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Thread: /b/ and /v/

  1. NamelessKing's Avatar
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    #1

    /b/ and /v/

    In Spanish there isn't a /v/ sound. I'm trying to learn how to produce this consonant, but at the moment of speaking, I mix /b/ and /v/. Are these two conspicuously distinguishable in English? Let's say I pronounce movies as /muː.biz/. Would you notice any difference with /muː.viz/? I'm afraid there is, but I can hardly differentiate them.
    To live only for some future goal is shallow. It's the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.

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    #2

    Re: /b/ and /v/

    Not a teacher. Not a native speaker.
    ------

    Bite your lip with your upper teeth.

    You can just touch your lip to your upper teeth, but biting is easier to remember.

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    #3

    Re: /b/ and /v/

    The sounds are easily distinguishable to native speakers. Difficulty with them is a common aspect of Hispanophones' accents. It usually doesn't seriously impede comprehension, but there are obvious exceptions. For example, Chevrolet named two car models the Volt (a gas/electric hybrid) and the Bolt (all electric). You'd have to add a few explanatory words if you were talking about these cars, or your interlocutor would have no way to tell which one you meant.

    General Motors management's having chosen these names for significantly different cars demonstrates that they're clearly different to the Anglophone ear. It also shows that GM's management, which has twice produced cars called the Nova ("doesn't go" in Spanish), doesn't include many Spanish speakers.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: /b/ and /v/

    What you're doing wrong is you're touching your lips together.

    Try doing what Glizdka suggests in post #2. Make sure you keep your lips apart.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: /b/ and /v/

    This video might help.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: /b/ and /v/

    Castilian Spanish has the /p/ and /f/ sounds, which are distinguishable in Spanish.

    /b/ and /v/ are voiced equivalents of /p/ and /f/.

    The sounds /f/ and /v/ are both fricatives pronounced with the upper teeth in contact with the lower lip (which is why they are called labiodental fricatives).

    /p/ and /b/ are labial stops. They don't involve the teeth.
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

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