Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Spanish Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn all 5 Spanish vowel sounds.
ä, e̞, i, o̞, u
With these sounds, you can pronounce any vowel that could possibly appear in Spanish!
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The first vowel is...
ä
rata (rat)
rana (frog)
azahar (orange blossom)
This is similiar to the A sound in the word 'spa' but there is one subtle difference: try to relieve the pressure from the back of the throat a little.
ä, ä (slowly)
ä, ä (slowly)
The next vowel is...
bebé (baby)
escalón (step)
vehemente (earnest)
This is similar to the E sound in the word 'let'.
e̞, e̞ (slowly)
e̞, e̞ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
i
dimitir (to resign)
mío (mine)
tipo (type)
It's identical to the double E sound in the word 'see'.
i, i (slowly)
i, i (slowly)
The next vowel is...
boscoso (forested)
oso (bear)
todo (all)
This is similiar to the O sound in the word 'boring'.
o̞, o̞ (slowly)
o̞, o̞ (slowly)
And the last vowel is...
u
dúo (duet)
cucurucho (cone)
curable (curable)
It's identical to the double OO sound in the word 'boot'.
u, u (slowly)
u, u (slowly)
Did you notice how in all of the examples the Spanish speaker said the vowels short and simply?
This is how you should do it too.
Many Spanish learners tend to stretch out the vowel sounds longer than needed.
Try to be careful about this fact.
Now let's move onto the next topic.
A diphthong, refers to two vowel sounds that are pronounced within the same syllable. You can kind of think of it like gliding from one vowel to the next very quickly.
"English has diphthongs as well.
Take the word 'loin' for example.
It's not pronounced 'lo-in', but 'loin'. "
"Notice how the O transitions into the I very quickly. It's almost like you're trying to merge the two sounds.
'Loin'.
Notice the difference?"
Okay. Now, let's listen to a few examples in Spanish.
gracias (thank you)
gracias
hierba (herb)
hierba
agua (water)
agua
encuentro (meeting)
encuentro
causa (cause)
causa
neutro (neuter)
neutro
aire (air)
aire
trapezoide (trapezoid)
trapezoide
Okay. I think you got the hang of it.
Most vowel sound pairings are diphthongs in Spanish. However, sometimes they're pronounced individually. Listen to the following examples.
tía (aunt)
país (country)
mío (mine)
río (river)
Words that are pronounced seperately are marked with an rising accent from left to right.
We'll cover more about accentuation in lesson 8.
But that's all for vowels!
Well done! You've just learned all 5 vowel sounds in Spanish!
With these sounds, you can properly pronounce any vowel that could possibly appear in the Spanish language! Isn't that great?
In the next lesson, you'll start learning consonant sounds.
Which diphthong is the most difficult to pronounce for you? Let us know in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Spanish Pronunciation Guide lesson!
Diphthongs
A group of two distinct vowels next to each other, pronounced as a single syllable.
English example: boil.
Two kinds: Arising Diphthongs, Falling Diphthongs
Arising, ones where the second element is more sonorous than the first
Formed by a closed U or I and then an open A, E, or O
ia
comedia
ie
hierba
io
cambio
ua
agua
ue
encuentro
ou
antiguo
Falling, those in which the first element is more sonorous than the second
Formed by an open A, E, or O and then a closed U or I
au
causa
ai
paisaje
eu
deuda
ia
penia
oi
trapezoide
This does not include all of the possible diphthongs in the Spanish language, but these are the ones you'll see the most often.
Difference between hiatus
Common mistake: Pronouncing diphthongs as a hiatus
hiatus: two vowels without a pause or intervening consonant sound
Cier (ci-er)
These don't form a single unit
In a haiatus, the vowels belong to different syllables
Poseer
Po-se-er

21 Comments

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SpanishPod101.com
Tuesday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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Leave us a comment if you have any questions-

Javi
Wednesday at 3:13 am
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A dipthong, is it a thong one dip, or do you mean diphthong?

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Saturday at 3:21 pm
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Hola JINN,


Thank you for your question.

Yes, those are accents and they play a really big deal on pronunciation.

Sigamos practicando.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

JINN
Monday at 12:36 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi, I'm pretty new with Spanish and there is something I have not yet got quite a hang of it. For the vowels mentioned, especially a, e, o, there are some marks above/below them. May I know what those marks indicate for and if they play any role in pronunciation or else?

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Thursday at 12:26 pm
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Hola Stefan,


Thank you for your comment.

I believe you will decide that. It's better when you feel you have understand the hole lesson. :sunglasses:


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Stefan
Saturday at 11:28 pm
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I am confused, when am I don with this lesson? When I watched the video or do I have to do the test?

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Saturday at 4:18 am
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Hola Hannah,


Thank you for your comment!

Please keep enjoyin the lessons, if you have any question don´t hesistate in asking.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Hannah Lashley-Bobb
Wednesday at 4:50 am
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I've learned haw to say rathat in Spanish! Thank you

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 1:50 pm
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Hello Steven,


Thank you for posting and pointing out the issue.


We removed the faulty entry from our expanded vocabulary list. Thank you again for your help, we're sorry for the inconvenience.


Let us know if you have any question,

Sincerely,

Stan

Team SpanishPod101.com

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Sunday at 12:57 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hola Steven,


Thank you for your help!

Yes that is right, we'll fix the issue right away.

Have a nice halloween!


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

steven dirks
Thursday at 1:42 pm
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In the expanded vocab section, under the entry for "hierba", there is no text visible after the speaker and microphone icons for the example sentences. If you click those icons, a sentence is heard but it does not include the word "hierba'.