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I need to pronounce the name Unzurrunzaga when I announce a girl for a Debutante Ball. I have not met her yet, and would like to have a better understanding prior to saying her name. She is an exchange student.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it has nothing to do with Spanish language – user14069 May 20 '18 at 13:50
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    @blonfu I know that "Unzurrunzaga" is more related to Euskara than to Spanish, but even so the surname can be pronounced using the Spanish rules, isn't it? And helping people pronounce Spanish words is on topic here. What would this person need to make the question more on topic? – Charlie May 20 '18 at 16:49
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    Tom, my advice would be to contact the organization (if needed) and contact the girl in question and ask how she wants it pronounce. I have seem the same issue with surnames like "puig", which could be pronounced if different ways if you go more with a Spanish pronunciation or a Catalan one, so best this is simply yo ask this person "how do you want me to pronounce your last name" and try to do it as close as you can to her pronunciation. – Diego May 20 '18 at 16:58
  • @Charlie, no lo tengo muy claro. Los apellidos muchas veces se pronuncian con las reglas del idioma en el que uno se comunica. Alguien apellidado Unzurrunzaga seguramente lo pronunciara diferente si es de Bermeo, de Buenos Aires o de Seattle. Pero si buscamos la pronunciación original del apellido sería más bien cosa de euskera que de castellano, además ¿Cómo se pronuncia una zeta en español? Pues depende de dónde. – user14069 May 20 '18 at 18:19
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    For a first approach, I'd tell you to look for a text-to-speech online app. In fact, most translators have the tool "listen to the word", so you can plug it into a translator and click on "listen". That will give you a clue. – FGSUZ May 20 '18 at 19:27
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There's not a single way of pronouncing this name, but I can give you two approximations.

[ uN θu ruN 'θa ɣa ] 
[ un su run 'sa ɣa ] 

As you can see, the main difference is that the first one is pronouncing the Z as a voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative, as "th" in the english word "thing", while the second is using a voiceless alveolar fricative, as the "s" in the english word "sound".

Both pronunciations would be correct, although she is probably more used to one of them (the first one if she comes from Spain, the second one otherwise).

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Just Use Forvo

It's a good idea to use a pronunciation repository like Forvo. You can find the pronunciation of Unzurrunzaga or request new pronunciations.

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