I"ve heard "ella" pronounced a-yah and also a-jah. What is the proper pronunciation? And are there regional differences in how the word is pronounced in Spain vs. Mexico?


You are right in saying that "ella" is sometimes pronounced a-yah and sometimes pronounced a-jah.

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As far as I know, this is primarily a regional or a country difference.

For example, in Mexico, I"ve only, so far, heard it pronounced as "a-yah".

But, my Spanish instructor this past year was from Agentina and he always pronounced it "a-jah". Also, I"ve heard it pronounced "a-jah" in Cuba.

By the way, you can type any Spanish word into the Dictionary link at the top of any Spanish Dict page and you will get a translation as well as a megaphone which you can click on to hear the pronunciation of the word!

updated JUN 6, 2010
edited by Pajaro44
posted by Pajaro44
My Mexicans friends have told me that pronouncing it like "a-yah" is incorrect unless you are speaking Spanish from Spain... they always say "a-jah", it's just that sometimes the "j" is so subtle you can barely hear it. - aceydoubleyou, JUN 6, 2010

And are there regional differences in how the word is pronounced in Spain vs. Mexico?

That"s your answer. In Spain they tend to pronounce ll like our y. IN Latin America the tendency is to pronounce it more like an English J.

And there is some overlap between regions. So both pronunciations are correct.

updated JUN 6, 2010
posted by Goyo

Both are correct. Here in Mexico I hear both pronunciations.


updated JUN 6, 2010
posted by NikkiLR

link text

updated JUN 6, 2010
posted by 00813f2a
nice link- good place to practice the double l sound. - MeEncantanCarasSonrisas, JUN 6, 2010

My Spanish wife says that "ll" is always pronouced as an English "y" and that is also how I learned it in college.

updated JUN 6, 2010
posted by HavingFun

Differences in pronouncing the "ll" are quite various and sometimes strikingly different. At a guess there"s a thread on this about every three weeks.

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What I don"t get is where the substitution of "a" for "e" comes from. I never heard anyone say "a-yah" nor "a-jah" for "e-yah, e-jah or e-lyah". (Choose any of these according to where you"re reading this.)

updated JUN 6, 2010
edited by geofc
posted by geofc

In the classroom in college we learned "ya" but if I listen to the radio I often hear it pronounced with a "ja" sound. There are a lot of double L words pronounced this way including llamar. The flashcard site I use has this "j" pronunciation for a lot of words.

updated JUN 6, 2010
posted by foxluv
In ths same way I have heard yo pronounced yo and at other times jo (soft j souund as in the french name, Jean ) - FELIZ77, JUN 6, 2010
Good point, feliz77. I've heard the same! - Pajaro44, JUN 6, 2010