Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Beatriz: Bienvenidos a Spanishpod101.com. Buenos días, me llamo Beatriz.
Joseph: Joseph here. Spanish Phonetic Series, Lesson 4 – “Vowels”
Beatriz: Hola amigos. I am Beatriz and I’m here with Joseph. ¡Hola Joseph! ¡Buenos días!
Joseph: Muy buenos días, Beatriz. Hello and welcome to the fourth lesson of the Spanish Phonetic Series of 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. When you learn how Spanish sounds, the rest of the process is a lot easier.
Joseph: That’s right. So, join us for this lesson of Spanishpod101. Last lesson, we went over the second half of the alphabet, “el abecedario”, giving examples of the sound of each letter. Today, we’re going to hew in on the vowels.
LESSON FOCUS
Beatriz: Las vocales.
Joseph: “Las vocales”, “the vowels”. In this lesson, we’ll show you how Spanish vowels can occur in open and closed syllables, and how for each of this kind of syllables the vowel can be either stressed or unstressed. Also, be sure to check out the Spanish alphabet chart, in the Learning Center of Spanishpod101.com. So, again, in this lesson, we’ll study “las vocales”.
Beatriz: Las vocales. Ok. Empecemos. A, E, I, O, U.
Joseph: That’s right. A, E, I, O, U. A, E, I, O, U. Beatriz, how would you like to start out today?
Beatriz: Let’s start out by breaking down the vowels in Spanish.
Joseph: Sounds like a good idea.
Beatriz: La vocal es un sonido de lenguaje en cuya emisión el aire espirado no encuentra obstáculos.
Joseph: Right, right. So, a vowel is the sound of language which doesn’t meet any obstacle when it’s breathed out. It’s also modifiable by degree of vibration and timber.
Beatriz: Also, we think about vowels in two groups.
Joseph: Those with open syllables and those with closed syllables.
Beatriz: That’s right. Open or closed.
Joseph: Ok. But, what exactly do we mean when we say that it’s an open syllable?
Beatriz: La sílaba que termina en vocal recibe la denominación de abierta. Por ejemplo, “estudiar”, “es-tu-diar”.
Joseph: Right. So, an open syllable is the syllable that ends with a vowel. And Beatriz’s example “estudiar”, the second syllable “tu”, spelled “t-u”, is an open syllable. And, Beatriz, what then is a closed syllable?
Beatriz: La sílaba que termina en una o más consonantes recibe el nombre de cerrada. Por ejemplo, “correr”, “co-rrer”.
Joseph: Exacto. Exactly. So, when a syllable ends in one or more consonants, it’s called a closed syllable. And again, in the example “correr”, the second syllable “rrer”, spelled “r-r-e-r”, is a closed syllable. Now, let’s make sure that we understand what we mean when we say stressed and unstressed. Beatriz, would you, please, tell us what we mean by stressed?
Beatriz: All right. Aquellas sílabas que soportan la intensidad de la palabra o grupo fónico en que se encuentran situadas, reciben el nombre de acentuadas. Por ejemplo, “referir”, “re-fe-rir”.
Joseph: Good. So, the syllables that support the intensity of the word or phonic group in which they’re situated, are called “acentuadas” or stressed. And your example, “referir”, the final syllable “rir”, spelled “r-i-r”, is stressed. And the unstressed syllables, Beatriz, what are they?
Beatriz: Las sílabas que no poseen una intensidad del mismo grado que las acentuadas, reciben el nombre de átonas o no acentuadas. Por ejemplo, “soldados”, “sol-da-dos”.
Joseph: Right. So, the syllables that don’t possess an intensity of the same degree as the stressed ones are called unstressed. Wow. We’ve gone through a lot of definitions here. Beatriz, what do you say we run through the vowels to show everyone exactly how this works?
Beatriz: Sounds like a great idea.
Joseph: For each vowel, let’s give an example of a case in which it’s used in an open syllable, in stressed and unstressed positions, and then when it’s used in a closed syllable, again, in stressed and unstressed positions.
Beatriz: Me parece muy bien.
Joseph: Ok. Here we go. Let’s start with the “A”.
Beatriz: La “A”.
Joseph: As an open syllable, in a stressed position we hear:
Beatriz: “Macho”.
Joseph: Once again?
Beatriz: “Macho”.
Joseph: Right. And “macho” means “male”. And now, as an open syllable and in unstressed position:
Beatriz: “Moza”.
Joseph: One more time?
Beatriz: “Moza”.
Joseph: Right. And “moza” means “waitress”. Now, as a closed syllable in a stressed position, that “A” sounds like this:
Beatriz: “Sentar”.
Joseph: Once more?
Beatriz: “Sentar”.
Joseph: Right. And “sentar” means “to sit”. And finally, as a closed syllable in an unstressed position:
Beatriz: “Carnoso”.
Joseph: And one more time?
Beatriz: “Carnoso”.
Joseph: Right. And “carnoso” means “meaty”. So, now, we’ve covered the sounds of the vowel “A” for open and closed syllables, in stressed and unstressed positions. Now, let’s move on to the “E”.
Beatriz: La “E”.
Joseph: As an open syllable, in a stressed position we hear:
Beatriz: “Flecha”.
Joseph: One more time?
Beatriz: “Flecha”.
Joseph: Right. And “flecha” means “arrow”. And now, as an open syllable in an unstressed position:
Beatriz: “Vale”.
Joseph: One more time?
Beatriz: “Vale”.
Joseph: Right. And “vale” means “good” or “it’s worth it”. Now, as a closed syllable, in a stressed position, the “E” sounds like this:
Beatriz: “Comer”.
Joseph: One more time?
Beatriz: “Comer”.
Joseph: Right. And “comer” means “to eat”. And finally, as a closed syllable in an unstressed position:
Beatriz: “Fomentar”.
Joseph: One more time?
Beatriz: “Fomentar”.
Joseph: Right. And “fomentar” means “to promote”. So, now, we’ve covered the sounds of the vowel “E”, for open and closed syllables, in stressed and unstressed positions. All right. Let’s continue with the vowel “I”.
Beatriz: La “I latina”.
Joseph: As an open syllable, in a stressed position, we hear:
Beatriz: “Sino”.
Joseph: And once again?
Beatriz: “Sino”.
Joseph: Right. And “sino” means “but” or “but rather”. Now, as an open syllable, in an unstressed position:
Beatriz: “Fantástico”.
Joseph: One more time.
Beatriz: “Fantástico”.
Joseph: Right. And “fantástico” means “fantastic”. Now, as a closed syllable, in a stressed position, the “I” sounds like this:
Beatriz: “Pulir”.
Joseph: And once more?
Beatriz: “Pulir”.
Joseph: Right. And “pulir” means “to polish”. Finally, as a closed syllable, in an unstressed position:
Beatriz: “Pintura”.
Joseph: And one more time?
Beatriz: “Pintura”.
Joseph: Great. And “pintura” means “painting” or “picture”. So, now, we’ve covered the sounds of the vowel “I”, for open and closed syllables, and again, in stressed and unstressed positions. Now, let’s move on with the vowel “O”.
Beatriz: La “O”.
Joseph: As an open syllable, in a stressed position, we hear:
Beatriz: “Tomas”.
Joseph: All right. Once more?
Beatriz: “Tomas”.
Joseph: Right. And “tomas” means “you take”. Now, as an open syllable, in an unstressed position:
Beatriz: “Rizo”.
Joseph: Right. One more time?
Beatriz: “Rizo”.
Joseph: Great. And “rizo” means “curl”. Now, as a closed syllable, in a stressed position, we hear:
Beatriz: “Amor”.
Joseph: Right. One more time?
Beatriz: “Amor”.
Joseph: Great. And “amor” means “love”. And finally, as a closed syllable, in an unstressed position:
Beatriz: “Contar”.
Joseph: And one more time?
Beatriz: “Contar”.
Joseph: Right. And “contar” means “to tell” or “to count”. So, now, we’ve covered the sounds of the vowel “O”, for open and closed syllables, in stressed and unstressed positions. Great. All right. To finish up, let’s go over the vowel “U”.
Beatriz: La “U”.
Joseph: As an open syllable, in a stressed position, we hear:
Beatriz: “Uva”.
Joseph: One more time?
Beatriz: “Uva”.
Joseph: Right. And “uva” means “grape”. Now, as an open syllable, in an unstressed position, we hear:
Beatriz: “Pulimos”.
Joseph: One more time?
Beatriz: “Pulimos”.
Joseph: Right. And “pulimos” means “we posh”. Now, as a closed syllable, in a stressed position, the “U” sounds like this:
Beatriz: “Pulso”.
Joseph: One more time?
Beatriz: “Pulso”.
Joseph: Right. And “pulso” means “pulse”. Finally, as a closed syllable, in an unstressed position:
Beatriz: “Juntar”.
Joseph: Once more?
Beatriz: “Juntar”.
Joseph: Great. And “juntar" means “to join” or “to bring together”. So, now, we’ve covered the sounds of the vowel “U”, for open and closed syllables, in stressed and unstressed positions, and in doing so, we’ve covered all of the vowels. Now, if you’re just starting out with Spanish, the differences that we’ve focused on here may seem a little bit hard to recognize.
Beatriz: Claro, pero realmente vale la pena aprender esas diferencias en los inicios de los estudios.
OUTRO
Joseph: Yes, Beatriz. I think you’re right. It is worthy to learn these differences in the beginning of Spanish studies. You know, pronunciation is the kind of thing that’s all about habits. And once you have a bad habit, it’s much harder to change it than it is to form a good habit from the start. That’s it for today’s lesson. Be sure to check out our regional audio blogs coming to you from Madrid, España, y la Ciudad de México in México. Also, feel free to use our form for your questions, and if you like to leave us a comment we’ll be happy to respond. Don’t be a stranger!
Beatriz: ¡No se pierdan!

9 Comments

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SpanishPod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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Can you hear the slight differences in pronunciation between these vowel sounds? Which ones give you the most trouble?

SpanishPod101.com
Thursday at 1:18 pm
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Hola Kay,


Thank you for your comment.

You can look for them on the search space with the keyword "regional".

Sigamos practicando.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Kay
Saturday at 4:02 am
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Regional audio blogs?.

donde están? Gracias Kay


Spanishpod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 12:26 pm
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Hola Kiri,


Thank you for your comment!

I just check the PDF and seems to be find. Please try it again.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Kiri
Monday at 4:29 am
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The PDF Lesson Guide seems to be truncated at the end of page 4. Can you check it?


Thanks!

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 12:00 pm
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Hola Esteban,


Muy bien!

:sunglasses:

Sigamos practicando.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Esteban
Monday at 12:12 am
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Ok, I think I got it. With "deja" you are using the second person singular "Imperativo". My suggestion to use "dejas" is the second person singular "Indicativo Presente".


I thought "degas" was using the third person "Indicativo Presente". That was part of my confusion. If the sentence was in context or I was actually talking to the person, I would know if I was using "tu" or "usted".

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Sunday at 3:03 am
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Hola Esteban,


If you use "dejas" sound more like a suggestions. You can use both, but the sense of the sentence can change a little.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Esteban
Wednesday at 4:10 pm
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From vocab section:


Deja que te cuente una cosa.

"Let me tell you something."


Since "te" is used, why isn't it "Dejas" instead of "Deja"?