What makes you pick out a latino accent?

Rodrigo   Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 14:08 GMT
I think it is the pronunciation of T which sounds similar to d sometimes.
Ricardo   Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 15:01 GMT
It depends on what you define as "latino". Whether you include Brazilians or just considers Latin America Spanish speakers, it will make a big difference.

Observe the following :

1) the Spanish language doesn´t have the sound of letter Z as it sounds in English, French or Portuguese (for example, in "ZEBRA") . The Z is pronounced in Spain and some areas as the "th" in "think" , and basically in all Latin America , as "ss".
So , Spanish speakers tend to pronunciate "RISE" the same as "RICE". This is very typical of Spanish speakers, even after several years living in a "Z-country" . A Brazilian will never do it, I can assure you. I personally consider this as the most obvious hint of a Spanish native speaker. Like Japanese that cannot say "L" , or Chinese that cannot say "R".

2) Spanish has only 5 vowel sounds and a lot less diphthongs than English or Portuguese. So, its speakers tend to pronunciate equally words like "mad" and "mud" , or "law" and "lo". Using the Antimoon Phonetic Alphabet, they pronounce equally the "@" and the "a:" , and the "o:" and the "o" . Very easy to distinguish, too. Again, I can assure you that Braziliansclearly distincts these sounds.

I´m suspicious to say that because I´m Brazilian , but I suppose that a hint for Brazilian origin is this : the sound of letter T changes if the vowell immediately following it is a short I . For example, Brazilians of certain regions tend to pronounce "teacher" as "cheacher", or "antique" as "ancheeque". Not everybody , of course, only English beginners.

Hope this helps.