Modern Family

The following video is a compilation of some of the many mispronunciations and misuses of English by the character Gloria on the television show Modern Family:

All of her mispronunciations and misuses of English are confusing and frustrating for those communicating with her and are often a source of humor and amusement both for the other characters and for the viewing audience.  The writers of Modern Family wrote the role of Gloria for the actress Sofia Vergara, who is from Colombia, and they and she have captured brilliantly all of the sound-substitutions, placing of stress on the wrong word or syllable, and mixing-up of words, or malapropisms, that are common for many Spanish speakers of English.  They have captured this so well that her performance is almost  a textbook case of the problems facing these speakers.

Sofia Vergara often appears on the Ellen Degeneres show, and one of the major themes of her appearances is Ellen’s delight at Sofia’s many mispronunciations.  In one episode Ellen can’t help repeating Sofia’s mispronunciation of the word “gift” over and over throughout the interview, giving the vowel a long “e” sound instead of the short “i” sound.  Again, this is all in fun, but in real life people usually want to be taken seriously and not be made fun of for the delight and entertainment of others.  On another episode of Ellen’s show Sofia continually mispronounces the New York Giants football team as the New York “Yiants,”replacing the “j” sound with the “y” sound as many Spanish speakers do (3/4/2014).  Once again Ellen and her audience are amused and delighted much as the viewers of Modern Family are. The last thing Sofia Vergara would want to do is change her accent and speak Standard American Speech because she would be out of a job and have to find another line of work.  While these kinds of errors are very appropriate for entertainment purposes, they are not appropriate for a person communicating a serious message in a professional or business situation.  These are the kinds of errors we focus on in our work at the Speech Studio; we make sure that you avoid similar mispronunciations and misuses of the language so that you have great confidence in your communication ability and are taken seriously when you speak.