Below is a post from a website I shall not mention:
A Quick Lesson
jacaranda.JPG I hate, hate, HATE to hear Spanish words grossly misprounounced.
There's a certain degree of mispronunciation I expect from gueros and other non-Spanish speakers. I give you about a 20% margin of error. I've had my last name mispronounced since kindergarten and it no longer bugs me, in fact I'm surprised if it's pronounced correctly (and the person isn't Latino).
Every spring I hear dozens of people mispronouncing a certain word and exceeding my 20% margin of error. The primary culprit?
You know, those lovely trees with purple blossoms.
Now, for some of you, this word sounds like Jack-a-RAN-dah and rhymes with Miranda.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
The mispronunciation of jacaranda bugs me to no end. It is not JACK-aranda. It should not sound like the name of the non-existant son of my neighbors, the Aranda family.
Let me give all you kids who failed Spanish in high school, took French/German or some Asian language instead, or were high during college-level Spanish courses a quick little lesson.
The J is never pronounced like it is in English. Ever. In Spanish a J is pronounced like an 'h'.
Most words have the stress on the penultimate syllable, unless otherwise noted through an accent on a vowel (i.e. ángeles).
All you Spanish-challenged non-Latinos (and some Latinos too), say it with me:
I expect everyone to pronounce jacaranda correctly from now on. If you don't, I might kick you.
Of course, as anyone who grew up in LA when the 'education' part was still important in 'public education' (as opposed to current 'public indoctrination' system) knows, jacarandas are from... Brazil. And Brazil was colonized by Portugal and not Spain, which is why the streets of Lisbon and not Madrid are lined with jacarandas.
Hence, jackaranda is a Portugese word and not a Spanish word. And if you look in any dictionary, it will show you that the 'J' in jackaranda is NOT silent in either Portguese or English. And even if you did not know this, it would seem that any person before making such a pompous post just might check to see if he or she was wrong.
As for why this post is so scary - especially to us ex-Bruins, is that the author is a graduate student in the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies and works as a research assistant.