There are many words that have either Mexican or Indian influence here. Learning how to pronounce them will allow you to speak like a native Arizonan.
Time Required: Not too long
- Phoenician - I am one, and you're trying to speak like one. Pronounced: fun-ee-shun
- Saguaro - large cactus, often with arms, found only in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Mexico. State flower. Pronounced: suh-wah-roe
- Cholla - a cactus. There are many different varieties. Don't get too close. Ouch! Pronounced: choy-ah
- Ocotillo - a tall spiny cactus that gets red tips in the spring. Pronounced: oh-cat-tee-yo
- Gila monster - a lizard, about two feet long when fully grown. Pronounced: hee-lah
- Javelina - often mistaken for a wild pig, it is found in desert areas. It's a collared peccary (Pecari tajac). Don't try to make friends. Pronounced: have-a-leen-a
- Mesquite - Various shrubs or small trees. Popular wood for fireplaces, since it burns slowly and doesn't smoke. Pronounced: mess-keet
- Yucca - various types of desert plants, mostly with long pointy leaves. Pronounced: yuk-uh
- Sometimes 'saguaro' is spelled 'sahuaro'. It's pronounced the same.
- Generally speaking, if you come across two 'L's in a row, they'll be pronounced like a 'Y' sound. In the case of 'saguaro' and 'Juan', the 'gu' and 'ju' are pronounced like a 'W'.
- Sometimes, when you come across a 'G' or 'J' it will be pronounced like an 'H'.