So you are starting to get the hang of Spanish, but your accent leaves much to be desired? Don’t worry!
It is perfectly normal for native English speakers to struggle a bit with their accent, especially if you haven’t had much chance to practice your Spanish skills in the real world.
Don’t sweat it though. These three simple hacks will have you speaking Spanish like a native in no-time.
1. Memorize Those Vowel Sounds
A fast-track to learning how to speak Spanish correctly is to make sure you get the vowels right. After all, anybody who has ever watched Wheel of Fortune will know that there tend to be a lot more vowels in words than there are other letters.
Even better, vowel sounds are relatively uncomplicated in Spanish compared to English in that vowel makes only one sound. So why not ‘buy a vowel’ and supercharge your Spanish accent?
Here is a quick breakdown of what all the vowel sounds should sound like.
- Say A like the ‘a’ in ‘father’
- Say E like the ‘e’ in ‘fed‘
- Say I like the ‘ee’ in ‘bee’
- Say O like the ‘o’ in ‘no‘
- Say U like the ‘oo’ in ‘too‘
2. Learn When to Link Up Words
If there is generally one thing that separates the native Spanish speaker from the non-native speaker, it is knowing and understanding the subtle nuance of when to link words together to create a blend that often sounds a lot like one long word.
When you understand the rules of this valuable skill inside and out, you will not only be able to speak better, but also improve your own comprehension. This is because when you learn to tap into the more subtle nuances in speech patterns, you will be better equipped to understand what others are saying as well.
With that in mind, here are the three general instances when pro-Spanish speakers will link up their words.
- When the last letter of the first word is a consonant and the first letter of the next word is a vowel
- When the last letter of the first word is the same as the first letter of the next word
- When the last letter of the first word and the first letter of the next word are both vowels
3. Don’t Leave Out the Accents
Spanish pronunciation follows a familiar rhythm that is almost always the same. This means that as a general rule, you should shoot to put the stress on the second-to-last syllable of a word.
However, some words do break away from the mold, and you will know you have encountered one when you see an accent, which basically tells you exactly where to put the stress instead.
See. Easy, right?
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