Really. Stop it. You don't call Germany "Deutschland," do you? Then stop trying to pronounce the names of places and people in the Americas as you and Associated Press fondly imagine they are pronounced in the original Spanish. Especially stop it when it comes to Brazil.* The thought behind the deed is friendly and well-meant but it's frequently cringeworthy.
If you didn't grow up hearing and saying those phonemes, you're not going to get them right, not without years of study and immersion and even then? You'll sound like a very fluent Anglo. You're making elderly abuelitas frown at the TV screen, wondering if you really meant to say that word that way.
Just to complicate matters, Spanish is at least as rich as English in national and regional accents; Cubans and Argentines can chat as readily as Americans and Australians -- and with about as much difference in vocabulary and sound.
American English is relatively flat as accents go. There's a reason Brits usually have better luck faking an American accent than the other way around: the majority of the sounds that comprise American English are present in most varieties of British English, while the Brit versions of our common tongue use many phonemes we do not.
Look, if you're on TV and you grew up speaking the lingo (and no matter how you look), that's great and you should pronounce those words the way you learned at home. But if you didn't, don't try to fake it. It doesn't work.
* I'll explain this later. Some of you newspeople aren't going to believe it.
2 months ago