Pronunciation in Spanish: Spanish Lesson 8

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This is the eighth lesson in our beginner level Spanish course and we will look at the fundamentals of correct pronunciation in Spanish.

In Lesson 3 of this course we looked briefly at the vowels (A, E, I, O, U) and their pronunciation in Spanish. We will review the vowels once again and go on to look at how to correctly pronounce all of the different letters in the Spanish alphabet. Good news… Spanish (relative to other languages) is easy to pronounce! This is because (unlike English, for example) the sound of each Spanish letter, including the vowels, almost always remains the same in every word. Let’s take a closer look…

The Spanish Vowels

A: ah (as in “apple”)
E: eh (as in “bed”)
O: oh (as in “orange”)
U: oo (as in “do”)
I: ee (as in “bee”)

The first stage of improving your pronunciation in Spanish is mastering the sounds of the Spanish vowels and consistently getting them right with every word. If you manage to do only this, you will be making great progress towards sounding more like a native Spanish speaker. Remember, each vowel should be heard distinctly wherever it is in each word.

Of course, we also have to learn how to pronounce the other letters in the Spanish alphabet. Let’s take a look…

Pronunciation in Spanish Spanish Lesson

The Spanish Alphabet

You will see that there are three extra letters in the Spanish alphabet: CH, LL and Ñ. You will see that many of the letters are pronounced the same as in English. You will also see that others are quite different to English, or even silent as in the case of the letter H. The second column shows how to pronounce the letter in Spanish…

A: Ah
B: B
C: C (however, if the C is before a E or an I it is pronounced th)
CH: Ch
D: D
E: Eh
F: F
G: G (however, if the G is before a E or an I it is pronounced h)
H: Silent
I: Ee
J: H
K: K
L: L
M: M
N: N
Ñ: Ny/Ni (like the ny in canyon or the ni in onion)
O: Oh
P: P
Q: K
R: R
S: S
T: T
U: Oo
V: B
W: W
X: X
Y: Y
Z: Th

Practice your own pronunciation in Spanish

Have a practice with some new food vocabulary (following on from what we learned in our previous lesson: In a Spanish restaurant) with correct pronunciation in Spanish of all the letters:

Fruta (fruit): Froo-tah
Pescado (fish): Pehs-cah-doh
Carne: (meat): Cahr-neh
Verduras (vegetables): Behr-doo-rahs
Hierbas (herbs): Ee-ehr-bahs
Especias (spices): Ehs-peh-thee-ahs
Comida (food): Coh-mee-dah
Bebida (drink): Beh-bee-dah
Chocolate (chocolate): Choh-coh-lah-teh
Tarta (cake): Tahr-tah
Cuchillo (knife): Coo-chee-yoh
Tenedor (fork): Teh-neh-dohr

That is all for this lesson about pronunciation in Spanish. If you are new to this course we recommend that you go back and review our previous lessons, starting with Spanish Lesson 1: Meeting and Greeting. And if you are unsure of anything related to the lessons, please do leave us your questions in the comments section below.

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