All EOS blogs All Spain blogs  Start your own blog Start your own blog 

Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

When it's hard to mispronounce something correctly.
Monday, March 25, 2024 @ 8:01 PM

There comes a time, perhaps, when your Spanish might be described as being pretty damn good. You can read the instructions, the newspaper and the nice letter from the power company, and you can understand the news on the TV – understand the words, that is, if not the context.

The context, because the background is all important. We must grasp the culture to know what’s going on, and indeed, why it’s going on. Take a course in Spanish politics, history, geography and art. Get a Spanish companion and go together to a wedding or a matanza – a pig killing. Go to the football game. Join the local train spotters group. Speak loudly and often.

But let’s look at a rarely mentioned corner of the pronunciation jungle. You have mastered the jota and you can roll your rr more or less, but how do you pronounce foreign words in Spanish?

Answer: as a Spaniard would.

Let’s start with a drink – a soda pop. There’s Sprite (pronounced espry), there’s 7Up (siete oop, maybe? No, they’ll just call it seben), Pepsi Cola is pesi and then there’s Schweppes (no one can pronounce that in any language, but in Spanish it’s just called eshwehs) and thus, to no one’s great surprise, we all drink La Casera.

Do you see the difficulty?

Some foreign place-names have been spanishified. 

There’s Londres for London, Edimburgo up in Scotland, and (for some reason) Cornualles for Cornwall. But if you go to Middle Wallop, then you are in for a treat. It’s pronounced Mid.del gualop. Wolverhampton becomes Guolberhanton. For Heathrow, you drop the second h. Liverpool has a b. 

As for Worcestershire, don’t even try.

Now me, I’m from Norfolk, and luckily, that’s more or less the way you would say it if you were talking in Spanish.

It’s all about communication of course; saying it in a way that the listener will understand. After all, we are in espain.

Oh, and by the way, jappy easter.

(Pido disculpas a él que se siente ofendido por lo anterior)

Like 2


Only registered users can comment on this blog post. Please Sign In or Register now.


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x