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Lesson Transcript

Beatriz: Bienvenidos a Spanishpod101.com. Buenos días, me llamo Beatriz.
Joseph: Joseph here. Spanish Phonetic Series, Lesson 1 – “Learning the alphabet.”
Beatriz: Hola amigos. I am Beatriz and I’m here with Joseph. Hola Joseph, buenos días.
Joseph: Muy buenos días, Beatriz. Hello and bienvenidos. Welcome to the first lesson of the Spanish Phonetic Series at Spanishpod101.com.
Beatriz: This is the place to learn how the Spanish language is correctly pronounced.
Joseph: We’ll walk you through the basics of Spanish pronunciation, intonation, inflexion and spelling, so that you start the learning process off with solid foot in.
Beatriz: Así es. Learning the way that the Spanish language sounds will made the rest of the learning process a lot easier.
Joseph: That’s right. So, join us for this lesson of Spanishpod101.
Beatriz: Welcome to inaugural lesson of our Phonetic Series at Spanishpod101.com.

Lesson focus

Joseph: For this lesson, we’ll begin by going over the Spanish alphabet, “el abecedario”, teaching you the tools you need in order to learn how to spell in Spanish.
Beatriz: After that, we’ll look at some common mistakes that occur when foreigners try to spell out words in Spanish.
Joseph: And then, we’ll practice spelling some words in Spanish, showing you “step by step”, “paso a paso”, how this is done. Reinforce what you’ve learned by using the Grammar Bank of the Learning Center at Spanishpod101.com. In this lesson, we’ll study “el abecedario” – the Spanish alphabet. Beatriz, how do you think we should start out today? ¿Cómo quisieras empezar?
Beatriz: Let’s start out by explaining a few things about the Spanish alphabet.
Joseph: Ok. So, is there “una regla general”, “a general rule”, that we can introduce here?
Beatriz: Claro. Of course. The first thing you should know about the Spanish alphabet is that each letter has its own name and this name is not necessarily the same as the sound which the letter represents.
Joseph: Buen punto. Great point. Now, something similar to this occurs in the English language alphabet, too. Take for example the letter “w”. We know that the name of this letter is simple “w”, yet the sound that this letter represents is “oa”, as in “water”. So, we can see that the name of the letter and the sound which this letter represents are not the same. All right. So, Beatriz, could you show us how this happens in the Spanish alphabet?
Beatriz: I thought you will never ask. Let’s observe the letter “y”. The Spanish name for this letter is “i griega” which really means “greek i”. The sound that the “i griega” represents is “y” as in “yeso”. So, you can see that the name of this letter and the sound which it represents are quite a bit different.
Joseph: They sure are. So, it’s clear that the names of letters in “el abecedario” are different from the sounds which they represent. Beatriz, what do you say we run through the Spanish alphabet?
Beatriz: Sounds like a plan. Why don’t you start off with the English letter and then I’ll give the Spanish letter?
Joseph: Sounds good. Ok, here we go. A
Beatriz: “A”.
Joseph: B
Beatriz: “Be grande”.
Joseph: C
Beatriz: “Ce”.
Joseph: D
Beatriz: “De”.
Joseph: E
Beatriz: “E”.
Joseph: F
Beatriz: “Efe”.
Joseph: G
Beatriz: “Ge”.
Joseph: H
Beatriz: “Hache”.
Joseph: I
Beatriz: “I latina”.
Joseph: J
Beatriz: “Jota”.
Joseph: K
Beatriz: “Ka”.
Joseph: L
Beatriz: “Ele”.
Joseph: Double L
Beatriz: “Elle”.
Joseph: M
Beatriz: “Eme”.
Joseph: N
Beatriz: “Ene”.
Joseph: N with a tilde.
Beatriz: “Eñe”.
Joseph: O
Beatriz: “O”.
Joseph: P
Beatriz: “Pe”.
Joseph: Q
Beatriz: “Cu”.
Joseph: R
Beatriz: “Ere”.
Joseph: S
Beatriz: “Ese”.
Joseph: T
Beatriz: “Te”.
Joseph: U
Beatriz: “U”.
Joseph: V
Beatriz: “Ve chica”.
Joseph: W
Beatriz: “Ve doble”.
Joseph: X
Beatriz: “Equis”.
Joseph: Y
Beatriz: “I griega”.
Joseph: Z
Beatriz: “Zeta”. Ok, now, we will look at the common mistake related to the spelling words in the Spanish. To begin, we will learn how to distinguish the letters “Be grande”, “Ve chica” o “Ve doble”.
Joseph: Sounds like a good plan.
Beatriz: So, Joseph, can you tell me, please, what the “Be grande” is in English?
Joseph: “Be grande”, a ver... “Be grande” that’s the letter B.
Beatriz: Correcto. Right. Now, the name of this letter “Be grande” is really the big B.
Joseph: Right. And we call it “Be grande” or the big B because there’re other letters whose names are also B or “be”.
Beatriz: Exacto. Exactly. For example, we also have “Ve chica”. Which letter is this, Joseph?
Joseph: “Ve chica”, “Ve chica”... That letter is the V.
Beatriz: Así es. That’s right. And the name “Ve chica” really means the little B.
Joseph: Tú lo has dicho. You said it. And the reason why both of the names of these letters is the same is because the sounds which they represent are identical. “Be” and “Ve”. We’ll take more about these sounds in future Phonetics Lessons. But, for now, let’s finish up “la comparación”, “the comparison”.
Beatriz: Joseph, which letter is this one, “Ve doble”?
Joseph: “Ve doble”. That one is W.
Beatriz: Muy bien. Very good. And the name “Ve doble” really means double B, which is similar to the English W.
Joseph: You know it is, isn’t it?
Beatriz: Yes, some people don’t pay much attention learning the Spanish alphabet.
Joseph: Isn’t that the truth. I know for me it took a while to learn how to spell out words in Spanish.
Beatriz: Yes, but with some practice, you learned it.
Joseph: I did learn it. In fact, why don’t we do some practice?
Beatriz: All ready.
Joseph: Muy bien. All right. Now, we’re going to do some practice.
Beatriz: La práctica. Today, we’ll practice at spelling some words in Spanish.
Joseph: Now, a one to remember that to spell words in Spanish we need to use the names of the letters and not the sounds which the letters represent.
Beatriz: Tú lo has dicho. You said it. So, why don’t I start? I will say a word in Spanish. Joseph, you can translate it, then I will spell it in Spanish and you can spell it in English.
Joseph: Suena muy bien. Sounds very good, Beatriz. I’m ready when you are.
Beatriz: All right. The first word is “amarillo”.
Joseph: “Yellow.”
Beatriz: A - eme - a - ere - I latina - elle - o
Joseph: “A-m-a-r-i-ll-o”.
Beatriz: “Amarillo”.
Joseph: “Amarillo”.
Beatriz: Ok. The next word is “bienvenido”.
Joseph: “Welcome.”
Beatriz: Be grande - i latina - e - ene - ve chica - e - ene - i latina - de - o
Joseph: “B-i-e-n-v-e-n-i-d-o”.
Beatriz: “Bienvenido”.
Joseph: “Bienvenido”.
Beatriz: All right. Now, let’s switch roles. This time you start by giving the word in Spanish. I will translate it, then you can spell out in Spanish and I will spell it in English.
Joseph: Suena muy bien. Sounds very good. Let’s start with the word “divertido”.
Beatriz: “Fun.”
Joseph: De - i latina - ve chica - e - ere - te - i latina - de - o
Beatriz: “D-i-v-e-r-t-i-d-o”.
Joseph: “Divertido”.
Beatriz: “Divertido”.
Joseph: Ok. Let’s spell out one more word. This time, “tranquilo”.
Beatriz: “Relaxing”
Joseph: Te - ere - a - ene - cu - u - i latina - ele - o
Beatriz: “T-r-a-n-q-u-i-l-o”.
Joseph: “Tranquilo”.
Beatriz: “Tranquilo”. Hey, that was pretty good.
Joseph: How could it not be with a teacher like you?
Beatriz: Ahh, ¡por favor!


Joseph: En serio, me has enseñado mucho. This is as far as we’ve got in today. Don’t forget to check out the Newbie Series in Spanishpod101.com.
Beatriz: Yes, it’s a great place to learn the basics of the Spanish language.
Joseph: So, we’ll see you soon.
Beatriz: ¡Ya nos vemos!
Joseph: ¡Chao!

Spanish Alphabet