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Pronunciation - mole

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by GenJen54, May 30, 2006.

  1. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    What is the correct way to say the word mole in Spanish?

    Is it pronounced like the English mole (silent "e"), or is it pronounced mo-lay (like olé)?


    I am talking about the culinary mole that is commonly found on restaurant menus.
     
  2. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    Hi! It is pronounced MO-lay.
    (Mo as in MOtion and lay as in pLAY . . . except you don't really have to pronounce the y, but you know what i mean! A long "a")
    It doesn't rhyme with ole'. Sorry, I can't use accent marks right now.
     
  3. diegodbs

    diegodbs Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain-Spanish
    Mole, pronunciado como olé, pero con acento en la "o".

    The only letters not pronounced in Spanish are "h" and "u" in gue-gui-que-qui
     
  4. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    Nevermind, I did know that....

    Gracias a los dos!
     
  5. Mariaguadalupe

    Mariaguadalupe Senior Member

    Mexico
    Mexico, Spanish-English
    Hello Gen!

    Kate Nicole's suggestion of O as in Motion is right on target, but I would go with a short e sound as in let or bed, without pronouncing the last consonants. I hope I explained myself.

    Best regards,

    MG
     
  6. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    I would say that the e in mole is more pronounced like the ai in brAId than the e in bEd. I think she knows how the Spanish e is pronounced though, so that should take care of any confusion :)
     
  7. Cereth

    Cereth Senior Member

    language of love
    MO (the mo you use for monument)
    and LE (of legs)

    the MO of motion is not the most accurate one.

    mmm Mole what a delicious dish...i´m hungry now
     
  8. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    Be careful with legs, because some people pronounce it "laigs" and some people pronounce it "lehgs". I understand your example, but the word isn't pronounced the same by all.

    The mo in mole and the mo in monument are not pronounced the same at all. Monument is pronounced man-llu-ment.

    I'm sorry, but I really disagree that the Spanish "e" mimics the "e' in bed.

    Saludos!
     
  9. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    will be:

    MO as in more
    LE as in lesbian

    or in spanish

    MO as in mosco
    LE as in Letra
     
  10. Soy Yo Senior Member

    USA
    EEUU - inglés
    The "o" in English monument is not the same as the "o" in Spanish mole or monumento. The "o" in mole is closer to Englsh o in motion than it is to the one in monument.
     
  11. Mariaguadalupe

    Mariaguadalupe Senior Member

    Mexico
    Mexico, Spanish-English
    Mo: rounded O
    le: short e sound as in elephant, let

    I hope I don't step on anyone's toes, but the second syllable is a short e sound. If you pronounce as in lay or braid, you have a totally different sound.
     
  12. Soy Yo Senior Member

    USA
    EEUU - inglés
    Supongo que tiene la pronunciación del pronombre "le."

    ¿Le gusta el mole?
     
  13. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    Maria,
    The name of the letter e in Spanish (like if you name it while reciting the alphabet), is the same sound the e makes in mole, no? That sound rhymes with braid in English.
     
  14. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    Exactly. But I would argue that that is NOT the same sound as leg and lesbian and some of the other examples mentioned.
     
  15. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    All Spanish vowel sounds are "cut" as in, they have no diphthong glide. When I was a teacher, I used to teach the students: ah! eh! eeh! oh! ooh! (using the h, I suppose, as the "cut off" sound)

    I agree with the Anglo speakers who have said that "braid", "lay" better captures a Spanish vowel "e" than the short English "e" of "leg" or "bed". I rather suspect that native Spanish speakers underemphasize the shortness of the sound. That "e" is perilously close to a schwa sound.
     
  16. diegodbs

    diegodbs Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain-Spanish
    Es interesante lo que dice Txiri. Cuando yo, como hispanohablante, oigo una vocal inglesa que no tiene equivalencia con mis 5 sonidos vocálicos, trato inconscientemente de asociarlo a uno de ellos. Esto nos pasa con la vocal de "hat", de "pin" o de "heel", sonidos que no existen en español.

    Cuando una persona de habla inglesa oye una vocal española, supongo que trata inconscientemente de hacer lo mismo: intenta adaptarla a uno de sus sonidos vocálicos. Por eso intentan siempre pronunciar las vocales españolas o/e con un cierto diptongo /ou/ /ei/. Normalmente cuando un angloparlante dice "muchas gracias" nos da la impresión de oír "muches gracies", y si dice "quiero" nos parece oír /kierou/.

    ¿Quién de los dos tiene más razón? ¿El que cree decir algo de una manera, o el que lo oye?
     
  17. Cristina Laird New Member

    spanish - Argentina
    It is mo-leh. for sure!
     
  18. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    Bueno, lo que si se convierte en tarea difícil es adaptar cinco vocales (más los diptongos) a catorce vocales (más diphthong glide).

    Los diccionarios monolingües de inglés suelen servirse de una guía de pronunciación con catorce palabras "básicas" que se supone, supongo, todos los hablantes pronuncian igual. Me ha quedado claro clarete tras varias semanas en este foro, que no todos los estadounidenses pronunciamos siempre igual a todas esas catorce palabras, y ni para hablar de los acentos australianos, irlandeses, escoceses, británicos ...

    Lo que ocurre en el caso que tú planteas, Diego, depende de varios factores. Si el alumno anglohablante ha tenido un profesor que sepa diferenciar entre los sonidos vocálicos de español. En mi caso fue toda una revelación estudiar la fonética española-- nunca me había dado cuenta antes, de que no todas las maneras de pronunciar una letra dada producía el mismo sonido en todos los casos, o mejor dicho, las letras que anteceden y las pospuestas a determinada letra influyen en la pronunciación EN UN CONTEXTO DADO. La d, sin ir más lejos, en español, tiene un sonido parecido a la d en inglés, al principio de una enunciación y tras ciertas letras como la n, PERO, en posición intervocálica, el sonido más se aproxima a lo que llamamos "th suave" (soft th) como la que se pronuncia en la palabra "the" o "there" (y no "thin"). El alfabeto lingüístico internacional distingue bien los sonidos, pero no sé cómo utilizarlo aquí ... Pero hablando de esos factores, hay personas que estudian por su cuenta también. Si "leen", su tendencia será la de usar un sonido de su idioma nativo. Muchos libros autodidáctos pondrán una "guía de pronunciación" entre las primeras páginas, pero sólo sirve hasta cierto punto. Y finalmente, los habrá que han estudiado el idioma en el colegio, pero con maestros de un nivel bajo, con textos de calidad baja ... y ya verás, resultados como una salpicadura de frutas.
     
  19. diegodbs

    diegodbs Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain-Spanish
    Es cierto eso, lo que pasa es que en español esos sonidos son alófonos y no fonemas. Para nosotros pasan desapercibidos hasta que no estudiamos fonética y es entonces cuando nos damos cuenta de b-d-g las realizamos como oclusivas o fricativas dependiendo de la situación de la consonante.
     
  20. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    I think the reason this is becoming so difficult is that the Spanish "e" is a sound that already exists in English vocabulary, so it is easy for us English speakers to identify a parallel.
    The sound the "e" makes in words like extra, men, excellent, etc. does not exist in Spanish, which makes examples like "elephant" senseless to me--but I'm sure it all depends on how each one of us perceives the sound. . .

    When we use examples like "lay", it might add to the confusion if a native Spanish speaker has the inclination to pronounce it "lei". The difference is minor, but perhaps when I used the example of le as in "lay", it was understood that I was saying the word is to be pronounced "molei". That wasn't my intention.
    Similarly, the word "poke" closely mimics the Spanish o, but when many of us say "mow", a Spanish-speaker might here "mou".

    I'm probably not making any sense, so I'll quit while I'm ahead . . .
    Hasta luego!
     
  21. diegodbs

    diegodbs Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain-Spanish
    You are making sense. That's what we hear when you say "mow", we hear the Spanish vowels o+u, and when we try to say "mow" we use the Spanish vowels o+u as well. I mean we use the same vowel sounds we have in Spanish. It's difficult for us to change from 5 vowel sounds to 14.
     
  22. Cristina Laird New Member

    spanish - Argentina
    You are absolutely right, and since you seem to be into this, may be you could help me with my dilemma. I am looking for the word Fate in Spanish, but NOT Destiny..... Do you know the difference?
    Thanx
     
  23. Dr. Quizá

    Dr. Quizá Senior Member

    Esuri - Huelva York.
    Spain - Western Andalusian Spanish.
    Debes hacer las nuevas preguntas en hilos nuevos y en el foro adecuado, no en otros que traten otro tema, pero mirando antes si aparece antes en el diccionario de Word Reference. De todos modos supongo que la palabra que buscas es "sino".
     
  24. Cristina Laird New Member

    spanish - Argentina
    Yeah! i know Sino, i supposed that is the closest. Although it is not exactly the same.......
    Thank you
     
  25. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    It's very interesting how native speakers tend to describe the Spanish "e" comparing it with the one of "bed" or "let", while English speakers compare it with "lay" or "game".

    What I think is happening here is that for a Spanish speaker pronouncing "Olé" as "Oleh" sounds a lot less "wrong" than pronouncing it as "Olay". And a typical mistake that native speakers of English do when they speak Spanish and other Romance languages is to diphthongize vowels they shouldn't. We're left wondering whether their teachers tell them that the Romance vowel is "ay minus the y", but the "minus the y" bit never registers with most students.
     
  26. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    That's what I was trying to get at. I didn't mean for lay to = "lei" (in Spanish).
     
  27. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I realise that's what you meant, Kate. I just wonder about the effectiveness of that description ("like the e in grey, but lose the y"). It seems to me that many English speakers do end up pronouncing "le" as "lay".

    Or perhaps it's not the description that is not effective, but the speakers who have trouble letting go of the phonology of English, where the e of "grey" is always part of a diphthong.
     
  28. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / incorrect Spanish
    The word "olé" is a lingering mistake made by natives ourselves in writing. That word doesn't exist, the real word is "ole", pronounced [óle].
     
  29. mhp Senior Member

    American English
    It seems the word olé does exist

     
  30. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / incorrect Spanish
    It exists only in writing. Nobody pronounces it like that, at least spontaneously.
     
  31. mhp Senior Member

    American English
    Oh, I'm sorry. I misunderstood your previous post. It sounded as if you were saying that most native speakers misspell the word.
     
  32. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / incorrect Spanish
    Now that I have reread my post, that was the obvious interpretation. I forgot to mention that the mistake has been stubbornly sanctioned by the dictionaries, for reasons I fail to understand.

    Edit. I've made a little research. Until 1956 the RAE dictionary only registers "ole". From that year it carries both "ole" and "olé". My guess : they included "olé" to satisfy tourists who already knew the word in the french version, where the é indicates a non-silent vowel.
     
  33. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    I think it's amazing that such a seemingly simple question has sparked such debate.
     
  34. Jellby

    Jellby Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    ... or maybe from "café au lait" (café olé) :D
     
  35. Soy Yo Senior Member

    USA
    EEUU - inglés
    Maybe they both exist and both pronunciations are heard by natives just as in "periodo" / "peodo".
     
  36. cavanosa

    cavanosa New Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    SPANISH/SPAIN
    muy interesante la discusion, pero ¿alguien puede decirme qué demonios quiere decir "mole" en español? llevo 31 años hablándolo y leyéndolo y no tengo la menor idea.

    :confused:
     
  37. redi Junior Member

    UK - English
    Creo que GenJen54 se refería a esto:

    mole (3)
    (Del nahua mulli, salsa).
    1. m. Hond. y Méx. Salsa espesa preparada con diferentes chiles y muchos otros ingredientes y especias.
    2. m. Méx. Guiso de carne de pollo, de guajolote o de cerdo que se prepara con esta salsa.
     
  38. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    Estás en lo correcto, redi :)
     
  39. cavanosa

    cavanosa New Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    SPANISH/SPAIN
    muchas gracias! en España no se usa
     
  40. Argónida

    Argónida Senior Member

    Español-Andalucía
    Bueno, en España sí se usa "una mole" para referirse a algo muy grande, y se pronuncia igual que el otro mole (que yo ya ni sé cómo se pronuncia después de todo lo que he leído aquí).
     
  41. roanheads Senior Member

    Scotland, english
    " La enorme mole del buque " ==== The vast bulk of the ship.

    Saludos.
     

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