3.4.7.4 le n mouillé as in the French word Champagner and the l mouillé as in the French word canaille

The n / l mouillé (mouillé is French and means damp) is an n / l with a semivowel i attached. These sounds doesn't exist in English and in opposite to other languages, german for instance, in most words borrowed from other languages that contain these sounds, like Champagne, Bretagne etc. the n / l mouillé has been eliminated in English. Bretagne has become Brittany and Champagne has become Champagne (the spelling has been preseved, but the pronunciation has changed and the n mouillé eliminated. However the wheather phenomenon el niño (ñ is a n mouillé) is pronounced even in English /ninio/, see "What are El Niño and La Niña?". (niño = little boy / niña = little girl) Therefore it is to suppose that the n / l mouillé doesn't represent any problem for English native speakers.

The spelling is different in each roman language, the pronuciation is always the same.

Spanish: ñ (niño / littel boy, caballo (horse)
French: regner (to gover), Bastille (Bastille, prison destroyed in the French revolution)
Italian: gnomo (dwarf), gli (him / her)
Portuguese: empenho (effort), abelha (bee)

The n mouillé is written gn in Portuguese and the l mouille lh. (If you wonder why the same sound is written in different ways in each roman language, the answer is always the same and got lost in the darkness of history.) There is only one exception. The nh in dinheiro is not a n mouillé.

nh [ɲ] pronounced like th ñ in el niño
acompanhar (to accompany)
apanhar (to get)
empenho (effort)


lh [ʎ] pronounced like the ll in the English word brilliant
abelha (bee)
agulha (needle)
calhar (to remain silent)






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