How to pronounce "Che" of Che Guevara

Actually, my mountain-from-molehill making amigo, I am the one who asked how to pronounce it. Or was that a typo, and you were suggesting I ought to learn Spanish before asking any questions about Spanish pronunciation? Either way, it’s water under the bridge.

For clarification, I was really looking for an explanation of any decent way to pronounce it, though of course, the correct Spanish pronunciation would be the best one for me to use, as best as I can replicate it. As stated in the OP, I’ve never heard his name spoken. Neither have I ever had any reason to bring up his name in conversation, however, I figured that in the event that such a need ever arose I’d like to be prepared to be able to use it somewhat properly. This anglo-Canadian figured it could be pronounced chee, chay, shee, shay, throaty-‘ch’ sound with an ee, ey, ay - or really any other countless number of ways.

I think I got my answer, so I thank you very much. I also assure you I will be much more cautious with the phrasing of my question in the event I ask any pronunciation-related questions in the future.

Standup Karmic, I have no problem whatsoever with your question. None. It is by asking questions that we learn. It just seemed from that post that you were answering and I did not notice you were the OP.

  1. Not lazy. Just don’t hear the difference until it is pointed out to them. This is a feature of how we hear and understand language and does not warrant any moral judgement.

  2. Your point about vowels is overgeneralised. Both English and Spanish have both pure vowels and glides, and English has more of each than Spanish. The terminal vowel in “trustee”, for example, is close to a pure /i/ with an option on a touch of /j/.

The use of the term “long” vowels is also problematic, because of the idiosyncratic way it’s used in English (not your fault, but something to keep in mind when you’re talking to English speakers).

The important point is that a terminal “o” or “e” in Spanish will become /o/ + /u/ or /e/ + /i/ diphthong in the mouth of an English speaker, hence “Che” -> “Chey”.

My use of the term “lazy” was not meant to imply any judgment on the moral character of the person, only that the person could do better with a bit more effort. That’s all.

Yes, because everybody tends to use the sounds they are already familiar with. I remember discussing this with an American woman. She could do the short Spanish ending vowels easily but she would unconciously revert to English pronunciation. When I asked her why she kept adding the longer “English” ending to the shorter and simpler Spanish vowel she said “I can’t help it, if I don’t continue it somehow feels ‘unfinished’”. It is just a matter of custom not of difficulty of doing it.

Imagine changing something in your writing. Crossing or not crossing your sevens. Writing a ceratin letter in a different form than you are used to. Writing the date in a different format. Anything. At first it will require your total attention and if you do not do this then you will just revert to the old custom. But once you have acquired the new habit, it will come out easily. Spanish vowels are not difficult for English-speaking people to do, they just need to acquire the new habit.

At any rate, my point is not how people actually pronounce them. I am not saying that either you speak perfectly a language or you better not speak it at all. Speaking a little Spanish deficiently is still better than speaking no Spanish at all. No question about it.

My criticism is for those who answer questions which they are not qualified to answer. that’s all. Anyone who thinks vowels in Spanish are pronounced with English pronunciation should not be answering questions about Spanish pronunciation. IMHO, of course.