Pronunciation of V in Spain Spanish vs Mexican Spanish?

Is a letter V in Spanish always pronounced as a "bee" sound, or is it pronounced as a "vee" in certain cases? I am trying to improve my Spanish talking with a friend at work in Spanish (he is also good at speakin English and I help him get better with English like he helps me with Spanish) and he cannot tell the difference between a b and a v sound. He is aware that they are 2 different letters but he calls them both "b". He is Mexican and he says there is never a vee sound in Spanish but I have heard otherwise from people that have learned "Spain Spanish"

5 Comments

  1. Well, new Spanish rules say that the B and the V are pronounced exactly the same and there’re rules for when to use each one, but in practice most people pronnounce them differently. I, for example, prefer to use the English sounds for these two letters, a lot of people dislike the new grammar rules. If you pronnounce the English V soft I think nobody will note it.

    GMF-FS
  2. Spanish doesn’t have a "vee" sound but both "v" nd "b" are pronounced with lips not entirely closed when they are between vowels (for instance "cava"). This comes close to our "vee" sound than the plain "bee".

    Zaghawa
  3. There is no difference between the way B and V are pronounced in Spain versus in Latin America. In all Spanish-speaking regions, the two letters are pronounced the same. In between two vowels, the y are both pronounced with a sound somewhat between English B and V, made by bringing both lips close together, but not touching, and making a sound, as if you were trying to pronounce an English B. At the beginning of a sentence, or after an M or an N, both B and V are pronounced just like and English B.

    First L
  4. Umm, it’s the same. They are different letters yes, but the pronunciation is the same. Both make the English ‘b sound’. There is no difference between the pronunciation of this letter in any Spanish speaking country. The people who learned what you call ‘Spain Spanish’ were either taught wrong or misheard the teacher’s pronunciation.
    Like someone else said, in between two vowels, the b does have a softer sound but it is still not the same as an English V.
    However, you will find that some natives will pronounce it in a way that may sound odd to the untrained ear or they might even pronounce it like the English ‘v’ but being natives, they can usually get away with this and I would probably give a funny look to a non-native who did this. However, this is not specific to a region like Spain and would be a ‘quirk’ someone has in their speech.

    kateecat
  5. Nope the sound of English v doesn’t exist in Spanish, only in some varieties spoken in USA because of English influence.

    It’s said that the sound of v merged with b because of Basque influence in Old Castilian, so it all started there in Spain.

    guido

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