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Pronunciation of R vs. D


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Old April 06, 2016, 08:43 PM
Glen Glen is offline
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Pronunciation of R vs. D

I want to say for No if's, ands or but's about it, No hay pero que valga without getting a laugh [pedo for pero]. To avoid confusion between the two, is it a good idea to really de-emphasize the d [saying something like pe'o]and forcefully pronounce the r in pero?
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Old April 06, 2016, 11:35 PM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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The 'r' in 'pero' is clipped. It is not a 'd' sound.
The 'd' in 'pedo' is a 'th' sound. This is the sound used in 'the'.

Here are the IPA symbols used in those words and a few others:

pero /ˈpeɾo/
pedo /ˈpeðo/
dorado /doˈɾaðo/
veintidós /beintiˈðos/

Here are some American English words using IPA symbols:

periscope /ˈpɛr əˌskoʊp/
(Notice the symbols used for the vowel and final consonant of the first syllable do not match the symbols used for the same vowel and consonant in the Spanish word 'pero'. Notice that Spanish has a pure 'o' sound in the second syllable where English has a diphthong.)

there /ðɛər/

dare /dɛər/

daily /ˈdeɪ li/
(The Spanish 'e' in 'pero' is pure. The Spanish diphthong 'ei' almost matches the American English diphthong 'ai' (the two start with the same vowel sound).
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Old April 06, 2016, 11:37 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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This is a difficult issue because I can't imagine when both sounds would be confused, but saying "pe'o" would sound strange; usually, we do that when "pero" is just a linking word, but here it is a main word in your sentence. On the other hand, stressing the "r" sound might make it closer to "perro", which would also cause a smile.

I can only advice you try pronouncing "d" with your tongue relaxing between your teeth (not behind them, as in English), and "r" with your tongue touching the roof of your mouth but not too close to your teeth. I think this way you'll manage to differentiate both sounds.
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Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; April 06, 2016 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Rusty beat me to answer, but one more reply won't harm. ;)
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Old April 07, 2016, 07:28 AM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Just a couple of comments. I know this is a sensible issue and I'm concious of it departing of tons of work I put in acquiring a good English accent -to no avail-.

As a native speaker, my perception of mixing up the r and d sounds in pero and raspberry is like an English speaker being surprised by someone mixing up the k and h sounds in kite and ham, una oclusiva (stop consonant) and a fricative.

Though I'm not the one to lecture about English pronunciation I think it all comes of English pronunciation changing as the language follows the rhythm of stress. I mean, consonants and vocals in the stressed syllable get one pronunciation that change in unstressed syllables, thus, English speakers are used to a shade of values for every sound.

On the other side, Spanish both has a syllabic rhythm and a phonetic alphabet -English should have its own, like Russians have the Cyrillic one-, so spoken language has shaped the written one and vice-versa for centuries, hence we are used to a much narrower palette of sounds for the same consonant or vowel.

The r sound in pero -a dental flap, more on the side of a trill sound- is analogue to the tt sound in highly colloquial high-speed American English (gotta, in "you gotta be kidding", or better, that a Spanish speaker would imagine to be "iu gora bi kidin" or "berer").

The d sound in raspberry, I admit it may look like Rusty says, similar to the th- sound in there or the, but in fact it's still una oclusiva, and clearly one's tongue is doing almost the same as English speakers do with d and t sounds (pronouncing Spanish d as English th- with resolution certainly sounds like Spanish d, but the tongue is in the wrong place and the effort is unnecessary).

Summarizing. For Spanish d: a stop consonant with the tongue touching the teeth like English d but a tinsy bitsy lower and with less pressure, and not flapping the tongue around the teeth edge like English th-. For Spanish r, sounds similar to popular American English tt, but with the tongue slightly touching above the teeth (la zona alveolar) -when pressure isn't enough and it doesn't trill at all, it sounds un-Spanish and slightly similar to English th, hence the confusion-.

If anyone wants to practice all the o sounds in Spanish and learn more about that syllabic rhythm as opposed to the rhythm led by stress in English, you may hear the old "rock-murga" song "Ojo con los Orozco".
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Old April 07, 2016, 05:51 PM
Glen Glen is offline
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That helps, thanks to all!
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