Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

Gotcha, Cucaracha

Posted by Neal on April 2, 2004

Last night I was singing “La cucaracha” while I gave Doug a bath. I was pronouncing the r with the Spanish pronunciation. This sound is often referred to as the tap or flap, and we also have it in English: It is the same sound you make for the t in atom, or the d in Adam. (It sounds a lot like a [d], but it’s not—try making a careful [d] sound in Adam, and it will sound strange.) I’ll transcribe this sound as D, so I was singing:

La cucaDacha, la cucaDacha!

Doug starts singing it, too, but like this, with a regular, plain old English [r]:

La cucaracha, la cucaracha!



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