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It seems that some people pronounce words that end with -n almost as a "ng" sound. "Bien", for example, seems to come out as "Bie[ng]".

Is this a regional issue? What regions use this pronunciation? Is this true only for words ending in -n or does the letter n ever get pronounced that way when it's inside of the word?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, it is a regional dialect. However, it's a dialect is only prominent for words ending in -n.

The Dialect

In the majority of dialects, a word ending in -n is alveolar (your basic "n" sound in English, such as "begin").

However, is some dialects, the final -n sound is articulated further back in the mouth. At it's most extreme, it can become a velar nasal sound, sound similar "long" or "bang".

However, this distincion isn't quite as pronounced as the question implies--there's no articulated "g" sound on the end of the words. But it does seem to carry that velar nasal sound we see in "long" or "song".


This velar "-n" is common in some parts of Spain, the Caribbean, some Central American dialects, as well as coastal areas of some countries in South America.

See also: Wikipedia: velar -n

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