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Hey Latinos, Cut It Out: Over Pronouncing Spanish Words


In our “Hey Latinos, Cut It Out!” feature we ask you, our Latino brothers and sisters, to cut out some behavior that is embarrassing the rest of us. We do this in order to foster peaceful coexistence with our non-Latino neighbors and so we aren’t ashamed to be seen with you in public.

Over pronouncing words in Spanish didn’t start as a Latino thing, but we’ve picked up this behavior. White folks tend to pronounce Spanish words with an American accent. So, they pronounce Mexico the way it’s written and not “Mehiko”. This is fine, they can’t speak Spanish. Newscasters are the worse culprits of over pronouncing Spanish words. They’ll be reporting on a story in English and then say “Nikaragua”. It sounds weird. We Latinos have picked it up too. I think in our case we are showing that we know how to pronounce the words correctly. But when speaking English it sounds weird to say “Nikaragua” with such a strong emphasis. It’s like your showing off or something. When I’m speaking English, I say Mexico and not “Mehiko” and that’s OK. Stop show boating that you speak Spanish, it sounds silly.

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