algo (pronunciation)

Rashit

Banned
Russian
Hi,

I just started learning Spanish (Castilian, not Latin American). One of the first things I noticed was that the "g" in "algo" is not pronounced like the "g" in English. It seems to be a fricative, much like the French and German "r". Could someone tell me if this is how they pronounce "algo" in Spain? Thanks.
 
  • Rodal

    Senior Member
    Castellano (Chile)
    Welcome to the forum Rashit, first, I'd like to explain that Castilian is the language we are taught in Latin America, and there is no such thing as "Latin American" as a language. That is a misconception. There is a soft sound of the g which resembles that of the English language, however there is also a hard sound of g that isn't in the English Language and it's more like a J sound in Spanish that appears usually when the g is followed by certain vowels: gestión, género, giro, gimnasia, genes, gerundio, general, gemelos, geografía <este último tiene un sonido fuerte en la primera g y uno suave en la segunda g>. La g fuerte al igual que la j (jota) en castellano no tienen equivalente fonético en inglés; la consonante más parecida que existe en inglés es la h y no suena exactamente igual y por eso es que en lugar de decir Juan (con jota) en inglés dicen Huan (con h) y en inglés suena: who-ann. -While the who sound is somewhat similar to the j sound in Spanish is not exactly the same-
     
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    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    that the "g" in "algo" is not pronounced like the "g" in English. It seems to be a fricative, much like the French and German "r".
    The (Peninsular) Spanish "g" has two possible sounds, as Rodal very clearly explained.

    The main one, the one in "algo", is, indeed, like the English "G". It is that in "goat", "great", "go", etc.

    But there is a second, less common one, that is the one you are thinking about, when you say it sounds fricative to you, and similar to French or German "Rs".

    That is how the "g" occasionally sounds when followed by an "e", or an "i"; such is the "G" in "Jorge", or "Generar"; "Adagio", or "Gimnasia", as Rodal very clearly explained.


    1- THE MAIN "G"
    (=> The "G" in "GOAT", "GREAT", etc))

    - Gato
    - Guepardo
    - Guitarra
    - Gota
    - Guapo


    (*) NOTE
    As you see from my explanation, there isn't any fricative sound at all, here. The fricative sound is that of the "f", "s", "z", "y", and "j".


    2- THE STRONG "G" - AS A SPANISH "J"
    (=> Similar to the "H" in "HACK", "HECK", or "HE", but stronger - similar to the differences between Spanish and English "Rs").

    - Gente
    - Gerente

    - Mágico
    - Púgil

    (*) NOTE - FRICATIVE
    Here, indeed. There is a fricative sound in the "j" sound.


    Educación Primaria 3B: Ortografía. J, Ge, Gi.
     
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    Rashit

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you so much! I listened to a native speaker from Spain pronounce "algo" several times, and it seemed to me he was pronouncing the "g" like the French or German "r", i.e. as a voiced velar fricative. Well, maybe it was a voiced uvular fricative. Anyway, one thing I was 100% sure of was that it wasn't the same as the English "g".

    But since you say it's the same as the English "g", I'll have to accept it. :)
     

    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    But since you say it's the same as the English "g", I'll have to accept it. :)
    Well, not really...

    I didn't quite say that there's only one sound. I said there are two different sounds...

    Here's a quote from Wikipedia, if you want to go deeper into it;


    (*) WIKIPEDIA
    - Consonantes fricativas
    Consonante fricativa - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

    On the other hand, there are many different variations, according to dialects or speech.

    In actual speech, you may find any number of variations, according to areas or other variables.

    Indeed, there are places where the soft "G" (the "G" in "gato") is sometimes pronounced as "J" - quite differently from what I explained before.

    Also, many speakers from the countryside show pronunciation features that veer somewhat or wildly from the norm.

    What I explained was the standard norm. But, of course, in actual speech, and according to areas and people, you will find many different variations and cases.
     
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    purasbabosadas

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    When "g" is not followed by "e" or "i" it has two pronunciations (allophones).In "algo" and in many environments it's very soft,softer than the regular "hard" (stop)"g" sound.Otherwise it's equivalent to the English "g" stop.
     
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    Doraemon-

    Senior Member
    "Spanish - Spain" "Catalan - Valencia"
    Spanish and Castilian are the same thing. The Iberian or European dialect in opposition with Latin American dialects is typically called "peninsular" Spanish/Castilian: Peninsular Spanish - Wikipedia
    You're right that the pronounciation differs, in Spanish the G sound is in general softer than in English, but moreover we has two sounds for it as a G: /g/ and /ɣ/. I mean: the G in ga, gue, gui, go, gu; not talking about ge, gi, where it's pronounced as a J.
    This is the case with algo (/'al.ɣo/). This is called "voiced velar approximant": Voiced velar approximant - Wikipedia
    Don't worry too much about it anyway. As speakers we're not conscient about this (they're different phonetically but it's the same phoneme for us). We'll just notice some peculiar accent if you say /'al.go/ instead of /'al.ɣo/
    It may remember a very soft German R, probably.
     
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    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    Spanish has two main realizations of the phoneme /g/.
    I think there is a need to differentiate clearly between "character" (ie, written letter), and "phoneme" (that is, "sound").

    We started the thread talking about a basic question, of the pronunciation of the Spanish "G", the letter "G", with two possible sounds; "G", or "J".

    And we now have moved on to talk, at a philological level, about the different phonological features of the phoneme "G". Which is something altogether different...

    And is, as far as I can see, leaving aside the "J" pronunciation, as well as confusing it with the nuances in the different "G" allophones.

    I think this can only serve to confuse readers, and we should clearly differentiate one thing from the other.

    As in all language matters, there are various levels of knowledge, as well as of complexity and nuance.

    There is a basic, practical level, that is what new learners and second language users mainly require, and then there are all the nuances and philological depth that you may want to go into, but both shouldn't get mixed up - specially when this is a very varied community, attending to all kinds of levels, from basic and intermediate, to that of translators and linguists.

    But the thread was started by a recent learner.
     
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    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    I think there is a need to differentiate clearly between "character" (ie, written letter), and "phoneme" (that is, "sound").

    We started the thread talking about a basic question, of the pronunciation of the Spanish "G", the letter "G", with two possible sounds; "G", or "J".
    I read the OP's question as referring to the phoneme /g/, not to the grapheme / letter <g>.
    One of the first things I noticed was that the "g" in "algo" is not pronounced like the "g" in English. It seems to be a fricative
    I don't think he was ever asking about the different pronunciations of the letter <g>. But I may well have misinterpreted the question.
     

    Cerros de Úbeda

    Senior Member
    UK
    Spanish - Spain (Galicia)
    I know what you mean, he made a question that may be read as both, I think...

    His actual wording was "the "g" in "algo"", but he mentioned that it is not pronounced as in English, which leads you to think that what he wants is an explanation about that point, not about the "g" phoneme.

    In actual fact, you're right, he was referring to the phoneme, and in a specific, particular speaker's pronunciation...

    But, from the rest of the message, you guess that what he needs is a more general explanation, I think, as he also mentions that he's starting to study Spanish.

    So, probably the main points should be the focus of the explanation, not particular nuances that may not be of much functional or practical use, I would think.
     

    Rashit

    Banned
    Russian
    You are absolutely right: I was talking about the phoneme /g/, not what the letter "g" can represent in Spanish phonolology. Anyway, I think my question has been answered: it has two allophones that are not interchangeable. Furthermore, in "algo" the correct allophone is the voiced velar fricative. Thank you so much everyone! :)

    I might add that /g/ is not the only phoneme in Spanish that can be pronounced as a voiced velar fricative. The first "c" in "lección" is pronounced the same way. The second "c" is pronounced like the English "th" in "think" in Spain (and as "s" everywhere else).
     

    Dogmatix

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    I have always pronounced algo with the g of the English guide, and my Spanish friends have never said I was mispronouncing it. Maybe there are regional variations even within Spain.
     

    rajulbat

    Senior Member
    English - United States (Houston)
    I have always pronounced algo with the g of the English guide, and my Spanish friends have never said I was mispronouncing it. Maybe there are regional variations even within Spain.
    You're not. In Spain and the Americas alike, it is a "hard g", i.e., the same "g" as in "guide" or "God" or "gate" or "gold."
     

    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    You're not. In Spain and the Americas alike, it is a "hard g", i.e., the same "g" as in "guide" or "God" or "gate" or "gold."
    With all due respect, I'll have to disagree with that. "Hard g", as you call it, does exist in Spanish but only in certain phonemic contexts. In other words, the phoneme /g/ is not always realized as [g] just like in English.

    The phonemes /b/, /d/, and /ɡ/ are realized as approximants (namely [β̞, ð̞, ɣ˕], hereafter represented without the downtack) or fricatives in all places except after a pause, after a nasal consonant, or—in the case of /d/—after a lateral consonant; in such contexts they are realized as voiced stops.
    Spanish phonology - Wikipedia

    Of course this is a general rule and there is surely some variation between native speakers. But saying that the Spanish /g/ is always pronounced the same as the English /g/ is plain wrong in my opinion.

    Now, some native speakers of Spanish might not be even aware of the differences. But that's a different story altogether.
     

    jmx

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    In addition to /g/, the other "voiced stops" in Spanish (/b/ and /d/) also have 2 different allophones, one a real stop, the other an approximant sound (kind of a very weak fricative).

    It's normal that natives don't notice this difference between allophones, that's what makes them "allophones" rather than "phonemes".
     

    Rashit

    Banned
    Russian
    So if I pronounced the "g" in "algo" and the first "c" in "lección" like the English "g", native speakers wouldn't notice? That would be great! The voiced velar fricative doesn't exist in Russian, you see. Nor, for that matter, does the voiceless dental fricative (the second "c" in "lección"), but I'm used to pronouncing it because it exists in English. :)
     

    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    So if I pronounced the "g" in "algo" and the first "c" in "lección" like the English "g", native speakers wouldn't notice?
    In theory, not only should they not notice, but you should sound "more native" than you would if we pronounced "algo" with a hard (plosive) /g/.

    acción
    (Castilian): /aɡˈθjon/, [aɣˈθjõn]
    (Latin America): /aɡˈsjon/, [aɣˈsjõn]

    algo
    /ˈalɡo/, [ˈalɣo]
    from Wiktionary
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (US Northeast)
    Hi,

    I just started learning Spanish (Castilian, not Latin American). One of the first things I noticed was that the "g" in "algo" is not pronounced like the "g" in English. It seems to be a fricative, much like the French and German "r". Could someone tell me if this is how they pronounce "algo" in Spain? Thanks.
    There are actually three sounds for "g" in Spanish.
    1) [x] Before e and i it is a very harsh sound, the same as the J and equivalent to the Russian sound in X or German ch. Gente, Gijón
    2) [g[ At the beginning of a word or preceded by a consonant and then followed by a, o, u or a consonant, it is pronounced like the G in English "girl". Gato, Tengo
    3) [ɣ] When preceded by any vowel and then followed by a,o,u it is a very weak sound similar to the French r, but weaker: Agua, Lago, Amiga
     
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    rajulbat

    Senior Member
    English - United States (Houston)
    With all due respect, I'll have to disagree with that. "Hard g", as you call it, does exist in Spanish but only in certain phonemic contexts. In other words, the phoneme /g/ is not always realized as [g] just like in English.


    Spanish phonology - Wikipedia

    Of course this is a general rule and there is surely some variation between native speakers. But saying that the Spanish /g/ is always pronounced the same as the English /g/ is plain wrong in my opinion.

    Now, some native speakers of Spanish might not be even aware of the differences. But that's a different story altogether.
    Maybe you're right. Can you listen to the pronunciations on Forvo and tell me what "g sound" you hear for the one by DonQuijote (Male from Mexico)? I definitely hear the fricativeness in the "g" in the sample by PalomaBernal (Female from Spain). I kinda sorta hear it in the one by pleitecas (Male from Spain). It is ever so slight, if present at all, in the sample by santi_monse (Male from Argentina). I don't think it's present at all in the Mexican one.

    The place where I notice the fricativeness the most is when Spaniards pronounce "hasta luego" ("hasta lo[ɣ]o") (example)

    Your thoughts?

    This is the first I'm hearing that the "g" in "algo" is any different than the "g" in "guide," but I learned Spanish pronunciation by listening and repeating as opposed to reading IPA symbols.
     
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    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    Can you listen to the pronunciations on Forvo and tell me what "g sound" you hear for the one by DonQuijote (Male from Mexico).
    Well, I think you're right on that particular Mexican pronunciation. I can't tell for sure if it's a fully plosive /g/ but it doesn't sound fricative, let alone approximant. Possibly it's a softer plosive.
    Instead, the other pronunciations range from markedly fricative to approximant, at least to my ears.

    Granted, the Spanish phonetics I've studied (and which I tried to support by citing Spanish phonology - Wikipedia) mostly refers to Spain Spanish, so I'm not really qualified to judge Latin American Spanish.
     

    Rashit

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes, I think TheCrociato91 thought I asked if native speakers would notice if I pronounced the "g" in those two words as a voiced velar fricative. What I asked was if they would notice if I pronounced it the same way as the English "g".
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    As a beginner, don't waste too much time on these minutia....just pronounce it like Americans do.....all go and any Spanish speaker will understand you. Your focus should be understanding...both you understanding them and they understanding you. You'll pick up the exact pronunciation as you use the language.....the more you use it, of course, the better. No linguistic description can really clarify a "strange" sound to you in any language. You have to hear it over and over. When I start reading arcane linguistic descriptions, I tend to nod off.
     
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    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    just pronounce it like Americans do.....all go
    I don't think this piece of advice is a fail-safe solution since only approximately half of U.S. native speakers merge the sound /ɔː/ as in "all" to become the same as the sound /ɑː/ as in "father" (so that "awl go" becomes "ahl go", which sound sort of similar to "algo"). Unless the OP is already familiar with the way Americans who do merge these sounds pronounce "all".

    There again, the OP might be a beginner, but since he's asking about specific pronunciation "rules", I'm not sure he wants to learn dumbed-down versions of such rules.
     
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    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I don't think this piece of advice is a fail-safe solution...[/I][/B]
    My mistake was that for some reason, I assumed the OP was American...... but I now realize he's not. Still I trust he can understand what I said and find it somewhat useful.
     

    Frisian

    Banned
    English - America
    As a beginner, don't waste too much time on these minutia....just pronounce it like Americans do.....all go and any Spanish speaker will understand you. Your focus should be understanding...both you understanding them and they understanding you. You'll pick up the exact pronunciation as you use the language.....the more you use it, of course, the better. No linguistic description can really clarify a "strange" sound to you in any language. You have to hear it over and over. When I start reading arcane linguistic descriptions, I tend to nod off.
    I used to pronounce Spanish with an American accent and can tell you it was a big mistake. Once you've picked up bad habits, it's very, very difficult to change them. If you work hard on your pronunciation right in the beginning, you will be doing yourself a huge favor. I sure wish someone had told me how to pronounce the g in algo when I started learning Spanish.
     

    Silvia Dee

    Senior Member
    spanish
    Welcome to the forum Rashit, first, I'd like to explain that Castilian is the language we are taught in Latin America, and there is no such thing as "Latin American" as a language. That is a misconception. There is a soft sound of the g which resembles that of the English language, however there is also a hard sound of g that isn't in the English Language and it's more like a J sound in Spanish that appears usually when the g is followed by certain vowels: gestión, género, giro, gimnasia, genes, gerundio, general, gemelos, geografía <este último tiene un sonido fuerte en la primera g y uno suave en la segunda g>. La g fuerte al igual que la j (jota) en castellano no tienen equivalente fonético en inglés; la consonante más parecida que existe en inglés es la h y no suena exactamente igual y por eso es que en lugar de decir Juan (con jota) en inglés dicen Huan (con h) y en inglés suena: who-ann. -While the who sound is somewhat similar to the j sound in Spanish is not exactly the same-

    Ehh... sorry but Castellano is The oficial lenguage in Spain and it comes from “Castilla”: region of Spain
    We say: argentino, venezolano, colombiano etc to name The different variations of spanish particular from each country in middle and south america

    Hi,

    La g se pronuncia como la j cuando es seguida de las vocales e e i. Se pronuncia como la g en la palabra inglesa “game” cuando es seguida de a, o y u. Para que tenga esta misma pronunciación con la e y la i hay que poner una u entre ellas: guerra, guitarra por ejemplo

    started learning Spanish (Castilian, not Latin American). One of the first things I noticed was that the "g" in "algo" is not pronounced like the "g" in English. It seems to be a fricative, much like the French and German "r". Could someone tell me if this is how they pronounce "algo" in Spain? Thanks.
    D
    There are actually three sounds for "g" in Spanish.
    1) [x] Before e and i it is a very harsh sound, the same as the J and equivalent to the Russian sound in X or German ch. Gente, Gijón
    2) [g[ At the beginning of a word or preceded by a consonant and then followed by a, o, u or a consonant, it is pronounced like the G in English "girl". Gato, Tengo
    3) [ɣ] When preceded by any vowel and then followed by a,o,u it is a very weak sound similar to the French r, but weaker: Agua, Lago, Amiga
    The esconde and The third are The same, there are just to ways to pronounce g in Castellano, even though you they may sound different to you because it’s Not that stressed being in The middle of a word
     

    Palomi666

    Member
    Spain-Español (Castellano)
    Hi,

    I just started learning Spanish (Castilian, not Latin American). One of the first things I noticed was that the "g" in "algo" is not pronounced like the "g" in English. It seems to be a fricative, much like the French and German "r". Could someone tell me if this is how they pronounce "algo" in Spain? Thanks.
    Hi, Rashit.

    This is such an interesting question you asked. I’ll try to be concise.

    - Your question has nothing to do with the “j” sound of letter “g” before letters e, i. It’s about the /g/ sound in ga, go, gu and gue, gui. (/ga/, /ge/, /gi/, /go/, /gu/.)

    - Indeed, in Spanish language we have two types of /g/:

    1. The strong one, which exists also in english, french, german... (/g/ in gate).
    2. The soft one, which is a unique consonant in Spanish language and other peninsular languages. We can represent it with /ɣ/.

    - This is a phenomenon which occurs with the three voiced occlusive consonants: /b/, /d/, /g/ (“bodega” mnemonic rule). Every time they appear between vocalic letters they become pronounced softly:
    Boca - /b/
    Abuelo - /β/
    Dato - /d/
    Oda - /ð/
    Gato - /g/
    Toga - /ɣ/

    /β/, /ð/, /ɣ/ are the approximant version of occlusive /b/, /d/, /g/ consonantic sounds.

    - You can check out this article on wikipedia (see the notes), or this one.

    - What happens exactly? In English you won’t find those sounds... These occlusive consonants become non fully occlusive. That is, for instance, in /β/, lips don’t get completely closed (as in /b/), just nearly. And so on with /ð/ and /ɣ/.

    - This phenomenon occurs in Spanish as well as in other Iberian languages, such as Catalan.

    - Most of non-Iberian Spanish speakers/learners don’t get the Spanish accent because of these types of sounds.

    I hope this information will be helpful.

    Regards,

    Paloma

    Hi,

    I just started learning Spanish (Castilian, not Latin American). One of the first things I noticed was that the "g" in "algo" is not pronounced like the "g" in English. It seems to be a fricative, much like the French and German "r". Could someone tell me if this is how they pronounce "algo" in Spain? Thanks.
    Just answering technically your questions...

    - This /g/ sound is, indeed, different from /g/ in gato.
    - /g/ in algo is /ɣ/.
    - /ɣ/ is not fricative.
    - /ɣ/ is not exactly as the the french “r” (/ʀ/, /ʁ/), but it’s, indeed, close. (It’s another point of articulation.)
    - It’s approximant.
     

    Frisian

    Banned
    English - America
    So the only difference between the g in algo and the French r is that the former is an approximant and the latter is a fricative?
     

    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    Depends on what you mean by "French r". You probably mean the voiced uvular fricative or approximant.

    French /r/:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_phonology#Consonants said:
    The French rhotic has a wide range of realizations: the voiceless or voiced uvular fricatives [χ] and [ʁ] (the latter also realized as an approximant), the uvular trill [ʀ], the alveolar trill [r], and the alveolar tap [ɾ]. These are all recognized as the phoneme /r/, but all except [ʁ] and [χ] are considered dialectal. [ʁ] is the standard consonant. Although the voiceless [χ] is pronounced before or after a voiceless obstruent or at the end of a sentence, the voiced symbol [ʁ] is often used in phonemic transcriptions. See French guttural r and map at right.
    Spanish /g/: algo (pronunciation)
     

    Palomi666

    Member
    Spain-Español (Castellano)
    So the only difference between the g in algo and the French r is that the former is an approximant and the latter is a fricative?
    No, there are two differences:
    - It’s not fricative, it’s approximant.
    - The point of articulation is another one (as Penyafort says). (Close but not the same).
     

    Rashit

    Banned
    Russian
    I've listened to several recordings and to me it sounds like a voiced velar fricative, not a voiced velar approximant. Anyway, thank you all for your feedback!
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I have heard some peninsular Spanish speakers devoice the "g" in "algo" so that it sounds very similar to "aljo".

    The voiced approximant is also possible, but it is more common outside of Spain.
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    I have heard some peninsular Spanish speakers devoice the "g" in "algo" so that it sounds very similar to "aljo".
    I don't think that is common at all. Maybe with the g in amígdalas, but certainly not in algo.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (US Northeast)
    I have heard some peninsular Spanish speakers devoice the "g" in "algo" so that it sounds very similar to "aljo".

    The voiced approximant is also possible, but it is more common outside of Spain.
    They must have been from Galicia. It is a linguistic phenomenon know as gheada. In such dialect "gato" is pronounced "jato".
     

    Frisian

    Banned
    English - America
    All the native speakers I've heard seem to pronounce the g in algo as a voiced velar fricative. But it must be my ears deceiving me. :)
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Just answering technically your questions...

    - This /g/ sound is, indeed, different from /g/ in gato.
    - /g/ in algo is /ɣ/.
    - /ɣ/ is not fricative.:cross:
    - /ɣ/ is not exactly as the the french “r” (/ʀ/, /ʁ/), but it’s, indeed, close. (It’s another point of articulation.)
    - It’s approximant.
    [ɣ] is fricative, by definition.

    My understanding is that /g/ in algo is [g] as in gato for some speakers and [ɣ] as in hago for other speakers.
     

    Amapolas

    Senior Member
    Castellano rioplatense
    They must have been from Galicia. It is a linguistic phenomenon know as gheada. In such dialect "gato" is pronounced "jato".
    :thumbsup: Yes, this is typical of many Galician speakers.
    [ɣ] is fricative, by definition.

    My understanding is that /g/ in algo is [g] as in gato for some speakers and [ɣ] as in hago for other speakers.
    'Gato' can be pronounced with either sound, depending on surrounding sounds:
    /ɣ/ in 'la gata' and /g/ in 'un gato'.

    As regards the original question, 'algo' takes this sound: /ɣ/. I've never heard it pronounced with /g/ in my entire life; not by any speaker of any variety of Spanish at all.
     

    Frisian

    Banned
    English - America
    Amapolas: You're in for a surprise! Listen to pleitecas here. He is a native speaker from Spain.

    Moderator's note
    Audio link approved (rule 4).
    Bevj
     
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    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    [ɣ] is fricative, by definition.
    True, but have a look here (footnote 6 from:
    Spanish phonology - Wikipedia)

    The continuant allophones of Spanish /b, d, ɡ/ have been traditionally described as voiced fricatives (e.g. Navarro Tomás (1918), who (in §100) describes the air friction of [ð] as being "tenue y suave" ('weak and smooth'); Harris (1969); Dalbor & 1969/1997; and Macpherson (1975:62), who describes [β] as being "...with audible friction"). However, they are more often described as approximants in recent literature, such as D'Introno, Del Teso & Weston (1995); Martínez Celdrán, Fernández Planas & Carrera Sabaté (2003); and Hualde (2005:43). The difference hinges primarily on air turbulence caused by extreme narrowing of the opening between articulators, which is present in fricatives and absent in approximants. Martínez Celdrán (2004) displays a sound spectrogram of the Spanish word abogado showing an absence of turbulence for all three consonants.
    I'm not a native speaker but I'm pretty sure I've heard Spaniards from different parts of the Hispanic world pronounce those sounds with a varying degree of friction, ranging from "very" fricative to only slightly fricative (i.e. approximant).
     

    Frisian

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    English - America
    Search for "pleitecas" and you will find only one match. He clearly says "algo" with the English "g", not the voiced velar fricative. Compare his pronunciation with PalomaBernal's, who very clearly uses the voiced velar fricative (which is different from the French "r", which is a voiced uvular fricative).
     
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