I hear the ll as ʝ in "Medellín" and ʎ in "mejilla".

It is on the first minute of these clips:


2 Answers 2


I don't hear [ʎ] in either of the videos. I hear a voiced fricative [ʝ] in "mejillas" (which tends to become an approximant [j]) for the first few speakers in the second video (who are... Colombian?).

For "Medellín", the speaker (which speaks standard European Spanish) alternates between a fricative that sounds very close to [ʒ] and its corresponding affricate [dʒ]. I believe this alternation is common, especially when the syllable is stressed.

The sound transcribed as ll is only rarely a true palatal lateral, and it varies a lot among dialects and even among individuals. Since there are no similar sounds in Spanish that could be mistaken for it, this variation often goes unnoticed.


It would normally be a case of different speakers, different accents. But the fact that the first speaker is speaking with a Spanish (from Spain) accent suggests that this is a case of a foreign speaker pronouncing Medellín in the local manner.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.