2012-2013 Page of 2 The Spanish Alphabet Exact sound
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Page 1 of 2 The Spanish Alphabet
Exact sound duplications are not always possible between English and Spanish because not all sounds from one language exist in the other. The most accurate approximations are suggested as an aid to student pronunciation. Fortunately for the student of Spanish, all vowels and many of the consonants have only one sound in Spanish. This is very different to English, where vowels may have many different sounds. Once the sounds of the alphabet are learned and a few simple rules of pronunciation are understood, then any Spanish word can be correctly pronounced just by looking at the way the word is spelled – a vast contrast between Spanish and English!
The names of the letters of the Spanish alphabet: a - a ñ b - be (be larga, be alta) o c - ce p d - de q e - e r f - efe s g - ge t h - hache u i - i v j - jota w k - ka x l - ele y m - eme z n - ene
eñe o pe cu ere ese te u uve (ve corta, ve baja) doble ve (uve doble, doble u) equis i griega (ye) zeta
Spanish vowels and their pronunciations: e - e, as in ‘set’ or ‘bet’ i - i, as in ‘machine’ or ‘field’ a - a, as in ‘father’ or ‘aha!’ o - o, as in ‘calorie’ or ‘omega’ u - u, as in ‘tuna’ or ‘lunar’
Spanish consonants and their pronunciations: b - a sound between the English b, as in ‘boy’ and v, as in ‘vote’ – less “explosive” than the English b, and the lips don’t quite touch c - (1) c, as in or ‘cup’ when followed by a, o, u, or a consonant other than h (2) c, as in ‘city’ when followed by e or i d - d, as in ‘dog’ f - f, as in ‘fast’ g - (1) g, as in ‘go’ when followed by a, o, u, or a consonant (2) a deep h, as in ‘hawk’ when followed by e or i h - always silent or mute
Canton High School
2012-2013 j k l m n ñ p q r
s t v
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a deep h, as in ‘hawk’ k, as in ‘king’ (used primarily in foreign words) l, as in ‘letter’ m, as in ‘mask’ n, as in ‘not’ ny, as in ‘canyon’ or ni, as in ‘onion’ less “explosive” than the English p, as in ‘paid’ k, as in ‘kill’ (used only followed by ue or ui) (1) slightly trilled variation on r, as in ‘run’ when used singly in the middle or end of a word (2) fully trilled variation on r, as in run when used at the beginning of a word or doubly (rr) s as in ‘sink’ less “explosive” than the English t, as in ‘time’ less “explosive” than the English v, as in ‘vote’ – lips almost touch, with the same sound as the Spanish b German style, sort of a combination between w, as in ‘week’ and v, as in ‘veal’ (used primarily in foreign words – ‘wienerschnitzel’) (1) x, as in ‘exact’ (2) like the Spanish j, a deep h, as in ‘hawk’ y, as in ‘yet’ s, as in ‘best’
Two letters, one sound: ch - ch, as in ‘much’ ll - y, as in ‘yet’ rr - See (2) under “r” above.
Canton High School