Nov 12, 2006, 3:16 PM
Post #1 of 17
Pronunciation of the Spanish Double "L"
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I have posted a few times on other forums. This is my first on the Language Forum. Those of you who are acquainted with my posts will no doubt find this one just as obsessive and difficult to respond to. Nevertheless, I have a question and I bet someone out there knows the answer. And that will scratch my itch.
The double "L" is Spanish, maybe it has a name, I don't know it. But is there ONE correct way to pronounce it? As in "calle," "cuchillo," "silla." ?
My impression is that it has a distinct English "y" quality. I live in the Bay Area of California, specifically San Mateo. I am surround by thousands of native speakers of Spanish. I work with dozens of Latinos who are bi-lingual. Spanish is a first language to most of them. To a man (or a woman, as the case maybe) when I ask him/her to pronounce these words for me...loudly and distinctly...I hear: kah-Yeh, koo-chee-Yoh, see-Yah.
I have purchased, upon recommendation of people who really ought to know what they are doing, a Spanish language learning program that uses drawings in a booklet and the matching spoken words on a CD. Right away I noticed the speaker did not pronouce these words THAT way. I called the company that produces the language course and they told me the speaker is from Colombia and is a native speaker of Spanish.
I took a little evening Spanish class at a local High School in the evening a couple of years ago and the instructor was an older man from Colombia. He did not pronounce these words like the guy on the CDs.
The speaker on the CD pronounces the words like the "gl" in Italian, if any of you are familiar with that. It is like the double "L" in the English word "million." So "calle" sounds like "kah-lyeh", "silla" like "see-lya" and "cuchillo" like "koo-chee-lyo."
Have any of you heard this pronunciation of the "LL" that way in Mexico in your experience?
Forgive me my anal curiosity. But I am dying to know.