Licking good!

My friend tried to learn Spanish from a beginner's book. 'LL' in Spanish is pronounced similarly to 'ya' in English - however, my friend didn't know this and continued to pronounce it as a single 'L' in English. Wanting to impress a Mexican girl, he tried asking her name: ÂżCĂłmo te lamas? But lamas is a form of lamer - meaning 'to lick'!

Editor's note: Just goes to show it's worth getting your tongue around those double 'll's ! What he'd wanted to ask her was ÂżCĂłmo te llamas? - 'What is your name?' The verb Llamar meaning 'to call'.

Sent by: N.J.Srinivasulu


Farostegui, Rayleigh, Essex 2009-07-31

It's a pity that "Yeism" has become the norm.
The proper pronunciation of "LL" is is placing your tongue up to the palate and incisives like pronuncing the sound "e" followed by"l" and "y" in yes, It´s difficult. For instance Gallina (hen) would be like "gailyina".
Most spaniards nowadays commit what is called Yeismo: transforming the LL into Y. In the Rioplatenses countries the say something likea mixture between "sh" and the French "J".

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V.C. 2007-01-02

In Argentina and Uruguay "ll" is pronounced as the "j" in John, but in Chile and Peru it is pronounced like "y" in "yes". Spanish dialects can surely cause some confusion!

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Tabea 2006-06-30

A Spanish exchange student from Pamplona once tried to explain the difference between y and ll. Although I got the two ch's of Euskara (Basque), that sound continually eluded me.

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Jaime 2006-08-18

This is the only anecdote that made me laugh out loud. Hilarious!

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Miguel 2005-10-10

The double letter 'll' and the 'y' are pronounced the same in most Spanish dialects. The pronunciation of these letters range from the 'y' in yes (very infrequent), to the 'j' in John. In Argentina, Chile, Urugay and Paraguay it's also pronounced like the 's' in television or leisure. The 'll' is also pronounced close to 'million' in a few areas.

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