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The alphabet "j" is pronounced differently in the following major European langauges:
Spanish: justo(husto),
English: just(just),
German: junge(yunguh) and
French: juste(zoost)

How is the sound so varied in these languages?

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I would reverse the question. How is it that such varied sounds came to be represented by the same letter? It is the oral language that is the natural language. The written language is added later.

In Spanish, the sound that is represented by the jota used to be represented by the equis. Examples: Mexico, Texas. The change was part of a general revision of spelling.

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A good point. I will go ahead and put your version of the question on Linguistics section. – Curious Aug 5 '14 at 5:05
Thanks. It's also worth noting that the sound of the words "Mexico" and "Texas" in American English appear to be derived from the way an American would pronounce an equis, and not by listening to a Mexican saying those words. – Walter Mitty Aug 5 '14 at 10:27

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