How Gringo Is Your Spanish?

George Baker, also an instructor on the Advanced English Workshop for Chilangos, challenges you to take his quiz — How Gringo Is Your Spanish?

In Questions 1‐5, each of the pairs has a pronunciation that is characteristic of a native speaker of English. Say each word aloud. You should choose the alternative pronunciation of the word in Spanish that sounds natural to your ears and mouth. Questions 6‐12 are “yes” or “no.”

Take Our 2-Minute Quiz

A Gringo in Mexico City, Photo: Milenio, Junio 10 de 2002

Do You…

1. Say teng‐go or 10‐go?

2. Say the ‘o’ in tengo and tango like the ‘o’ in “oh”?

3. Say sen‐yor or se‐ñor?

4. Do you say es‐tar or es‐star, with the second syllable like “star”?

5. Do you say lo‐sángeles or los‐sángeles?

6. Say just as you say “see” or “sea”?

7. Say just as you say “two” or “to” or “too”?

8. Say Ricardo with the ‘r’ of “Ricky”?

9. Say Guadalajara with its first syllable like “Guam”?

10. Say the ‘z’ in zona like the ‘z’ in “zone”?

Here are two extra‐credit questions to improve your score:

11. Do you say cómo like the family name of “Perry Como”?

12. Do you say the ‘d’ in David to sound like the ‘d’ in “David”?


See Your Score Below


10 — You are a Six-Sigma Gringo

8-9 — You are an Outlier Gringo

5‐7 — You are an Outstanding Gringo

3‐4 — You are a Commendable Gringo

1‐2 — You are an Above-Average Gringo

0 — You are a Normal Gringo

To verify your answers, ask a native speaker or email with “Answers” in the subject head.

Consult also our two reports: “Overcoming the American Accent in Spanish” (2012).

MEI Market Note 110: Overcoming the American Accent in Spanish


MEI Market Note No. 153 – Overcoming the American Accent in Spanish (Part II)