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Spanish Pronunciation

Most people who speak English will find that learning to pronounce words in Spanish is not too difficult. While there might be a few tricky phrases or techniques, most of them will come quite quickly. The alphabets both have a basis in the same Roman alphabet, so you will not have to worry about any strange letters creeping their way into the Spanish words that you are learning. The pronunciation of words and phrases can differ slightly depending on geographic location. However, you should find that most people who speak the Spanish language are going to be able to understand what you are saying even if the pronunciation is slightly different because of the region.

Sounds and Syllables

The language has five vowels (a, e, i, o, u) just as the English language uses. The pronunciation of the vowels is a bit different though. The “a” sounds like animal, “e” like elefante, the “i” like Ibiza, the “o” is a shorter and crisper version of the English “o”, and “u” sounds more like “oo”. The language has a large number of consonants as well, and for the most part the consonants are going to sound just like their English counterparts sound.

Some of the consonants in Spanish pronunciation are quite different though, and it is important to recognize them. The letter “h” alone has no sound. It is a silent letter. Pairing a “c” in front of the “h” gives a ch sound as in chorizo or Chihuahua. Not that the other “h”s in Chihuahua are silent. The “j” can change based on the speaker. Those who are speaking traditional Spanish will have the “j” make an “h” sound. The letter ñ actually has a “ny sound to it. Thus, the word Español is going to have the ny sound in the third syllable. The letter “v” is English, and it sounds just like “b”.

These are just some of the many differences that you are going to encounter with the consonants. Learning proper Spanish pronunciation might seem like it will take a long time because of all of the differences, but you will find that it really isn’t too hard once you break things down. Understanding the differences in the Spanish language , and how it can even differ from speakers in Mexico to speakers in Spain is important in grasping the language and being able to speak it fluently.