Do Spanish speakers do anything to Spanish words to make them sound more English?

I’m thinking of the opposite of what is common in English to make words sound more Spanish. Usually, this is done by adding an “o” to the end of a word or prefixing the word with an “el” or “la”. Among Spanish speakers, is there any equivalent to try to make Spanish words sound English?

No, not that I was aware of. But we sometimes put an “éibol” at the end of a word for fun thus mocking the perceived sound of English in our ears (yes, I know that English does not really sound like this. That may be the reason there is no standard way of making a word sound like English: often Spaniards do not know what English should sound like, therefore cannot properly mock it). We could say, for instance: *incredéibol *to mean incredible, probably meaning to say that whatever we are refering to is not incredible but obvious. But it is not done often, I would guess. Might have been more common some 30-40 years ago.

This is fascinating. So, do you mean that the ‘eibol’ we have at the end of certain words (like, incredible) sounds like an exaggeration?

Spanish has increíble, you have incredible, when we pronounce it incredéibol (wrong on purpose, with a Spanish accent on the second “e”, the “é” that you do not pronounce because it is not there) it sounds like we don’t take it seriously, at least I took it that way. This is very subjective, of course. I would not call it an exaggeration. In general Spaniards have a difficult relation with languages and with English in particular (it’s getting slowly better), the pronunciation (another ending Spaniards may mock: éitxion, but you really have to exaggerate the é in both cases, that is why I wrote it with an accent) is difficult for us. Spanish phonetics don’t make it easy.

Thanks, this is a really fun thing to know. It might not be exactly analogous in the cultural sense of how it’s used, but linguistically it seems like it’s exactly the same thing.

Interesting. It might be mentioned that Spanish-speakers frequently pronounce loan-words and foreign names according to Spanish rules, rather than attempting the original pronunciation. For example, the fast-food restaurant Popeyes here in Panama is called (approximately) Poh-PEH-yays, and corn flakes are corn FLAH-kays. (Before a camping trip, I once had someone ask me if I had remember my col-GAH-tay. I had no idea what he was talking about until I realize he was saying Colgate and asking about toothpaste.:D) English, on the other hand, pronounces words like tortilla and jalapeno as they are in Spanish (although admittedly not llama or Amarillo, Texas.)

As a related aside, I live in an area when many street names are Spanish. And I find it so annoying that both Google and Apple have chosen anglicized mispronunciations of the Spanish names in their mapping apps. And it’s worse that they are not total anglicizations, that would be easier to ignore because I think you can mentally comparmentalize the “English” version as part of a different language. Instead, they have chosen to speak the words in the manner of someone who vaguely knows some of the rules of Spanish pronunciation, but mangles them. And hearing this every day, the mangled version is starting to stick in my brain.

GPS is terrible about pronouncing street names. There’s a street here that’s part of a block where there’s a Tara, a Scarlett, and an Ashley, and a few others that reference Gone with the Wind, including an O’Hara, which has the apostrophe and capital H. Nonetheless, both a Garmin I had years ago, and now my Google maps call it OH-ah-ra. My Google maps also can’t figure out that “Ave.” is the abbreviation for “avenue.” When this pops up, it pronounces it “AH-vey.”

If First Ave is “First AH-vey”, presumably they should keep the Christian theme going and it would be “Main Saint”.

I remember the TV-ads for Colgate in Spain in the 70s, where the slogan was “Colgate: el mal aliento combate” (Colgate fights bad breath), pronouncing *Colgate *so that it rhymed with combate. That was the official ad from the company itself! :smiley: Nobody would have understood what it was about if they had said *Colgéit *(crude transliteration of the English pronunciation according to Spanish rules :))
Oh, look, on You Tube I found this Colgate ad from South America (judging from the accent) and they pronounce it just like I said. I’m loving it!

Many years ago I had a GPS receiver that pronounced “Bodega” with the accent on the first syllable. I still sometimes have to stop myself from saying it that way.
On the other hand, I’m delighted that Google Maps still pronounces “Hwy” as “whee”. I’m on the Pacific Coast, wheee!

One of the more delightful discoveries I made, as an English major studying abroad in Spain, was that the name “Shakespeare” has six syllables: e-SHAHK-e-spay-AR-ay.

I use the English version of WAZE here in Panama just because the mispronunciations are so hilarious. In particular, it pronounces the last word of Avenida de los Mártires (Avenue of the Martyrs), which should be MAR-tee-res, as MAR-tires, like what’s on a car. But I think the program may actually come up with some of the pronunciations on the fly, because sometimes they differ (but are always wrong).

“Englishifying” a Spanish word in a parodying sense can take many forms such as unrolling the “r”; having final "O"s be pronounced to rhime with “slow”; pronouncing "h"s; or sticking an “-ing” or “-ation” either completely or partly on top of a word’s modifying ending.

Makes people back home giggle when trying to discuss a certain university in upstate New York.

Puerto Rico: Popeye is pronounced Po-PEH-ye, Colgate Col-GA-teh; but Corn Flakes are just cornfléiks.

Remembering the fabulous wit we displayed by adding “o” to the end of every English word to get smartass Spanish (orchestra-o, because-o, and so forth)… couldn’t Spanish speakers simply add “like” to the front of any Spanish word to make it sound American English?

Example: Se habla likeIngles?

I had a GPS when I lived in San Diego that couldn’t make up its mind. My freeway exit for work was La Jolla Village Dr. The GPS told me every day to take the Luh Hoya Village Drive exit, then turn left onto Lay Jaw-lah Village Doctor.

I suspect that there are still enclaves in the Upper Midwest where those are “tor-TILL-a” and “JAL-a-PEE-no,” respectively. :smiley:

Yeah, that’s the Upper Midwest. But what’s our excuse in San Francisco for pronouncing “Cabrillo” street “cah-BRILL-oh”?

It’s not as if you pronounce San Francisco properly.

There is debate as to whether Juan Cabrillo, the explorer, was Spanish or Portuguese. Is “cah-BRILL-oh” a Portuguese pronunciation?

The community of Avila Beach is pronounced A-vǝ-lǝ with accent on the A. Named after Miguel Ávila, said to be Portuguese, with Portuguese pronunciation (at least according to what some locals claimed).

Here’s an article discussing the pronunciations of a great many streets, communities, and other places in and around San Francisco (not all of them names of Spanish origin), including two slide shows! (Scroll down a way for the second one.)

Reader reactions to Bay Area pronunciations and what we got ‘wrong’ from San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 23, 2014.

A great many places in California have Spanish names. But many of those places have non-Spanish heritages (or, were taken over by white Americans after the Spanish colonial days) and have a lot of Anglicized or Mangle-ized pronunciations. This goes for cities, streets, points of interests, whatever. In at least some places, the majority of the (Yanqui) locals actively reject Spanish pronunciations and other trappings of Spanish history.

In Santa Barbara, colorful tilework in the walls of buildings is very popular, which I think has gives a Hispanic character. In either San Luis (LOO-iss) Obispo or Paso Robles (I forget which), this is highly frowned upon and the Architectural Committee (or whoever approves building designs) won’t allow it.

A great many places have “local” pronunciations (invariably non-Hispanic) pronunciations for things, by which all the local people can tell when they’re talking to a tourist because of their mispronunciations. They do this on purpose, of course.

I’m sure no native Hispanic speaker would recognize the American pronunciation of Los Angeles. And I doubt any native English/American speaker would recognize the Spanish pronunciation.

ETA: What do GPS, Siri, WAZE, and all the others make of the pronunciation of all the street and place names in Hawaii? :smack: