Learn Spanish: A Free Blog Series #2
If you’re here, that must mean you liked the first instalment of the Learn Spanish: A Blog Series, so that’s always a good sign!
I have written out this pronunciation guide focussed at English Speakers, so if you are from elsewhere, tune into your English alphabet!
The Spanish alphabet has 27 letters, the extra being the ñ, like in Español.
The letters names are as follows:
a (a), be (b), ce (c), de (d), e (e), efe (f), ge (g), hache (h), i (i), jota (j), ka (k), ele (l), eme (m), ene (n), eñe (ñ), o (o), pe (p), cu (q), erre (r), ese (s), te (t), u (u), uve (v), doble uve (w), equis (x), ye (y), zeta (z)
The Spanish letter pronunciations are as follows:
Please note: The stress is on the capitalised words.
Feel free to save this image to your device to practice!
It’s Easy as ABC
The English language is incredibly difficult. Letters that sound different when paired with a certain letter. Letters that are sometimes soft and sometimes hard. Letters that are sometimes silent like the ‘b’ in lamb, and then something harsh like the ‘b’ in butter.
Unlike English, Spanish doesn’t have such an unmethodical relationship. Normally, how a word is spelt and how it is pronounced is exactly the same. You pronounce all of the letters. But, of course, there are a few exceptions, which we will come to later!
In Spanish, there is almost one sound for each letter and each letter has its own sound. No “cut” and “chair” around here!
Some Important Bits
In Spanish, the B and the V are pronounced the same, they are a B sound. Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Ibiza. They are sound like an English B.
Accents: á, é, í, ó, ú, ü, these are all found in the Spanish language. The accent is used to show where the stress of the word is!
You have to be super careful with these, words with an accent can mean completely different to words without an accent.
If there isn’t an accent on the final word ending in a vowel, ‘n’ or ‘s’, then the syllable is stressed on the one before the final one. Carne, which means meat.
If there is an accent, you stress that syllable. carné, (carnay), which means an ID card.
What Happened to LL and Ch?
If you’ve got an old Spanish language book, you’re probably looking for ‘ll’ and ‘ch’ and wondering why I haven’t written them on the alphabet!
The Royal Spanish Academy has removed the letters from the official alphabet, so there are fewer letters to learn!
You may also be wondering why ‘y’ is ‘yay’ and not ‘i griega’. This has also been part of the recent changes in the Spanish language.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
Language learning takes time, and starting with the alphabet is super important. Try and test yourself and practice the alphabet as much as you can!