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shoe


Jul 17, 2007, 4:11 AM

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he Spanish letter"e"

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I hate to bring this up but I am having a lot of treble with the Spanish letter “e”. The sound does not seem consistent to me like I have been told it is when I have been in Spanish classes. Examples:

The Spanish “e” in cena and cesta seem to have a English “eh” sound to them.

The Spanish “e” in words that end in a “e” seem to have a English long "a" sound to them, like gente.

Now yesterday I found out that the Spanish word for hectares is hectares and the last “e” sounds like an English long e.

I have talked to a few local Mexicans (Mexican-American born in LA, CA, realtor, friends) and they say they are saying that there might be a difference but seem to have trouble admitting it.

Now I have a hearing problem and I have to concentrate on the sounds and mouth/lip movements to really understand a lot of words. Talking to my Mexican girlfriend she does agree that the sounds are really different and it surprises her as the always said that they letter “e” was always pronounced the same. She is changing her tune as she listens closer. I have no idea how she can do this, as Spanish speakers seem to listen to letters.

Am I totally wrong about this or is the difference very scuttle? Are these regional differences?

cya,
shoe

(This post was edited by shoe on Jul 17, 2007, 4:19 AM)



Rolly


Jul 17, 2007, 7:21 AM

Post #2 of 7 (6701 views)

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Re: [shoe] he Spanish letter"e"

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I've noticed the same thing and wondered about it.

Rolly Pirate


doogie

Jul 17, 2007, 8:51 AM

Post #3 of 7 (6691 views)

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Re: [shoe] he Spanish letter"e"

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Saludos Sr. Shoe, I believe the letter "E" is always pronounced as "eh" in Emma. I know some people tend to elongate it at the end of a word, but I consider that sort of an ideosyncracy. The spanish for "hectare" is "hectárea". The second "e" is a syllable in itself and is pronounced the usual way.
Doogie,
Tapatío de corazón


shoe


Jul 17, 2007, 11:33 AM

Post #4 of 7 (6685 views)

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Re: [doogie] he Spanish letter"e"

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Interesting as I have been told in beginner Spanish classes (3 of them as I am slow) that the Spanish "e" is always like a English long "a".

The "hectare" I checked out as my girlfriend, I thought was not pronouncing it right but two Realtors both pronounced the second "e" it as a long English "e".

cya,
shoe

Nothing is intrinsically good or evil, but its manner of usage may make it so.
-St. Thomas Aquinas


jerezano

Jul 17, 2007, 1:18 PM

Post #5 of 7 (6684 views)

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Re: [doogie] he Spanish letter"e"

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Hello all,

The sounds of e in Mexican Spanish are indeed two. If you ask somebody to recite the Spanish alphabet, you will quite definitely hear both sounds of that e. You will hear ah a, bay b, say c, day d , ay e and then ehfay f, etc. On f you will hear both the e sounds for the letter efe which is pronounced EH fay. Hearing problems be damned. I have your problem and have had it for 20 years.

However, the normal sound of e when combined in words is eh as in EHM ma (Emma) an example used in a previous post. New example: esconder eh scone DEHR. The eh sound is quite definite in the two sylables.

But in a word such as hectarea (which was used in a prior post as an example) you may or may not, depending on the speaker, hear both sounds on the final e. Example ehck TAH
ray yah or ehc TAH reh yah. I hear both pronunciacions here in the countryside of Zacatecas. Just as I hear the final r in words such as trabajar rolled, (trah, bah JARRRR) again depending on the speaker.

I have found throughout México that the eh use is more or less consistent. For example contrast the words peine (comb) which is pronounced PAY nay, not PAY neh, with pene (penis) which is pronounced PEH neh or PEH nay (most usual), again depending on the doctor speaking. Note the necessity to put the i in peine to distinguish the two words by hearing instead of by context.

You will note the same hearing problem with the i occasionally. Such words as deleite deh LAY tay a delight, contrasted with delito deh LEE toh (a crime) where the i is necessary to distinguish the second sylable and the o is necessary to distinguish the third. Where somebody with poor diction swallows the last sylable, quite common, and doesn't pronounce the first clearly, then confusion reigns.

Your original question was a good one. It has been difficult for me having been early taught by instructors to always use ay to change over to the eh which is apparently normal throughout the Spanish speaking world.

Güeana suerte con los estudios. I suppose in the civilized areas in which you live you have never heard the G used instead of the B! LOL.

By the way I understand, probably incorrectly, that the use of hectarea instead of hectare is a Mexican idiosyncracy.

Adiós. jerezano.


(This post was edited by jerezano on Jul 17, 2007, 1:40 PM)


quevedo

Jul 18, 2007, 5:40 PM

Post #6 of 7 (6655 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Hectárea

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hectárea.

(De hecto- y área).

1. f. Medida de superficie equivalente a 100 áreas. (Símb. ha).

Hectare is not a Spanish word.

Saludos,

Quevedo



jerezano

Jul 19, 2007, 8:01 AM

Post #7 of 7 (6637 views)

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Re: [quevedo] Hectárea

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Hola,

Gracias Sr. Quevedo. Disculpas a todos. Tiene razón. La palabra hectare no está en el diccionario RAE.

Adiós. jerezano.
 
 
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