I've been told that in Spanish there is no difference between a 'B' and 'V' sound; for example, the sound at the beginning of 'voy' and 'busco' would be the same. However, when I listen to Mauricio in the Rocket Spanish lessons, it seems to me that I can hear a difference between his 'V's and his 'B's. With other Spanish-speaking people I've heard, it does sound more like the 'B' and 'V' are the same sound. Is this just a regional difference?
I guess my bottom-line issue is, how much can I get away with actually using a "soft" 'V' sound when I use words that actually start with 'V'? In order to remember all the Spanish words I've learned, I need to "picture" how the word is spelled - that just helps me to remember the word. But often this leads me to pronouncing the 'V' as we would in English...because I'm going along trying to speak Spanish, and the spelling of the word pops into my head, and I sometimes can't help making my 'V's really sound like English 'V's.
April 7, 2006
Well, I prononce my "V" in Spanish as I do in English and noone seems to have any problems understanding me.
I think that as long as the rest of your pronunciation is basically correct, native speakers' brains will automatically understand what you are saying based on context - even if you pronounce the "v" as a "v" while they, in their regional dialect, pronounce it like a "b".
April 7, 2006
Hola Ric. You may also want to take a look at an earlier discussion on the same topic, to which both Amy and Mauricio contributed. It's at
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