyms for everything.
Please excuse my corrections and the delay in doing so but I feel that if mistakes are allowed to stand others may assume that they are correct - no offence intended!

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