panzeleche (panzeleche) wrote in linguaphiles,

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Spanish B/V

I had an argument with my parents about how Spanish B/V is pronounced. They insist that Spanish 'B' and 'V' are separate phonemes, with 'V' pronounced like english 'vibrant'. I pointed out to them that a spanish-english dictionary my grandfather bought listed 'b' and 'v' as sharing the same sounds (b and a b with the lips not quite touching). They say that the book is wrong. I point out that for many years, I thought 'varon' was written with a 'b'. They say it's that their dialect (Cuban) doesn't distinguish between 'b' and 'v', but Spanish from Spain does (and they even point to La Reak Academia, despite not having any sources).

I come here to resolve this issue once and for all: are Spanish B/V pronounced the same, even in high register/formal speaking in Spain? What does La Real Academia have to say about this? Please provide sources if you can (preferrably academic; my parents deny all my sources because 'anyone with internet connection can write stuff on the web lol'.)
Tags: spanish

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