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Ean August 19, 2020 03:43 AM

Pronunciation problems
Hola, I am a beginner and before I dive into learning I would like a few things clarified to me about pronunciation of some consonants and the rules that surround them. My confusion comes from the fact that looking online at various sites about pronunciation, I ended up hearing the same words pronounced differently. I understand that since Spanish spoken people are spread wide all over SA and Europe, the accent varies. Some sites provide two or even three different accents depending on the area they are being spoken. Some other sites prepare you to learn the European Spanish pronunciation. Some others do not provide such a clarification nor a distinction between these.

So I ended up listening for example the word like cereza as se-re-sa in a site which was teaching European Spanish language.
I am unable to determine which site to trust and if what I am learning is actually correct.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks in advance

Rusty August 19, 2020 08:32 AM

There are twenty sovereign countries and one territory where Spanish is the official language (and Spanish is spoken in a number of other countries, where it is not considered the official language). Each seems to have its own flavor of Spanish, as pronunciation does vary from place to place. In fact, I was in four neighboring countries in Central America and discovered that even vocabulary differed between them.

Suffice it to say, I don't think you'll be taught something wrong by trustworthy folks online, and you should be understood in most cases wherever you might want to visit. I have spoken with native speakers of Spanish from all over the world. I have understood them. They have understood me (some have placed my "accent" as Venezuelan or Colombian, even though those aren't countries that I have lived in).

Bottom line: Don't worry too much about learning the "official" Spanish language. There are more than 20 "official" versions of it, even though each can be traced back to a region in Spain called Castile (in English).

By the way, cereza is pronounced /sɛˈɾe sa/ in Latin America and /θɛˈɾe θa/ in parts of Spain. I use the form used in Latin America, and don't have any trouble hearing it used by Spaniards. I don't think anyone worries about it.
To drive home a point, listen to the song Bailando by Enrique Iglesias. He is from Spain. You'll hear three other Spanish speakers in the song that are from Cuba. Listen carefully. There are times when what Enrique sings is being repeated by one of the Cubans. The words are not pronounced the same, and no one seems to care at all.
(Judging by several versions of the song lyrics, it's obvious that not everyone hears the same thing I do, either, because there are several transcription differences out there.)

Ean August 21, 2020 04:26 AM

Wow. You covered me completely. Not only you gave me the 'free to go' but you also educationally amused me with a great Spanish song to prove your point.
Thank you (3 Stars)

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