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Michael Peña On The Wonders Of The Letter ñ


If there is a crucial letter in Spanish that English speakers drop all the time it is the ñ. This important letter is found in a myriad number of Spanish names and words. If you pronounce it with an n instead of an ñ you are saying it wrong. I understand that a lot of English speakers find the ñ hard to pronounce. All it takes is a little practice. Stop being so lazy, yo! My mother’s name is Muñiz but that not how people pronounce it in English. They say myooniz, which is wrong wrong wrong. As a Cuban I have a special fondness for the ñ because the greatest word in the history of Spanish, coño, has an ñ. It’s so important that it stands on its own when we say the abrieviated version ño. Without the ñ it would sound like we’re saying no, which again changes the entire friggin’ meaning.

Here is the great Michael Peña from the new movie Cesar Chavez explaining the importance and beauty of the ñ like he’s a Muppet on Sesame Street. As he explains, without the ñ the words have a different meaning. For example, Feliz Año Nuevo (Happy New Year) becomes Feliz Ano Nuevo (happy new anus). Nasty.

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