Are you mispronouncing these Spanish words? (almost every Spanish learner does)

Are you mispronouncing these Spanish words? (almost every Spanish learner does)

¿Quieres ir por “paella”? ¿O por un “tamale”?
(Do you want to go for “paella”? Or for a “tamale”?)

Ay, Susan. ¡Así no se pronuncia esa comida!
(Oh, Susan. That’s not the way to pronounce these foods!)

¿Paella o tamale?
(Paella or tamale?)

Ninguna de las dos.
(Neither of the 2.)

Do you know the right pronunciation of paella and tamale? Soy Paulísima de Spring Spanish. (I’m Paulísima from Spring Spanish.)

In this video we’re going to go through Spanish words that are often mispronounced even by advanced Spanish students.

1. Patio

¿Cómo pronuncias esta palabra? (How do you pronounce this word?) The problem with this and many words on this list, is that they’re Spanish words that made their way into English. So when we say it in Spanish, we pronounce it as we would in English. Está bien, pero si vas a usar esta palabra hablando español, hay que usar la pronunciación del español. (It’s ok, but if you’re going to use this word while speaking Spanish, you have to use the Spanish pronunciation.)

Me gustan los restaurantes con patio.
(I like restaurants with a patio.)

Pues vamos a “Tres Abejas”, tiene un patio muy lindo.
(Well let’s go to “Tres Abejas”, they have a very nice patio.)

Did you notice that “Me gustan”? It’s a great Spanish chunk. You can download our Essential Spanish chunking kit in the link in the description below.

2. Aficionado

Do you say “aficionado”? If you really like something, you’re an aficionado. Acuérdate de pronunciar bien la letra D. (Remember to correctly pronounce letter D.)

Mi papá es aficionado a los deportes.
(My dad is a sports aficionado.)

¡Mi papá también! Bueno, no es aficionado a todos los deportes, es aficionado al box nada más.
(My dad too! Well, he’s not an aficionado to all sports, he’s just a box aficionado. )

Si eres aficionado a este canal… (If you’re an aficionado of this channel…) subscribe right now!

3. Colombia

It’s not Columbia. This is such a common mistake! I talk about this in this video. Lo correcto es Colombia. (The correct thing is Colombia.)

Mi amiga de Colombia estudia en la universidad de Columbia.
(My friend from Colombia studies in Columbia University.)

¡Ah, qué bien! Me cae muy bien la gente de Colombia.
(Oh, that’s good! I really like people from Colombia.)

4. Paella

El delicioso platillo español no se llama “paella”, se llama “paella”. (The delicious Spanish dish is not called “paella”, it’s called “paella”.) Remember that double ll is pronounced as j.

¿Sabías que la paella original no lleva chorizo?
(Did you know that the original paella doesn’t have chorizo?)

Sí, lo sabía. La paella original es la valenciana, ¿no?
(Yes, I knew it. The original paella is Valencian, right?)

5. Tamales

Dos cosas. (2 things.) Tamales is plural. So if you only want one, you should call it “tamal” not tamale.

Se me antoja un tamal de pollo con salsa verde.
(I’m craving a tamal with chicken with salsa verde.)

Ok, bueno. Ahora que salga de trabajar paso por unos tamales.
(Okay, alright. Now that I get off work, I’ll go get some tamales.)

6. Habanero

Esta palabra y las dos que siguen son nombres de chiles. (This word and the next 2 are names of chillies.) This mistake comes from trying to pronounce letter H as one does in English. Pero acuérdense de que en español la H es muda. (But remember that in Spanish letter H is silent (lit. mute).) So it’s not habanero but “habanero”.

En la Península de Yucatán, el chile que se consume más es el habanero.
(In the Yucatan Peninsula, the chilli that is most consumed is habanero.)

Sí, y ¿sabías que aunque se llama “habanero”, en la Habana nadie lo conoce?
(Yes, and did you know that although it is called “habanero”, in Havana no one knows it?)

7. Jalapeño

How do you pronounce this word? It’s not “jalapeño” nor “jalapeño”. Remember that J in Spanish is more like the H in English.

Me encanta pedir jalapeños rellenos cuando pido una hamburguesa.
(I love to order stuffed jalapeños when I order a hamburger.)

¡Sí! Pero además que le pongan muchos jalapeños en vinagre.
(Yes! But also if they put many jalapeños in vinegar.)

8. Chipotle

If we’re talking about the American restaurant, you can call it “chipotle”. But when in Mexico, speaking Spanish, talking about this chilli, you should call it “chipotle”.

¿Sabías que el chile chipotle en realidad es chile jalapeño seco?
(Did you know that chipotle chilli is really jalapeño chilli dried?)

¿En serio? Yo pensé que el chile chipotle era así naturalmente.
(Really? I thought chipotle chili was like that naturally.)

9. Tortilla

Continuando con nombres de cosas para comer, tenemos “tortilla”. (Continuing with names of things to eat, we have “tortilla”.) Not “tortilla”, tortilla.

En México, los tacos normalmente se sirven con dos tortillas.
(In Mexico, tacos are normally served with 2 tortillas.)

Claro. Además, puedes dividir la carne que le ponen al taco y como tienes dos tortillas, pues te haces dos tacos.
(Sure. You can also divide the meat they put in the taco and since you have 2 tortillas, you make 2 tacos.)

10. Horchata

This delicious Latin American drink made of rice is not pronounced “horchata” but “horchata”.

En México, las aguas frescas más populares son jamaica, tamarindo y horchata.
(In Mexico, the most popular@ “aguas frescas” (lit. fresh waters) are hibiscus, tamarind, and horchata.)

Mi favorita es la de horchata. ¿La tuya?
(My favorite is horchata. Yours?)

Have you ever tried “aguas frescas” (”fresh waters”)? What’s your favorite? Horchata, jamaica? Leave me a comment.

11. Enchiladas

One of the most popular Mexican dishes is also often mispronounced. Again, the D mistake. El error de la D. Enchiladas. Not enchiladas.

Las enchiladas suizas de Sanborn’s son deliciosas.
(Swiss enchiladas from Sanborn’s are delicious.)

Sí las he probado. De hecho, son mis enchiladas favoritas. Después de las de mi mamá, claro.
(I’ve tried them. They’re actually my favorite enchiladas. After my mom’s, of course.)

12. Cerveza

How do you pronounce it? Are you saying “cerveza”? It should be “cerveza”.

¿Me da una cerveza, por favor?
(Can I get a beer, please?)

¿Qué cerveza quiere? De barril tenemos clara y obscura, y de botella solamente Corona.
(What beer would you like? From barrel we have light and dark, and bottled only Corona.)

¡Esta es una de las frases que los extranjeros aprenden primero! (This is one of the phrases that foreigners learn first!) If you want to learn more about how to order in a restaurant, check out this video.

13. Mamacita

Mamacita, not mamacita. It means something like “little mother”, but we use it as a term of endearment for a hot, beautiful woman.

Buenos días, mamacita. ¿Cómo amaneció mi reina?
(Good morning, mamacita. How did my queen wake up?)

Muy bien, mi amor.
(Very well, my love.)

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