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Double L pronounced differently in different lessons

mmmatt

mmmatt

I'm trying to get a handle on how to pronounce the ‘double L’, however it keeps changing depending on who is speaking.

For example. In lesson 2.4 they pronounce calle as something like “kai-yea”. But in 2.9 calle is pronounced with more of the ‘j’ sound like “ka-jay”. It’s a totally different sound.

I understand that different latin American countries have slightly different accents.  It seems lesson to lesson they pick a different accent. Is that what’s happening?

Are we supposed to choose our favorite accent and stick with it even if the lesson is pronouncing the words differently?

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola mmmatt!

Thanks for your question!

Indeed, there are two different ways to pronounce the "ll" sound in Spanish: either like an English "Y" or like an English "J." Which pronunciation a native speaker uses will depend on the region that they're from. Since our native speakers come from different parts of Latin America, you'll hear both pronunciations in our courses. As a Spanish learner, you simply need to decide which pronunciation you like best (or determine which pronunciation is used in the area you'd most like to visit/work in) and use it consistently every time you see that "ll." Our voice recognition will accept either one, no matter how the native speaker says it in the recording.

You can find an additional explanation on the "ll" pronunciation and a couple of practice examples in Lesson 1.8: How to Pronounce Spanish Words.

I hope that this is helpful! Let me know if you still have any questions!

Saludos,

Liss
mmmatt

mmmatt

Is there any guidance on which accent to choose? 

Which LL should we use if we plan to travel to Mexico? Argentina? etc…

Is there a more universally accepted accent? In english there's “TV accent” which is non-regional. Anything like that in Spanish, and how are we supposed to know which words we need to learn differently than they're getting taught?

Steven-W15

Steven-W15

I think you're referring to an "American TV accent", which of course is different from BBC English, Australian, Kiwi… (personally, I find Scandinavians speak with the most neutral accent in English). With respect to Spanish, I can only speak for those to avoid: Andalucía, Las Islas Canarias, Cuba, Buenos Aires and Chile have their idiosyncrasies… When I visit Málaga (Fuengirola) and people there are talking among themselves, I don't even recognize it as Spanish. One-on-one works though as people adapt (fortunately).

 

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola mmmatt y Steven-W15!

 

These are tricky questions, as unfortunately there aren't many hard-and-fast answers! 

The type of pronunciation used for the letters LL doesn't respect borders, so we can't firmly state that everyone in Colombia, for example, will use the "Y" pronunciation or that they will all use the "J" pronunciation - it can change in different areas of Colombia. 

However, there is good news! 

  1. While there are always regional variations, most Spanish sounds are the same across Latin America and thus are fairly “standard.” The letters LL and Y (which are usually pronounced the same way) are the only really big ones that can have a rather noticeable difference between regions (and thus between speakers in our courses). 
  2. In Latin America, the “Y” pronunciation of the letters LL and Y is arguably more common than the “J” pronunciation. It's also easier for English speakers to master, so it may be a good pronunciation to choose if you don't feel particularly partial to one or the other. 

As Steven-W15 notes, there are some smaller Spanish-speaking regions that have their own distinctive accents/pronunciation quirks that really set them apart from other regions - like the Rio de la Plata Basin (e.g. Buenos Aires), where they speak what's called "Rioplatense Spanish." You don't have to worry about this sort of thing with our courses as we don't use speakers from these regions.

I hope that this answers your questions, and that you find this helpful!

 

Saludos,

Liss

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