Paul Frank paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU
Sun Apr 3 15:36:40 UTC 2005

>      For the Sp. words it wasn't clear from the first post what was
> objectionable in the newscaster's pronunciation--was it phonemic choice or phonetic
> choice?

I'm a native speaker of (Chilean) Spanish. Most American English speakers say Nicaragua in a way
that sounds natural in American English, at least to my ears. The NPR commentator said the word in
the middle of an English sentence in a way that sounded completely Latin American to my ears. So
much so that she had to make a brief (fraction of a second) pause before and after the word to
switch from an American English sound to a Spanish one and back to an American one. Every phoneme in
Nicaragua sounded perfectly Spanish. To me this sounds weird when speaking English.

Paul Frank
Chinese-English translator
paulfrank at

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