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1. Iberian #1 - How’s it goin’ with you?

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Dialogue - Iberian Download MP3
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Grammar: , Function: Topic: Politeness Level:
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So, what do you think of the differences between the Standard version we heard in Newbie Lesson 1, the Peruvian version we heard in Regional Lesson 1, and now the Iberian version that we hear in this lesson?


Hola Lee,

With Iberia, they mean the spanish part of the Iberian Peninsula, which is a little different than other parts of Spain.
In Spanish “h” has no sound.


avatar lee j won

where is iberia? and why dos the spanish prounouce the j as h? some times not? it’s kind of confusing.


Hello Cuimris,

Thank for your comment!
1) The [t] never sounds like [d], they can confuse you but the sound is not the same at all.
2) No, only [z] is pronounce like [θ].
3) It sounds alike, but they actually have the same pronunciation.
4) [b] and [v] are very alike, they have two separate sounds hard and soft. At the beginning of a word and after “m” or “n”, the hard Spanish “b/v” closely resembles the “b” in the word “boy,” except that the lips are held tense. In other situations, the “b/v” is pronounced like an English “b” in which the lips are not allowed to touch.
Yes, there are many words that change their pronunciation from region to region.

Keep practicing your pronunciation,

Buena Suerte,

avatar Cuimris

Yet another question > “Yo estoy bien” sounds something like ‘jo stoy byen’ here, whereas it sounds more like ‘yo stoy byen’ in other recordings … Is my assessment correct, and, if so, is the ‘jo’ pronunciation a regionalism?

avatar Cuimris

Sorry, an addendum to ‘4)’ & ‘5)’ below > I read somewhere that ‹b› (& ‹v›?) is/are (a) bilabial trill(s)? Is that correct?

Is ‹v› always pronounced as ‹b› is, in all positions?

avatar Cuimris

Interesting reading here; I have some further questions about pronunciation {I’ve only just started learning español, but had learned a number of facts {or otherwise} before starting this course!} >
1) I’ve been told that ‹t› is pronounced [d]; therefore, ‘tu’ > [du] & ‘tirar’ > [dirar] >> Yes or no; never, sometimes {when?}, or always?
2) My understanding is that ‹c(e/i)› & ‹z› are pronounced [θ] >> Yes or no; never, sometimes {when?}, or always?
3) I’ve also been (mis)led to believe that ‹d› is always pronounced [ð] >> Yes or no; never, sometimes {when?}, or always?
4) According to Wikipedia, ‹b› is pronounced [ß], i.e., a bilabial fricative, not a bilabial stop >> Yes or no; never, sometimes {when?}, or always?
5) Does ‘4)’ above also apply to the pronunciation of ‹v›?

I’d like to get my pronunciation as close to native-speech as possible before fossilisation sets in! Thank you!

Just one other question > why should seseo dialects be referred as “standard” here, while the Iberian variety be considered at variance with the “standard”? Surely the Iberian variety is considered perfectly standard in Spain, while Latin American dialects are considered deviations of it? It comes down to who is holding the scales, doesn’t it?

avatar Bouks

Hello everyone:

I am so pleased to find Iberian dialect pointers! Since I am a flamenco dancer, it will add to my authenticity to be able to pronounce things in the Iberian way. Gracias!

Oh, and I love the Iberian lesson intro music :mrgreen:


avatar David

Hi Carlos:

Well, I would say there are some noticeable features:

- First of all, a huge number of words in Castilian Spanish derive from arabic (over four thousands). Many of them are used in fields in which arabs where more advanced than christians by the time of the Peninsula occupation (medicine, philosophy, astronomy, laws…). As a a quick tip, I would say that all words which start with al- come from arabic (al- is the arabic article). Examples: álgebra (algebra), algoritmo (algorithm), alcalde (mayor), azimut (azimuth).

- In second place I would say that our strong /j/ sound is an imprint of the arabic language spoken in Spain for so many years (centuries), as well as the aspiration of ‘h’ if southern Spain (which arabs held longer than the rest of the Peninsula, and, therefore, was more influenced by them).

Finally, and just as a curiosity, “ojalá” which is a very used word in Spain, and means “let’s hope so!” or “I hope that…”, comes from arabic in which literally means “if Alá wants”, “if God wants”.


avatar joseph


Interesting question! I’m always fascinated to learn about the different cultural influences on the development of a language. This is not my territory, though; however, I bet either Megan or David could help you out with this…



avatar Carlos

Interesting comments all around. I have heard a lot of different explanations concerning the “lisp” or “whistle” in Iberian Spanish. I know that this is more pronounced in the South of Spain, but what do we know about the linguistic imprint of the Moors on Iberian Spanish?