- Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:18 pm
The letters B and V are both pronounced the same in standard Castilian Spanish, as a soft B. This can be distorted slightly depending on the sounds that come before or after. For some reason it's the one sound that English speakers focus on, and yet it's not vital to understanding. Also different ears hear different things.
To give an example, at the first survival Spanish class I taught VIVO EN, and as usual loads of people asked me afterwards about the pronunciation of the V and B, including one person who said "I noticed you pronounced it as a B and the next person who said "I noticed that you pronounced it like V" !!!!
The sound is made with the lips closing or almost closing, but without the little "explosion" made by the English B, which is caused by the pressure of the lips and expulsion of air.
Regarding "ce" and "ci", this is like the English "th" in standard pronunciation in Spain. It is pronounced like an "s" in South American Spanish, Andalucia and also in a local accent in Torrevieja.
Remember that there are a lot of South Americans living in Torrevieja, as well as people from all over Spain, so a lot of the Spanish you hear will not be standard.