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How to say: Escondida

Host Host | 14:34 UK time, Friday, 18 August 2006

Catherine SangsterA guide to words and names in the news, from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is for Escondida, the world's largest privately-owned copper mine in Chile, where the workers are currently striking."

"We recommend the pronunciation esk-on-DEE-dhuh (dh represents the voiced th sound in the word "this")."

(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)


  • 1.
  • At 04:27 PM on 18 Aug 2006,
  • piers wrote:

dh pronounced th as in 'this'? Not sure about dhat one. I know what you are getting at, however i'd say the second d is actually aspirated with the front of the tongue almost flirting with the roof of the palate.

However if an non native spanish speaker is to struggle with this i'd always recommend sticking with a plain old d as in 'duck' sound.

Nice try, but, I think there is a mistake in the syllabification of the word. It should be:


I think you are using English rules, no Spanish ones---which means that you are actually advising how to say "Escondida" with an English accent.

The same goes for Javier Solana:

kha-BYAIR so-lAA-nuh

(which is more like a B than like a V)

  • 3.
  • At 12:06 PM on 19 Aug 2006,
  • Aaron wrote:

Agree with Piers 1., although for a non-native Spanish-speaker maybe the ideal model would be a weaker "D" than that found in "Duck": how about a final "D" such as "baD"?

Wouldn't it be possible and much more useful to illustrate each example with a sound file? It seems bizarre to be using this non-orthodox system of representing pronunciation as the sole method - having to explain what "dh" stands for is a sign in itself of its limitations. I would have thought IPA symbols in even a simplified version would have been the obvious choice. They're not that difficult to get to grips with, honestly, and what's more they're unambiguous.

Still, a good initiative.

  • 4.
  • At 11:38 PM on 19 Aug 2006,
  • Jon wrote:

mmmmm d as in duck or dh as in....mmm why has no one bothered asking the mines owners. Then at least no one will duck it up.

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