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Pronouncing all "Rs" as "Ds"

 

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  #1  
Old October 31, 2010, 09:41 PM
wafflestomp wafflestomp is offline
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Pronouncing all "Rs" as "Ds"

I learned this from a Spanish teacher a few days ago... I am a little hesitant to trust what she says because of a few issues (she taught the conjugation of the vosotros subjunctive entirely wrong and actually came in the next day and apologized, she also used the word "nieta" for "niece") so as you could probably figure I am hesitant about this. From some practice with Rosetta Stone's pronunciation checks, it seems to always work. For example, pronouncing "Para" as "pahdaa" or "encimera" as "encimedda", but I just want to know if this is something you really want to rely on and if it is true or not.
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  #2  
Old October 31, 2010, 10:04 PM
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The American English pronunciation of 'd' is a far cry from the Spanish 'r', when it appears between vowels. We do make the right sound in American English, so don't despair.

The 'double d' in 'cheddar', or the 'double t' in 'better', can be used for our example.
Listen carefully to yourself as you say, 'This cheddar is better,' over and over. The double consonants should sound exactly alike. In fact, except for the initial consonant sound in each word, both 'cheddar' and 'better' should sound exactly alike in normal speech. Now, with the 'normal speech' sound pattern established, let's focus on just 'cheddar' and 'better', said back-to-back. After repeating them over and over (making sure that middle consonant sound is identical), remove the final 'r' sounds. Say the words over and over. Remove 'chedda'; just say 'betta' over and over. Remove the 'b'. Say it over and over. This is the exact pronunciation of the Spanish word 'era'. It is how the final syllable of encimera is pronounced. Exchange the initial vowel only to correctly pronounce 'ara'. Add the initial consonant 'p', with no plosive sound (as is done in English). That is the correct pronunciation of 'para'.

If you're still not convinced that you've learned it correctly, a few native speakers have included MP3s of how words are pronounced in a few different threads. I can provide you a couple of links, if desired.

Last edited by Rusty; October 31, 2010 at 10:11 PM.
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  #3  
Old November 01, 2010, 03:05 AM
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I'm being thick here. I can't quite see why you need the two words better and cheddar for this exercise. (Difficult anyway for me, because for me the two are completely different vowel sounds.) It seems as though you need to practice saying better until it sounds like cheddar, then use it for para. In which case why bother with better at all? I'm obviously missing something. Could you send me the links you mention?
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Old November 01, 2010, 03:29 AM
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Well, in American English, better and cheddar are pronounced almost exactly the same. They could definitely be used to rhyme in a poem. The suggestion that I've received from several native English-speakers who also speak Spanish is to look at words with a double "tt" in the middle like "better" or "butter" and that is similar to the Spanish "d" that Rusty is talking about. I see that Wafflestomp is from Long Island, and thus probably pronounces these words the same as Rusty & I.
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  #5  
Old November 01, 2010, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
Well, in American English, better and cheddar are pronounced almost exactly the same. They could definitely be used to rhyme in a poem.
Sure, I'm not disputing this pronunciation. What puzzles me is that if they sound the same, then why use the two words in an effort to pronounce the Spanish 'r'?
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Old November 01, 2010, 05:57 AM
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To my ears, American pronunciation of "better" sounds like Spanish 'r' (simple). I'm not sure about "cheddar".
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Old November 01, 2010, 10:24 AM
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The reason I give two different words to begin with is to ensure that the native American English speaker is focusing on the right consonant sound. In British English, the double consonant of each of these words has a unique pronunciation. This can also occur in American English. However, when both words are presented to a native speaker of American English, and mention is made that the double consonants found in both words are pronounced exactly the same, the student can easily isolate the correct consonant sound, when the sentence is repeated over and over. This is because it is very natural for a speaker of American English to morph these two double consonants into a consonant that is indistinguishable.

The Spanish 'r' (simple) doesn't sound like the American English 'd'. Nor does it sound like the American English 't'. But it does sound like the American English 'dd' or 'tt' when the words containing these letters are spoken in a normal conversation. In order to force the natural, normal-conversation sound of these two indistinguishable consonants, I present a sentence that contains them both and ask the student to make them sound the same. When they sound the same in American English, the student is pronouncing the Spanish 'r'.
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Old November 01, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
... Listen carefully to yourself as you say, 'This cheddar is better,' over and over. The double consonants should sound exactly alike. ...
Really? One's voiced and the other isn't, unless you have a merger.

Quote:
... Add the initial consonant 'p', with no plosive sound ...
What's left? That consonant is an unvoiced bilabial plosive.
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  #9  
Old November 01, 2010, 01:08 PM
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I coincide with Rusty in all but one point.

The American English (and I guess the BrE as well) when pronounced quickly it does sound like the Spanish r.

What is more, if an American person is told to pronounce in Spanish the word "todo (all/everything)" the person will sound in Spanish as saying TORO(u) (bull)
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Old November 01, 2010, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
The Spanish 'r' (simple) doesn't sound like the American English 'd'. Nor does it sound like the American English 't'. But it does sound like the American English 'dd' or 'tt' when the words containing these letters are spoken in a normal conversation.
Sorry for making you spell all this out. One reason for my perplexity is that I didn't realise there was a difference between the American English 't', 'd', 'dd' and 'tt' which all sound the same to me. Can you give me those audio links?
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