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Glen August 18, 2017 07:51 PM

Suppression of "l"
I knew, thanks to this site, about some people's habit of gliding over "s" but today I heard el trabajo said as e' trabajo.

Is that just carelessness or is it a habit I ought to adopt in order to sound more natural? Have I been too careful in saying el as el?

(Trying unsuccessfully here to resist the temptation to say he was just getting the "l" out of there);)

wrholt August 19, 2017 01:20 AM

As I've never heard you speaking in Spanish either in person or through a recording, I can't say whether I think you may be holding /l/ in the sequence /lt/ longer than a native speaker typically would. However, if you generally try to pronounce the article as a fully distinct word even in casual speech, it's possible that you may be speaking more carefully in casual contexts than native speakers might typically speak.

I would suggest trying to get feedback from a native speaker who is willing to tell you which sounds seem a little "foreign" to them when you say something. I wouldn't draw their attention to specific sounds, just ask them whether any sounds in a word, phrase o sentence that you say sound "foreign" to them, and which sounds they are. If they tell you about some sounds, but don't tell you about the sequence /lt/, then I would pay more attention to the sounds that they mention and not worry about pronouncing /lt/ for the time being.

aleCcowaN August 19, 2017 03:18 AM

I don't think the "l" is totally omitted but it modifies the sound of the e. The same way "ing" in English is a nasal en, for some "el" becomes a gutural mix of e and o. I've heard that from regional accents in Spain and from areas in América where a native language has too many vocal sounds.

I've heard "el" pronounced in a similar way to English "owl", but with more of an "e" sound and an el almost absorbed by the double-u. Think about Portuguese: "el" is "o".

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