Notes from Spain and Spanish Forum Learn REAL Spanish now!  

Go Back   Notes from Spain and Spanish Forum > Spanish Forum > Spanish Basics - Vocab and Grammar Q & A

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 13th September 2008, 07:25 PM   #1
Cortez
Forero
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: England
Posts: 34
Default Is v always pronounced as b?

So ...

vivo is said like bibo
vive = bibe

etc

Because that's how I've been pronouncing all my v's (to myself so no problem if it's wrong ) and I'm not sure if it's right.
Cortez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2008, 07:54 PM   #2
Ben
Hero Forero
 
Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,425
Default

In Spain yes, v is pronounced b. In South America I think it is generally pronounced as a v.
Ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2008, 07:57 PM   #3
Cortez
Forero
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: England
Posts: 34
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
In Spain yes, v is pronounced b. In South America I think it is generally pronounced as a v.

Ok, thank you
Cortez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2008, 09:06 PM   #4
Axel
Novato
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3
Default

Having studied Spanish phonetics, I can tell you that there's actually two kinds of b's, a normal english one for the beginning of words and sentences (like in volar) and a slightly less pronounced one if its in a greater context, like in the middle of a sentence or a word (like in acabar). In the latter version your lips tries to form a b, but doesn't quite meet.

Umm, but for the original question, v and b are always pronounced like the same letter, and generally never like a v.
Axel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2008, 11:54 PM   #5
Beckett
Mega Forero
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 900
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axel View Post
Having studied Spanish phonetics, I can tell you that there's actually two kinds of b's, a normal english one for the beginning of words and sentences (like in volar) and a slightly less pronounced one if its in a greater context, like in the middle of a sentence or a word (like in acabar). In the latter version your lips tries to form a b, but doesn't quite meet.


Umm, but for the original question, v and b are always pronounced like the same letter, and generally never like a v.
Yes, you're right. The "v" sound as we know it in English does not exist in Spanish.

Last edited by Beckett; 14th September 2008 at 12:06 AM.
Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 12:57 AM   #6
tad
virtual idiot
 
tad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: palmers green
Posts: 2,405
Default

One caveat to the above is that although the Spanish 'b' and 'v' are equivalent (to each other) in most countries neither are like the 'English' 'b' or 'v'
They do not have the explosivness of the English 'b' nor are the teeth brought to the lips as for the English 'v'.
I'm sure Graham will have descriptive words for these processes (that I still believe that he invents himself).
tad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 03:39 AM   #7
kaos2me
Forero
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 24
Default

Thank you so much for clarifying this. It makes it much easier to decipher when I'm listening to audio.
kaos2me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 06:32 AM   #8
deecree
Errant in Forolandia
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kobol
Posts: 1,052
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
In South America I think it is generally pronounced as a v.
Only when you need to emphasise how the word is spelt and so no-one needs to ask if it is "B Chica" or not. Otherwise V=B.

Argentina is the most V-Friendly though I think. Pero lo que eshos hablan no es casteshano, quizás podés decir que está similar, pero tenés que estar loco si vos creás que es el mismo idioma, ché.
deecree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 08:18 AM   #9
Ben
Hero Forero
 
Ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,425
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tad View Post
One caveat to the above is that although the Spanish 'b' and 'v' are equivalent (to each other) in most countries neither are like the 'English' 'b' or 'v'
They do not have the explosivness of the English 'b' nor are the teeth brought to the lips as for the English 'v'.
I'm sure Graham will have descriptive words for these processes (that I still believe that he invents himself).
I guess that's why most Spanish people who haven't learned English can't say 'Pub' or 'Bob' etc perfectly, it usually sounds like Puff or Boff.
Ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 10:42 AM   #10
richardksa
Jedi Forero
 
richardksa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Madrid
Posts: 1,852
Default

Yet on their excellent album, Guapa, the lead singer of La Oreja de Van Gogh sings, on the track "Veulve", "Bwel-Vay" quite clearly. A Spanish friends claims it is because the singer is "Posh", though I have now idea what that has to do with it.
richardksa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 11:45 AM   #11
Legazpi
Mega Forero
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Madrid (Arganzuela)
Posts: 834
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
I guess that's why most Spanish people who haven't learned English can't say 'Pub' or 'Bob' etc perfectly, it usually sounds like Puff or Boff.
Someone once told me it's because they are not used to saying words that don't end in a vowel. This makes sense to an extent because they also pronounce Spanish words such as "Madrid" as "Madrizz". If anyone can clarify this then I'd be interested.
Legazpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 01:03 PM   #12
delgado
Mega Forero
 
delgado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: San Sebastián (Bidebieta)
Posts: 378
Default

I spent some time chatting in an English/Spanish chatroom and I noticed these two common mistakes (by native Spanish Speakers)

"a ver" confused with " haber"
"sabes" written " saves"

also I was wondering why the final " l " isn't pronounced ?

"cuando estuBe en madriTH noté que el gasoí era mas caro que Balencia"

"¿dondesta mi portatí? No me digas que lo he dejado en el puFF"
delgado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 04:32 PM   #13
Axel
Novato
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by delgado View Post
I spent some time chatting in an English/Spanish chatroom and I noticed these two common mistakes (by native Spanish Speakers)
In Ecuador you can see "No votar basura" signs everywhere, which I thought also could be a clever political message.
Axel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 11:27 PM   #14
gastephen
..es que yo no estoy loco
 
gastephen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Gales
Posts: 1,932
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tad View Post
One caveat to the above is that although the Spanish 'b' and 'v' are equivalent (to each other) in most countries neither are like the 'English' 'b' or 'v'
They do not have the explosivness of the English 'b' nor are the teeth brought to the lips as for the English 'v'.
I'm sure Graham will have descriptive words for these processes (that I still believe that he invents himself).
The Spanish b/v after a pause or a nasal (m, n) is a bilabial plosive (like the English b). Otherwise it is a bilabial fricative (with a symbol like a beta in IPA), which does not exist in the natural English repertoire of phones. However, realisation of the v (and sometimes b) as a labio-dental fricative (i.e. the English v) does exist in certain dialects.

Quote:
‘b’ and ‘v’

In English the letter v is pronounced as a voiced labiodental fricative14, [v] (e.g. the v in vet). This means that it is formed with the bottom lip under the upper teeth. It is normally stated that this sound does not exist in Spanish and also that the letters b and v are pronounced identically, a phenomenon known in Spanish as betacismo. Their pronunciation depends on the position of the letter: after a pause or after m or n (the latter then being pronounced as an m), the pronunciation is [b], which is a voiced bilabial plosive15 (b in bad, for example, in English); otherwise the pronunciation is [β], which is a voiced bilabial fricative16. (Note that in some dialects it is only pronounced as a fricative when it occurs between vowels.) This sound does not occur in English and is made in a similar manner to [v] but with the both lips in front of the teeth and brought close together but not quite touching.

The standard pronunciation is therefore [b] in words such as también and enviar, and [β] in words such as abeja and llave.

This is, however, an area where there is some debate, as the sound [v] does occur in certain dialects of Spanish (a pronunciation known as labiodentalismo). The reasons for its existence are said to include:
Survival in certain areas of pronunciation from old Spanish
Influences of other languages, such as Catalan, French and English
Hypercorrection as a reaction against popular styles of speech
Teaching children that [v] is the ‘correct’ pronunciation of v in order to make spelling easier.
It has been noted, for example, that in the Dominican Republic there is no distinction made in popular speech between the pronunciation of the letters b and v, whereas in formal speech, such as that employed in the media, there is17.

One study18, analysing the speech of a number of Cuban students, found occurrences of [v] (together with [β] and [b]) corresponding to the letter v and also occasionally the letter b. Another more recent study19 involved a group of native speaking instructors of Spanish from a variety of countries at the University of Southern California. In that study it was found that in the speech samples analysed b was never pronounced [v], but overall the letter v was pronounced as [v] 40% of the time. This pronunciation was not systematic, and, among other factors, a correlation was found between its prevalence and the speakers’ number of years of residence in an English-speaking country.
gastephen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th September 2008, 09:03 AM   #15
tad
virtual idiot
 
tad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: palmers green
Posts: 2,405
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gastephen View Post
The Spanish b/v after a pause or a nasal (m, n) is a bilabial plosive (like the English b). Otherwise it is a bilabial fricative (with a symbol like a beta in IPA), which does not exist in the natural English repertoire of phones. However, realisation of the v (and sometimes b) as a labio-dental fricative (i.e. the English v) does exist in certain dialects.
Yeah, thats pretty much what I meant really.
tad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th September 2008, 09:24 AM   #16
gastephen
..es que yo no estoy loco
 
gastephen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Gales
Posts: 1,932
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tad View Post
Yeah, thats pretty much what I meant really.
Thought so
gastephen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th September 2008, 05:22 AM   #17
felipe
Forero
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Hobart, Tasmania
Posts: 49
Default Be thankful

Gee, when I stop to think of the problems we have with a relatively regular language like Spanish I shudder to think of the arguments that they would be having at a "Notes From England" website.
felipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th September 2008, 05:58 AM   #18
eventer289
Forero
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 45
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
In Spain yes, v is pronounced b. In South America I think it is generally pronounced as a v.
I have a few friends from South and Central America (Costa Rica, Paraguay, Argentina) and in my experience they all pronounce the ¨v¨ as a ¨b¨ but it is a softer ¨b¨ sound, like a mixture between a ¨v¨ and ¨b.¨

I´ve even seen in young native spanish speakers from Latin America a confusion with the spelling of ¨ver¨ as ¨ber.¨

Last edited by eventer289; 18th September 2008 at 06:00 AM.
eventer289 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks
Learn REAL Spanish now!

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.