How you say?
September 29, 2006 4:19 PM   Subscribe

How does one pronounce the word "exquisitos"?

As in the Cohiba cigar? (While I'm about it, would that be pronounced "Ko-Hee-Bah"?)
posted by brautigan to Writing & Language (15 answers total)
ko-EE-bah (H's are not pronounced in Spanish); ex-kee-ZEE-tose (stress is usually on the second the the last syllable). I'm sure someone will come along and give some proper IPA or something, too.
posted by whatzit at 4:24 PM on September 29, 2006

I believe it's pronounced ex-KEE-zee-tose, with the accent on the second syllable.
posted by penchant at 4:28 PM on September 29, 2006

stress is usually on the second the the last syllable

Only if the word ends in a vowel, n, or s.
posted by grouse at 4:29 PM on September 29, 2006

thanks for the addition on that. i can say, but not always describe so well, where stresses are... /shame.
posted by whatzit at 4:42 PM on September 29, 2006

Well...since the vast majority of Spanish words end in a vowel, n, or s - I'd say the word "usually" applies.

whatzit's pronunciation is how I've always heard it.

penchant: Whats the basis for your belief? (I dont ask that snarkily - for all I know there are regional variations)
posted by vacapinta at 5:03 PM on September 29, 2006

grouse, I agree with your rule. However, the stress on the second syllable is how I've always known it. Further, here is an example from a pronunciation guide (although the speaker tends to pronounce more of a KWEE [qu] than a KEE).

Unfortunately, I haven't evidence of a rule or explanation to back this up.
posted by penchant at 5:04 PM on September 29, 2006

Another word that is similarly pronounced is "ejercicio" (exercise): ey-hair-SI-si-oh. Perhaps there is a rule about two strong "i" vowel sounds that follow in sequence in the middle of a word.

The spanish grammar guides that I have are citing grouse's rule, but with exception for some irregular pronunciation.
posted by penchant at 5:35 PM on September 29, 2006

penchant: can i ask where you learned Spanish?

I just asked a couple (other) native spanish speaker friends, to make sure I wasn't going mad, and none of them have ever heard that pronunciation from SpanishDict...
posted by vacapinta at 5:41 PM on September 29, 2006

Native spanish speaker here... and I'd never heard that pronunciation before.
posted by Memo at 6:30 PM on September 29, 2006

I am not a native speaker. I learned from junior high on, and minored in it in college. My teachers have been mostly spanish-as-a-second-language (in the earlier years), Mexican, Puerto Rican, Spanish, Venezuelan, and Argentinian (probably mostly the last 3). I don't know from whom (and, subsequently, where) I learned this. However, honestly, I've never heard the word pronounced with the accent on the second-to-last syllable -- in fact, it feels awkward for me to say it that way. I know that this is a weak argument, but it's a "feeling" thing.

Of course, I don't mean to say that it's not pronounced the way you've heard. Admittedly, I am not native, and not textbook-definition fluent; however, I know that I'm better than most nonnative speakers. Whatever that means...

I've been googling to find other sound clips of the word, in any incarnation, but to no avail.

Some explanations maybe: (1) it's a cognate of the english word "exquisite" -- which has an accent on the first i. Which would explain why it feels more natural for me, a native english speaker. (2) However, (another weak argument, maybe), eks-kee-ZEE-to "feels" more like a noun, to me, like with the diminuitive "-ito" suffix, whereas eks-KEE-zee-to feels more adjective-y. (3) It could be a regional pronunciation thing. Tomato tomahto?

Ultimately: no idea. I will, of course, defer to the native speaking faction of Ask. I can't guarantee, though, that I won't continue to say it "wrong," when to me it feels so "right"...
posted by penchant at 6:37 PM on September 29, 2006

(Oh, and my "ejercicio" example -- the "io" at the end is a diphthong, and as such is considered one syllable, and is in conjunction with the penultimate syllable rule. So don't listen to that one.)
posted by penchant at 6:40 PM on September 29, 2006

one more vote for ex-kee-ZEE-tose... rather, my Spanish major girlfriend's vote.
posted by sindas at 7:55 PM on September 29, 2006

Ahem. As someone who speaks Spanish fluently, I'd like to note that the soft "z" sound is not used in Spanish. You want "ex-kee-SEE-tos"

That spanishdict thing is supremely weird.
posted by O9scar at 8:19 PM on September 29, 2006

Just asked my Spanish girlfriend, and she was quite adamant: "But have you ever heard it this way: ex-Ki-si-tos?"
"No. That's not Spanish"
posted by claudius at 5:43 AM on September 30, 2006

Ditto O9scar. ex-kee-SEE-tos.
posted by limeonaire at 7:36 AM on September 30, 2006

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