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12 August 2018


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Yess! Couldn't contain my excitement when I saw this pop up on my phone! So ready to hop on a new revolution!! Keep up the good work bud


Finally! :)


Thank God.


Tordesillas definitely affected by the French pronounciation! (Tordesailles?! As in Versailles?)


So excited for this revolution! As a Mexican I am always interested in the Mexican Revolution and you've done a great job in this first episode Mike. Just a rule of thumb on pronunciation, Spanish is usually pronounced the way it's written. For example, Luis is pronounced with the s at the end and the same for the e at the end of Guadalupe.


Very happy you have returned.


Its finally here! the coverage of my country, I've been following Mike's podcasts for 2 years now, while I caught up with Rome and the other Revolutions podcasts, and as always Im happily surprised at how meticulous his overview of the situation is!

As @Silvia posted though, at the risk of looking nitpicky, if I could point out that spanish indeed is spoken as it is written and that the "H" is mostly silent in spanish so "Hacienda" would be pronounced as "A-sien-da" without the "Ja" sound, and at risk of sounding nitpicky, something I noticed in the Bolivar podcast is that you pronounce "Cortes de Cádiz" with an accent on the "e" which means "courteous", the accent for the spanish word for "court" is accentuated in the "o", so its "Córte" (https://translate.google.com/#en/es/court), and the plural "Córtes" (Cortes de Cádiz), not "Cortés" (https://translate.google.com/#en/es/courteous).


Also a shame time constraints I guess, didnt gave time to mention Yanga( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaspar_Yanga ), the first slave revolter in America, as I said, incredibly good overview of the colonial situation, very impressive.

Malachy Byrne

Spending the summer working in Chihuahua, Mexico and am enjoying learning about Fr. Hidalgo and revolutionary history. The timing of this podcast couldn't have been better! Great style and voice for this type of podcast - makes it very easy to listen to. Compliments!


I am a huge fan of this podcast going back to The History of Rome, and this series looks to be very exciting!

I thought I might chime in with some advice for pronunciation, to add to what Fausto and Silvia said. Unlike English, where rules for spelling are very inconsistent and are mostly vague rules of thumb, there are several simple, nearly ironclad rules which you can learn:

If a noun ends in a vowel, the plural is formed by adding "s" (i.e., "espíritu" --> "espíritus"). If a noun ends in a consonant, then the plural is formed by adding "es". So, for instance, the plural of "peninsular" is "peninsulares", and the plural of "tamal" is "tamales".

If you are reading a text which has not removed the accent marks, then it is easy to determine where to put the stress when reading a word. If there is an accent mark, then you put the emphasis where the accent is. So for "San Luis Potosí", the emphasis is on the last syllable since the "i" at the end of the word has an accent mark. That is, it should be San Luis PotoSI. (Also, like Silva said I think you left the "s" on the end of "Luis" silent. It should be pronounced a bit more like "Louise" in English.)

If there is no accent mark (and it hasn't been erased in the document you are reading), then a word which ends in a vowel or the letter "s" or "n" is stressed on its second-to-last syllable, whereas a word which ends in a consonant other than "s" or "n" should be stressed on its last syllable.

Example: You said VERacruz at least once, but it should be VeraCRUZ.


1) As Fausto mentioned, the letter "h" is _always_ silent except maybe for loanwords. The digraph "ch" has roughly the same sound as in the English word "children".

2) Besides the letter "h" and the other exceptions which follow, there are no silent letters in Spanish.

Example: This means that last "e" in "Guadalupe" must be pronounced, as if it were written "Gua-da-LU-pay" in English.

3) The letters "v" and "b" are pronounced identically, and the sound is closer to an English "b" sound.

4) In Mexico, the letters "z" and "s" are pronounced identically, and the sound is closest to an English "s" sound. This is different in other regions, such as much of Spain.

5) The letter "g" is pronounced similarly to the "hard g" in English (as in "green") except when it is followed by "i" or "e". In this case, the sound is the same as the Spanish "j" sound (that is, somewhat similar to an English "h", but not exactly).

Example: "Alhóndiga de granaditas": here, both "g" sounds are hard
Example: "recoger" and "surgir": in both cases, these "g" sounds are soft

However, if you want to "override" this rule and have a hard "g" sound followed by the sound of the vowel "i" or "i", then you simply insert a silent "u" and write "gue" or "gui":

Example: "Miguel Hidalgo"--both "g"s are hard, and the "u" is silent
Example: "Che Guevara"--another "hard g" with silent "u"

6) The letter "c" is analogous to the letter "g":
* c followed by "i" or "e": in Mexico, this means it is pronounced like "s" (as in the English word "cider")
* c followed by any other letter: pronounced like a hard "c" (think of the English word "craft")
* "qui" and "que": this is how you override the above rules and make a hard "c" sound followed by the vowel "I" or "e". Once again, the "u" is silent here.


Question for the group...I'm having problems getting the older episodes on my phone now for some reason...Galaxy S8..Any ideas?


To add to what’s already been mentioned re: pronunciation, the “x” sound varies a little. It often sounds either like a “ks” or “s”, as in “examen” or “taxi”. If it begins a word, it takes on an “s” sound like “xenón”. However, Mexican proper nouns have several names derived from Nahuatl or Mayan, where the “x” is pronounced like “sh”. So Xola is “SHO la”. However (yes, a second however), there are names that are derived from Nahuatl, but the pronunciation has evolved into an “h” OR and “s” sound. For example, Oaxaca is “wah HAH ka”, and, naturally, this is where the “h” sound comes from in México and Texas. Or it may sound like an “s” (e.g., Xochimilco = “so chi MEEL co”).

The “ll” digraph usually sounds like a “y”, although there are regional variations. In Castilian Spanish, it’s more like the “ly” sound in “millions”. The South American variants are a bit buzzier, with more of a “j”, “sh”, or “zh” sound. I thought your pronunciation of llanos in the South American rev episodes was close to what I’ve been told was common in Argentina.

A really subtle point is that the “d” sound isn’t exactly like the English “d”. It’s softened to more of a “th” sound like in the word “thin”.

Also, re: umlauts. They’re not just for Scandinavian/Germanic languages! I don’t see them very often, but they do crop up on occasion and indicate when a “u” that would ordinarily be silent is instead pronounced as a “w”. So in “La guerra de los pingüinos” the “u” in guerra is silent but “pingüino”, it’s a “w”.

For vowels, there are only 5 vowel sounds: “a”, “e”, “i”, “o”, and “u” which are pronounced as father, bait, leek, goat, loot. Unlike in English, these are almost always pure vowel sounds. They’re shorter and there’s no gliding of the vowel.

If it makes you feel any better, my Spanish teachers in school alternated between two who had learned Spanish in Latin America and one who had spent extensive time in Spain. As a result, I’ve probably picked up a mix of accents that are utterly bizarre together. I cecear my c’s and z’s reliably, but I’m under no illusion that I have a consistent Castilian accent. I strongly expect the end effect resembles the Spanish language version of somebody speaking like Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona mixed with Frances McDormand in Fargo, all shellacked over with central Ohioan.

Looking forward to the Pastry War getting a mention, and will you be covering the William Walker filibuster expedition into Baja California?

Harry W Schroeder Jr

San Luis Potosi - Emphasis on the si (po to SI)

Vera Cruz - Emphasis on the Cruz (vera CRUZ)

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