Pronunciation is key when it comes to understanding a language, and therefore getting used to Spanish pronunciation is crucial. One great thing about Spanish is: if you know the alphabet and its sounds, then you can read every Spanish word. In other words, people talk as they write. So, if you know the alphabet and how to read it, learning and speaking Spanish will be much easier than you think.
First of all, let's start with the vowels. Like in English there are 5 vowels “a, e, i, o, u”, but unlike in English, Spanish vowels are ALWAYS pronounced the same. Five vowels, five sounds, that's it.
A pronounced as AH
AND pronounced as EH
I pronounced as EE
EITHER pronounced as OH
OR pronounced as OO
Then, let's see now how vowels and consonants sound together. The words in brackets are the name of the letters in Spanish and their pronunciation:
A (A: AH) Again, you pronounce it AH. For instance, Agod
B (Be: BEH) It sounds like English B. B.Good morning
C (Ce: THEH) It has two possible sounds: a soft and a hard one. When followed by A, O, U it's pronounced as the English K (khey) and when followed by E, I is has the Spanish Z sound (similar to the english th in thin). Such ace:Chow did i saycand?
D (From: DEH) It's very similar to English, but the sound is not as vibrating. doDand dondand are you?
E (E: EH) Remember? HEY. How andare you?
F (Eph: EH-feh) it's like F in father or ph in elephant. ¡Feliza birthday!
G (Ge: HEH) Like letter C, its pronunciation will depend on the next letter: when followed by A, O, U, the G makes the same sound as G in GBURN. On the other hand, GE and GI are pronounced like the Spanish J sound (or similar to the H hhotel in English, but much harder). So what do we do to pronounce the soft G sound with E and I? We write a “u” in the middle: GUE, GUI. Genial, gthank you very much gyou.
H (Hache: AH-cheh) In Spanish, it has no sound. For example: Hello 🙂
I (Latin I: EE lah-TEE-nah) pronounced like the English USA Iguamente.
J (Jack: HOH-tah) it sounds like Gee or gi. This sound doesn't exist in English, but I'm sure you'll learn the word "ham", so you won't forget this sound. good jobjeither.
K (Ka: KAH) There're very few words in Spanish that start or contain the K letter and they all originate on foreign languages. But it's pronounced exactly the same as in English, such as: Kilometer, kiwi, kmekaze
L (El: EH-leh) like L in love, same as the English L. Hohea. 🙂 🙂
M (Eme: EH-meh) Just like in English. MOh good.
N (Jan: EH-neh) Just like in English. goodnace noches.
Ñ (Eñe: EH-nyeh) The Ñ sound is not exclusive to Spanish, but the letter Ñ is. English language doesn't have this sound either, but you've heard it multiple times in the words Españoh, spainñhey
O (O:OH) ooh Like in Heitherthe, for example.
P(Pe:PEH) Like letter D and other letters, the Spanish P is almost the same, but less breathy. Pplease.
Q(Cu:KU) In Spanish, the letter Q basically represents the K sound in English. It is always written followed by the vowel u (but the u is not pronounced) and only used with vowels E and I. Remember the letter C isn't pronounced as K when followed by E and I? This is why: Spanish /ca, que, qui, co, cu/ = English /ka, ke, ki, ko, ku/ . dowhatand whatdo you want?
R (Erre: EH-reh) There are two different sounds for the letter R as well, soft and hard. Similar to how the R in rope and infather are slightly different in English, the same happens in Spanish but much more significantly. If a word begins with an R, then it's a hard R. If it is in between two vowels, the sound is soft. in the word Raror, we can see this difference in sound. However, the strong R sound can also be found in between vowels, but in this case it's written with double R. Carreither.
S (That one: EH-seh) Again, very similar to English S sound in words like “sound”. Therefore: yesheysstoreroom.
T (Te: TEH) Not exactly the same sound as in English in youooth or youea, but again, less breathy. How youshe more?
U (U: OO) Pronounced OO. and youor?
V (Ve: OO-beh) In Spanish, its pronunciation is exactly the same as B (boh). Until the vista.
W (double vee: OO-beh DOH-bleh) There are very few words with W, but it's pronounced like in English. In fact, we only find the W in words we have borrowed from English and other languages. Whisky. Kiwi.
X (X: EH-kis) Its sound is like in English. Such as: Taxi.
Y (Greek I: EE gree-EH-gah). Like in English, Y acts as both consonant (Andou) and vowel (boAnd), the consonant sound is exactly like in English, and the vowel sound is like the Spanish I /EE/. Yto thisAnd good.
Z (Zeta: THE-tah) It's very similar to the English TH sound in words like thin or think. It can only be followed by A, O, U since the E and I are written with the letter C, and so: ZA, CAND, Ci, ZEITHER, ZU = /THAnks, THErmic, THInk, THOrn, THUmb/. For example: Zgold, zfit.
There are two non-recognized letters that we will not find in the alphabet, but that we use very frequently. They are:
CH (CHEH) same as the English CH sound in words like church. Forinstance: Churros with chocolate.
LL (eh-yeh) depends on the speaker's region, but in general it is pronounced like the Y sound when it is a consonant (Andou). How you lldo you love?
Useful Phrases when Learning Spelling
- How do you say…? – How do you say…?
- How do you pronounce…? – How do you pronounce…?
- How is this written…? – How do you write…?
- Can you spell (the word) for me…? – Can you spell (the word)…?
Now that you know how to pronounce all letters of the Spanish alphabet, you know how to pronounce, write, read and spell every word in Spanish! You might even appreciate knowing the alphabet if you're traveling abroad and need to give out your name!
As always, don't forget that practice is a great way to learn, but we also need a strong foundation to start from.