The Frizztext Alphabet has reached the letter “H” and presents a great opportunity for another Spanish pointer.
About an hour down the coast is the lovely coastal small city of Bahia de Caraquez. Several years ago I asked an Ecuadorian, “Does it bother you that most extranjeros say, “Bah-HEE-ah?”
He slowly nodded, “Yes,” and grimaced!
Like a beginning piano student forgetting to keep the wrists up, many of us forget to keep that H silent!
“Bah-ee-ah.” The H is silent, and I often slipped back into Bah-hee-ah until finally I nailed it.
We’ve heard “Hola” so many times that we don’t need to be reminded to keep the H silent. Hombre/man and hambre/hungry are words that tripped me several times – to my friends’ amusement. I used ‘hombre’ to describe my hunger! Those friends still remind me of my blunder!
Proud of my mastery over pronouncing ‘Bahia,’ I forgot to apply that lesson to many other words!
Hotel and hostal are not HO-tel and HAH-stal; they are oh-tel and ohs-tahl. When a taxi driver doesn’t understand my request for “Hotel California,” it’s because that foreign H surely sounds harsh! (My Costa Rican friend Elvira politely helped me with that lesson while we visited at Hostal Cruzita!)
How easy it is to slip back into English and pronounce the H in Hamburgesa! A native Spanish speaker will understand your request for a hamburger but will surely appreciate your attempt to pronounce it correctly!
Helado/ice cream is E-lado – not HE-lado!
Remember to drop the H in hamaca/hammock!
My creative approach turns that H into a hurdle, and -if I remember in time- I clear the random H as if it were an obstacle in my path! Ohn-duras not Honduras!
When visiting a beautiful Ecuadorian family reunion, I was surprised when my friends burst out laughing when I replied to their question, “How is the road from your house to town?’
I replied, “Or-REEEEE-blee!” (Horrible!)
They said that I nailed that word like a true Ecuadorian!