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Spanish pronunciation

Speak Spanish better - Spanish pronunciation - oral language work

One of the best things about learning Spanish is that once you know how to pronounce the sounds of the letters, you will be able to say almost any word that you read. This is not the case for people learning English. Imagine how dificult it is to learn how to pronounce words such as ought, cough, bough, rough, through, though, etc. If you have a sound card, you can hear all the sounds on our web page sound version. Go to: http://lingolex.com/pronounce/. You will need a reasonably good Internet connection.

Vowels
a - gatoThe Spanish "a" is a short sharp sound like "hat" in English.
More examples: pato - apio - loca
e - peloThe Spanish "e" is like the "e" in "wet" in English
More examples: elegir - éxito - sed
i - vinoThe Spanish "i" is like the "ee" in "seen" but a bit shorter
sin - miércoles - idiota 
o - bocaThe Spanish "o" can have two sounds. When it is at the end of a word it is like the
"o" in note e.g. "pato". When it is before a consonant it is shorter, like "pot" or "cot" e.g. "boda". This difference is very subtle.
pato - apio - loca
u - frutaThe Spanish "u" is like the "oo" in "food" Note: It is silent after "q" and in "gue" and "gui". The exceptions are marked with a diaeresis: e.g. antigüedad. The "ü" is not very common.
luna - puro - mudo
Dipthongs
ai/ay - baile The Spanish "ai" is like the "i" in "side"
aislar - paisaje - vaina - haya
au - saunaThe Spanish "au" is like the "ou" in "sound"
causa - pausa - audio - audiencias
ei, ey - reinaThe Spanish "ei" and "ey" sound like the "ay" in say
rey - peine - seis
eu - europaThe Spanish "eu" has no English equivalent and is difficult to define. It is just the sounds of "e" and "u" together a bit like the "oo" in "soon" but not exactly. It is not very common.
deuda - neutral - reumatismo
oi, oy - oigaThe Spanish "oi" and "oy" are like the "oy" in boy.
soy - doy - boicot - sois - coyote
Semi-consonants
ie/y - bienThe Spanish "y" and "ie" have the "y" sound in "yes". Note that the word "y" meaning "and" sounds like the Spanish "i".
hielo - yerno - yeso - tierno - miedo
ue - buenoThe Spanish "u + vowel" sounds like the "w" in "win". Note that when "u" is followed by a vowel it normally has the "w" sound.
fuente - huevo - agua - fui - fuimos - cuota
Consonants
b,v - boda The Spanish "b" is almost exactly the same as an English "b". Note: Both "b" and "v" have the "b" sound in Spanish. In fact Spanish people can have difficulty with the spelling and you can somtimes see signs in restaurants, etc. which are misspelled.
bomba - enviar - voy - Córdoba
c - casaThe Spanish "c" has the English "k" sound except when it comes before "e" and "i".
Before "e" and "i" it has a "th" sound as in "thin".
academia - con - Ecuador - cola
c - Barcelona The Spanish "c" has the English "k" sound except when it comes before "e" and "i".
Before "e" and "i" it has a "th" sound as in "thin".
sociedad - recibir - receta
ch - muchoThe Spanish "ch" is the same as the "ch" in church.
bochorno - champán - champiñón - champú
d - duroThe Spanish "d" is very similar to the English "d" when it comes at the end of a word it can have a "th" like sound e.g. Madrid, verdad.
del - definir - ciudad - domingo
f - familiaThe Spanish "f" is the same as the English "f".
freír - difícil - afeitar - foro
g - generalThe Spanish "g" is like the Spanish "j" when it comes before "i" and "e". The Spanish "j" sounds like the "ch" in the Scottish "loch".
gemelo - geranio - gimnasio - gitano
g - gordoThe Spanish "g" is like the English "g" unless it comes before "i" and "e".
Galicia - golpe - guante - iglesia
h - hombreThe Spanish "h" is always silent.
honor - Alhambra - rehacer
j - juevesThe Spanish "j" is a strong guttural sound similar to the "ch" in the Scottish "loch".
jota - jabón - lenguaje - eje
k - kiloThe Spanish "k" is the same as the English "k". It is very uncommon in Spanish.
kilo - kilovatio - kiosco - kiwi
l - locoThe Spanish "l" is the same as the English "l".
lobo - lámpara - ladrón
ll - calleThe Spanish "ll" sounds like the "y" in yes.
taller - valle - llamar - llover - lleno- Mallorca
m - manoThe Spanish "m" is the same as the English "m".
mama - tomar - malo - mixta
n - nadaThe Spanish "n" is the same as the English "n".
nadar - nadie - no- uno
ñ - EspañaThe Spanish "ñ" is like the "ni" in "onion" in English.
baño - caña - riñón - teñir
p - padreThe Spanish "p" is the same as the "p" in English.
pato - apio - lápiz
q - quienThe Spanish "q" is pronounced like the English "k" in "kick".
queso - qué - querer - quince
r - robarThe Spanish "r" is a similar to the English "r" but it is stronger and it sounds like the "r" in a Scottish accent.
rabo - radio - mar
rr - perroThe Spanish "rr" does not exist in English. It is a very strong "r" with a trill. Many English speakers find this sound very difficult to pronounce.
puerro - berro - carro - guerra - parra - barrio
s - casaThe Spanish "s" has two sounds. It is pronounced the same as English except when
it comes before b, d, g, l, m, n.
saber - sobre - cosas - asunto
s - mismoThe Spanish "s" has two sounds. It is pronounced the same as English except when
it comes before b, d, g, l, m, n.
mismo - desde - asno
t - tresThe Spanish "t" is very similar to the "t" in English. In Spanish the tongue is placed closer to the teeth and there is less aspiration.
trigo - tomar- todo - patata
x - máximoThe Spanish "x" is similar to the English pronunciation and it has a "ks" sound.
extra - sexto- exacto - éxito
z - zapatosThe Spanish "z" has the "th" sound in the English thin.
zona - cazar - zorro - luz