Cryptic, you say? You betcha! But my head has been spinning recently as I attempt to determine why some Spanish speakers (and singers) pronounce the letters LL and Y with the Spanish textbook Y sound, whereas others tend to pronounce it more like a (softened) J. I mean, it has been keeping me up nights, amigas! (Okay, not seriously, but I do listen to Danna Paola sing many nights as I’m trying to get to sleep. Does that count?)
My research department (read: mi esposa, Josefina) took the time to do some digging today and found a couple of articles I’ll link to at the end of this article (si recuerdo) explaining what regions typically use the respective pronunciations. I had wondered about the difference between those 2 pronunciations, and, evidently, there are other pronunciations besides!
A little help?
What’s perplexing to me, however, is that my virtual teachers, Mauricio and Amy, have been pronouncing the consonants differently throughout much of the Rocket Spanish course I’ve been taking, and never once have they paused to point out the difference. You won’t hear me criticizing Rocket Language often, since I think it’s a really great product over all. However, that’s something I’d include in one of the lessons, I believe — preferably during the first lesson in which the discrepancy appears! Call me loco, but that’s the way I’d handle it.
That said, mis dos amigas have done excellent job of delivering the lessons in an informative and even entertaining way, so I’m inclined to cut them a little slack on this matter. Still, I’m hoping they’ll delve into it eventually, maybe in one of the upcoming more advanced courses.
Favorite singing groups’ differing
I have noticed that only one of my favorite singing groups (indeed, my favorite these days by a stretch), Ha*Ash, whose videos I’ve shared with you on at least one occasion, pronounce their Ys and LLs the textbook way. They were also reared in Louisiana and evidently learned Spanish from teachers and textbooks. (I have no evidence of the latter, but I do know that they’re from Lake Charles and spent their childhood singing here in los Estados Unidos.) I will have to research it further. And I shall enjoy doing so!
On the other hand, I have heard other favorites, Danna Paola and Jesse y Joy pronounce the consonants with the J sound. E.g., Jesse y Joy’s “Llegaste Tú“ (which is still one of my all-time favorites).
For now, I will simply enjoy all of the artists’ singing and try not to obsess over their pronunciation is brought about by “book learning” or cultural exposure. I know which I would prefer for myself, but books are what I can afford for now.
Look forward to a new YouTube on Cinco de Mayo — a group I discovered while researching Ha*Ash, en realidad.
¡Hasta luego, amigas!