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  1. #1
    peter123 is offline Senior Member
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    Default el nino and la nina

    Hi there


    How do you pronounce 'el nino' and 'la nina' in English?

    thanks
    pete

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: el nino and la nina

    We don't go out of our way to reproduce the Spanish sounds, but we use English phonemes to reproduce the Spanish sounds fairly accurately: /el ni:njəɷ/ and /la: ni:nja:/. Some speakers, usually if they've studied Spanish, shorten the /a:/ . This is the best we do. The worst is represented by a TV announcer I heard yesterday who said [lǝ ni:nǝ] - I'm still not sure which he meant.

    (This applies to British English. In the US, maybe because much of the South was originally* Spanish-speaking, the similarity to Spanish - in my experience - is closer. I'll leave it to someone else to say exactly how. [Maybe, because of the "melting pot" effect, they're just better linguists there. It's not very British to be good at languages - or if you are, it's not fashionable to make a parade of it by making foreign sounds!])

    b
    *That's a relative term, of course; I'm referring to the earliest European and Asian and African settlers.
    Last edited by BobK; 14-Feb-2008 at 10:39. Reason: Fix typo

  3. #3
    vertigomonkey's Avatar
    vertigomonkey is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: el nino and la nina

    hope this could be useful…

    "nino" and "nina" are written like this: "niño" and "niña"

    in english we would pronounce the "ñ" letter as a "gn", like in lasagna

    so i guess you could think of it in english like 'nigno', if it helps...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: el nino and la nina

    Quote Originally Posted by vertigomonkey View Post
    hope this could be useful…

    "nino" and "nina" are written like this: "niño" and "niña"

    in english we would pronounce the "ñ" letter as a "gn", like in lasagna

    so i guess you could think of it in english like 'nigno', if it helps...
    Actually, it wouldn't: it would be a help if we spoke French or Italian. :)

    "ñ" is pronounced like "ny" -- "neenyo" and "neenya".

  5. #5
    seba_870701 is offline Member
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    Default Re: el nino and la nina

    Is it something like Polish 'ń' ? We tend to pronounce it somewhat like /nj/... If anybody knows the answer, please share with me.

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: el nino and la nina

    (Well nearly - I know almost nothing about Polish, but the transcription /nj/ is pretty close).

    b

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