dorsetgirl (dorsetgirl) wrote in linguaphiles,

Spanish pronunciation and spelling rules

The Mexican band Maná have a lead singer whose full name is apparently José Fernando Emilio Olvera Sierra. He's normally known as Fher Olvera.

My question is: what is the 'h' doing there in "Fher"? I'm assuming that it is in some way reflecting the pronunciation of the shortened name, and I'm further assuming that the pronunciation is closer to FARE than FUR. Have I got that right? And if so, how does it work? Is 'h' only used like this before an 'e', or does it have a similar function before other vowels in abbreviations?

Presumably the same thing is happening with the abbreviation of Barcelona, as in the football club? I'm guessing the pronunciation of "Barce" is either ambiguous or just plain wrong, and that's why it's spelt Barça instead, even though that means, again, flinging in a letter that wasn't there in the original (although in this case it's obviously a replacement rather than an addition).
Tags: catalan, pronunciation, spanish, spelling

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