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Old April 11, 2013, 04:00 AM
fluffy fluffy is offline
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Pronunciation

Hi

I'm finding that when listening to Spanish dialogue that when a word ends in a vowel and the following word begins with a vowel, the two words 'share' the vowel sound.

Eg:

?Tiene una habitación?

Sounds to me more like:

?Tienunabitación?

Is it correct to blend the vowel sounds?
Or is it that it's spoken so quickly you cannot tell the break in the words?

When I try to pronounce each sound it doesn't sound as fluid as the speakers on the CD.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Chris
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  #2  
Old April 11, 2013, 07:40 AM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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My old teachers would say it is always incorrect to blend or ellide sounds, as proper talk must always be articulated. But daily speech blends and ellides many sounds, depending on the regional accents, so I wouldn't say it's incorrect; only kind of colloquial. In formal speech, it is preferred to pronounce and articulate each sound.

Here, in Mexico, it's very common to hear things like:
- Ps/pus/pos -> pues
- ¿Sa's qué? -> ¿sabes qué?
- ¿Ve'á/ver'á/vrá? -> ¿verdad?
- ¿Comstás? -> ¿cómo estás?
- A'i -> Ahí


Don't worry about pronouncing each sound; you will not necessarily sound artificial, but maybe just educated. However, if you can follow and imitate the way the people on your CD speak, you will manage to acquire a more fluid accent to talk in different registers.
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Old April 11, 2013, 11:44 AM
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wrholt wrholt is offline
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I agree with AdA, and what she says is consistent with what I was taught in a class on Spanish pronounciation when I was in college. In ordinary everyday speech most native speakers elide vowels across word boundaries, and the more casual the speech the more types of sounds might be elided in more circumstances. The more slowly and and carefully one speaks, the more likely one is to give each vowel its full sound, so that "que va a hacer" would have one very long 'a' that last 2 to 3 times longer than a single occurrence. One piece of advice: native speakers of English typically try to separate each vowel by using a glottal stop (a distinct ending and restarting of sound) between each pair: native speakers of Spanish do not normally use this sound; they merely stretch the time that the sound lasts.
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Old April 12, 2013, 03:31 AM
fluffy fluffy is offline
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Hi and thanks for your replies.

I have looked about online and indeed there appears to be no boundary between vowels of different words, the vowels seem to link. On listening to dialogue on a particular website it would appear that this more apparent in Spain than in other countries. 'Donde estas' - 'Dondestas'.
(yet to work out how to type accents on here!)

The glottal stop in English you mention, Wrholt, very much avoids this happening. The English word 'an' assists this I think.

Also, when two consecutive words end and begin with a particular consonant, this sound also merges, I have noticed. However, I think this happens in English as in : 'black car'.

Your Mexican examples, AdA, show how words are shorted in common speech, something I suppose that is only mastered with experience!
If I can learn Spanish half as well as you write it, I will have succeeded!

Thank you for help.

Chris
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Old April 12, 2013, 10:46 AM
zuma022 zuma022 is offline
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I think it's comparable to something like ' I am going to eat' which often sounds like 'I'm gonna eat'. I can't really speak for Spanish, but much I think depends on the speed native talkers use.
At the end if the day it just takes practice, practice and more practice and you will be able to hear the distinct words.
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Old April 12, 2013, 11:34 AM
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JPablo JPablo is offline
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I agree with zuma022, it happens in all the languages and in the best families and to the best of us...
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Old April 12, 2013, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuma022 View Post
At the end if the day it just takes practice, practice and more practice and you will be able to hear the distinct words.
This reminds me when I learned English and had problems to pronounce the "th" sounds after a word ends with "s".
Instead of saying "I was there" I said "I was dare".
Fortunately I managed to erase it.
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Old April 13, 2013, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffy View Post
Hi

I'm finding that when listening to Spanish dialogue that when a word ends in a vowel and the following word begins with a vowel, the two words 'share' the vowel sound.

Eg:

?Tiene una habitación?

Sounds to me more like:

?Tienunabitación?

Is it correct to blend the vowel sounds?
Or is it that it's spoken so quickly you cannot tell the break in the words?

When I try to pronounce each sound it doesn't sound as fluid as the speakers on the CD.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Chris
Hola Chris,

Tomé una clase en la universidad sobre la pronunciación del español. Utilizamos este libro a continuación.
Todavía tengo este libro y habla de lo que estás preguntando. El libro es un libro de texto universitario por lo
tanto es caro pero veo que han usados por sólo $7.00.
Si estás realmente interesado en aprender español te sugiero que compre este libro.

Spanish Pronunciation Theory and Practice (Spanish Edition)

Last edited by Rusty; April 13, 2013 at 05:08 PM. Reason: removed superfluous information
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  #9  
Old April 13, 2013, 11:56 PM
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wrholt wrholt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Villa View Post
Hola Chris,

Tomé una clase en la universidad sobre la pronunciación del español. Utilizamos este libro a continuación.
Todavía tengo este libro y habla de lo que estás preguntando. El libro es un libro de texto universitario por lo
tanto es caro pero veo que han usados por sólo $7.00.
Si estás realmente interesado en aprender español te sugiero que compre este libro.

Spanish Pronunciation Theory and Practice (Spanish Edition)
The previous edition of this book by John Dalbor (1969) was one of two texts that we used in a similar course that I took in the late 1970's. The other text we used was this one by Bowen and Stockwell.
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Old April 17, 2013, 09:11 PM
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Hiperbólico Hiperbólico is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffy View Post
The English word 'an' assists this I think.
It seems Spanish speakers have also distinctly recognized certain odd points to avoid awkwardness in pronunciation.

el neumático del (de el) autobus
ir rápidamente al (a el) hospital

Hablo inglés y español.
Hablo español e inglés.

Dudo que él quiera ir a Orlando o Nueva York.
Dudo que él quiera ir a Nueva York u Orlando.

So I guess these are cases when we do want to avoid those long stretches in order to make our speech more clear. (p.s. are there any similar words that do this?)
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