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New Spanish Speaker in Upgrade

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ojosdeverdes
Posts: 0
belleplaine, mn
Registered:
Dec 2, 2015
Oct 13, 2017 at 11:19am

In the Spanish upgrade there is a female speaker who pronounces the double L sound like a hard J and is very difficult to understand. Instead of Llevar, the double L sounding like Y as in Yam, we get Jevar. Other examples are Jegar rather than Llegar, and ejos rather than ellos, and so on with each word with a double L. This makes it extremely difficult to understand her in the workouts that require the user to 'write the words/phrases you hear.' The worst is in the workout that starts out with one or two words then progresses into full sentences. There are 3 separate cases of this 'building' exercise within the workout. I have to look at the answer every time she uses a word containing the double L sound as she pronounces these words with a hard J instead of a ll (y) sound, not to mention running these words together. Maybe in the real world of Latin American Spanish this may happen (although my italki teacher pronounces the double L as a Y sound), but we are just learning here. I am in an elementary stage in the program where each word should be enunciated properly. It's not about the speed, it's about the pronunciation that should count here. I have begun to skip the previously mentioned workout completely because it is nearly impossible to understand what she is saying. These instances where this speaker uses a hard J sound rather than a ll (y) sound need to be re-recorded as it has created a great struggle where there was not one before the upgrade.

ScubaCPA
Posts: 0
Portland CT & Cozumel Mexico, Mexico &
United States
Registered:
May 22, 2014
Oct 14, 2017 at 11:06am

ojos - You mentioned an iTalki teacher. I am also now doing a weekly session with an iTalki teacher and really enjoying speaking live by Skype. She has helped me start to get over my speaking fear (still have a ways to go). She is from Mexico and never uses the hard J. Since I live part time in Mexico I want to have my pronunciation be closer to what the locals use. So that is what I go with. Wouldn't it be funny if we are using the same teacher? Mine is named Ana and she is from Mexico City. By the way ... as a shout out to Fluenz ... she tells me that I learned a very good foundation to build on.

Ashoka Tano
Posts: 0
Germantown, Maryland
Registered:
Feb 3, 2017
Oct 17, 2017 at 10:30am

yes, ive had that problem as well. maybe you could slow the speed on fluenz online if you want... it might help until they get the upgrade fixed.

ojosdeverdes
Posts: 0
belleplaine, mn
Registered:
Dec 2, 2015
Oct 17, 2017 at 2:58pm

Thanks @Scuba and @Ashoka for replying. I was hoping to get an answer from someone at Fluenz to this very real problem but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Best of luck to all of your language learners out there.

ojosdeverdes
Posts: 0
belleplaine, mn
Registered:
Dec 2, 2015
Oct 17, 2017 at 3:30pm

@Ashoka. It's not about the speed, it's about the very poor pronunciation I mentioned in my post. The Fluenz team have decided to ignore my post so I wouldn't expect it to be fixed.

andy@fluenz
Posts: 0
France
United States
Registered:
Feb 6, 2011
Oct 17, 2017 at 4:03pm

@ojosdeverdes- Not everyone pronounces the double L in the same way. I think it's good to hear different pronunciations because they are used in the real world. It can be frustrating,(even for Spanish speakers), but it's a realistic part of the language and I'm afraid re-recording the workouts is not an option. The talent we used for the workouts is from Mexico, so even people from the same country pronounce differently (just like in the US, where there are also regional differences). We recommend that you pronounce the double L as a "Y" because that's the pronunciation you feel comfortable with and you will be understood. We also recommend not to skip the workouts, just keep listening to them because with time you will recognize the sounds and you will definitely hear both when watching films or listening to native speakers.The female speaker you are referring to has a quite neutral accent which is good for beginners. She speaks a bit fast for the early levels, but the pronunciation is correct.

DYerks
Posts: 0
Pflugerville, TX
United States
Registered:
Sep 28, 2011
Oct 17, 2017 at 8:58pm

Hi, I finished Spanish level 5 two years ago and have continued studying using other methods. The pronunciation of the double Ls, Bs, Vs and Rs drove me nuts all through my Fluenz journey. Fluenz is awesome, it gave me a strong solid foundation on which to continue learning, but pronunciation is not its strong point, and you are not alone in your frustration. However, while frustrating for new learners, to hear both the Y and J sounds is good in the long run because both sounds are definitely used in the real world (like Austin, TX, where I live).

I have since learned much more about pronunciation and am very comfortable with all those letters and their various sounds. Now when I hear the J pronunciation I just roll my eyes, pronounce it the way I want, and enjoy the journey, LOL!

Sonia Gil
Posts: 0
Miami, FL
United States
Registered:
Sep 21, 2010
Oct 18, 2017 at 9:10am

Hi All, I wanted to add a bit of clarification regarding the double LL. There are in fact many pronunciations of it, strong "j", softer "j", a "y" sound, and also a "sh" sound (mostly in southern Latin America). And then within those pronunciation you will find all sorts of degrees. But what you will encounter the most is a stronger "J" and a "y" sound. That is why both these sounds are present in the program. Even though you are starting out you need to know these two sounds are out there because you will encounter them right away, even within the same region. And if you suddenly hear it and have no idea it exists you will be at a complete loss. So hence, the sounds that we know you will encounter no matter what, we include. We do believe it is crucial for you to hear them. What we try to do is keep them consistent within the voices. Getting the ear used to the nuances takes a little time, but once your brain makes the connection it starts becoming automatic. You will encounter these sound differences with the B and V as well. Some people do the sound differentiation and some don't and you will encounter both as well quite quickly and also within the same regions. Good luck and keep at it!!

ojosdeverdes
Posts: 0
belleplaine, mn
Registered:
Dec 2, 2015
Oct 23, 2017 at 7:49pm

@Scuba. Is your teacher on italki Ana Franco?

ojosdeverdes
Posts: 0
belleplaine, mn
Registered:
Dec 2, 2015
Oct 23, 2017 at 7:55pm

@Sonia. I understand having the real life experiences. I guess the majority of my frustration comes from the workout I first mentioned where the words build into full sentences. The native speaker is very difficult to understand. I don't want to slow it down because I want it to be real but at the same time it is frustrating to have to look at each answer. But I will punch through it and be better off for the effort. Thank you for your comment.

ScubaCPA
Posts: 0
Portland CT & Cozumel Mexico, Mexico &
United States
Registered:
May 22, 2014
Oct 26, 2017 at 8:55pm

ojos - Yes it is Ana Franco and I am enjoying working with her. Is that who you are using?

ojosdeverdes
Posts: 0
belleplaine, mn
Registered:
Dec 2, 2015
Oct 27, 2017 at 1:59pm

Scuba. I was using someone else, had to take a break, and now thinking about switching tutors. It's always good to have a recommendation so thanks for responding. I assume you are using Skype? They all seem to be using Skype.

nettech1992
Posts: 0
Tampa, Florida
United States
Registered:
Aug 6, 2011
Oct 29, 2017 at 2:22pm

Living in Latin America, you hear many different pronunciations. Especially in the Caribbean. You hear the j or the y even when you're in different cities. You should learn to become familiar with all of the pronunciations. A great example is "Dominican Spanish"....WOOOO. Speak about tough. Even within the DR, go to the north coast and you'll hear people say polque instead of porque, you'll hear Como ta? where the es is implicit, Pa instead of para. It's great to learn all of the interesting differences because it makes you a more well-rounded speaker.

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