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Culture — ¡Usted habla muy bien!

by Brandi

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July 2nd, 2010

For this week’s culture blog, I wanted to discuss pronunciation. In Spanish, you could know thousands and thousands of words and how to put them together into sentences, but if you do not have good pronunciation, you’ll never be understood. In fact, your efforts to learn Spanish will have been quite ineffective.

On the other hand, if you really take the time and effort to learn Spanish pronunciation correctly, native speakers are so impressed when you speak. You may not have perfect grammar, or a very extensive vocabulary, but if you have excellent pronunciation, native speakers will generally say, “¡Usted habla muy bien!”, or in English “You speak very well!” The correct pronunciation is the key to successful language skills! They will think you’re a great Spanish speaker just by having good solid pronunciation skills!

Many people make the mistake of believing that because they took Spanish in Junior High, High School, or even College, they will automatically have great pronunciation skills when in reality they may not be understood by a native speaker at all.

As the director of the Institute, I started teaching our course through Weber State University as an online course for the first time way back in January of 2003. At the first of the course, I gave all of my students a pronunciation assignment. They had about one week to learn our Pronunciation CD-ROM software and then hand in an audio recording in Spanish. I was astonished when I listened to them. A few of them had obviously not practiced with the software, but for the most part, the students sounded as good as a native Spanish speakers.

You do not have to be a College student to do well in pronunciation.  People of all ages and different backgrounds have been able to sound similar to native speakers by using our program. By learning pronunciation now, you can continue on with your goal of learning to speak Spanish!

If you want to really impress the native Spanish speakers, the way to do it is to focus on pronunciation. If you sound good, it does not matter how good your grammar is, they will be impressed.

To learn more about speaking Spanish (and Spanish pronunciation), please visit our website www.spanishprograms.com

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One Response

  1. AndyG says:

    A comment about food… my Spanish tutor, who is originally from Mexico City, recommended that I try two dishes next time I go to Mexico. One was Chilaquiles Verdes and the other was Enchiladas Suizas. I asked if they could fix them for me in the hotel where I was staying. “Of course” was the answer. I had the Chilaquiles for breakfast and the enchiladas for dinners. Both dishes were excellent. Lateron I found out that both were readily available on their buffets which were included in the room rate. I felt a little silly about asking for them without first checking out their buffet. Pues….
    Also a tip for shoppers: Leon is the Mexican capitol of leather. They have a modern shopping mall where every store is a shoe store. Fine leather jackets can be made to order within a few hours. The best parts are the prices. There are about 15% of the U.S. retail prices for equivalent products. I picked up a superb ladies calf skin jacket, soft as butter with a silk lining, for only $60, and pair of ladies designer shoes for only $75.

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