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Learn Spanish Online - Interactive Spanish Lessons for Adults and Children
Lesson 1: Getting Started

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Spanish sounds and pronunciation (I)

When you study Spanish pronunciation on this page, please try to guess the meaning of all Spanish words. To check whether you guessed right, move the mouse over a Spanish word and wait for a second before a field with the English translation of this word should show up.

This page is divided into two parts and consists mainly of pronunciation tables, which list all existing Spanish sounds. Each sound is linked to one or more letters and is accompanied by an English word, which includes the respective Spanish sound. You also find some Spanish example words to each given sound as well as some audio examples. The following two pages will teach you how to correctly pronounce vowels, consonants, diphthongs (double sounds) and combinations of consonants in Spanish.

Vowels:
Look at the following table and use our audio examples to learn the Spanish vowels. The 'y' is considered a vowel in Spanish as well.

sound/ letter: Spanish ExamplesEnglish examples
a
hablar
,
también
master (brit.), after (brit.)
e
correr
,
ensalada
non-existent in English
i
dormir
,
igualmente
eel, Steven
o
chico
,
oficina
close to: owl, goal
u
usted
,
jugo
school, fool
y
yoga
,
y
  (and)
yoga
, yacht


Consonants:
Now please have a look at the next table. It contains only the sounds of those consonants in Spanish, which differ in their pronunciation with respect to their English counterparts. Listen to the audio examples and try to repeat aloud what you hear.

sound/ letter: Spanish ExamplesEnglish examples
c|computer, center|
camisa
,
gracias
,
centro
|
camisa
,
gracias
,
centro
computer, center
g|great, sometimes 'g' is a sound that doesn't exist in English|
gorila
,
gente
|
gorila
,
gente
great, sometimes 'g' is a sound that doesn't exist in English
h|mute|
hablar
,
hotel
|
hablar
,
hotel
mute
j|no equivalent in English|
jamón
,
frijól
|
jamón
,
frijól
no equivalent in English
ñ|ninja|español,
otoño
|
español,
otoño
ninja
r|rolled 'r' (close to Schottish 'r')|
radio
,
cocinar
|
radio
,
cocinar
rolled 'r' (close to Schottish 'r')
v|veil, vase|
vaso
,
evolver
|
vaso
,
evolver
veil, vase
w|used very very rarely||  w|used very very rarely||
z|zebra|
zapato
,
zanahoria
|
zapato
,
zanahoria
zebra


Maybe you have already noticed some rules here:
  1. The Spanish 'c' is pronounced like a 'k', if it comes in front of 'a', 'o', 'u' or a consonant. But, if 'c' precedes an 'e' or 'i', it is pronounced like the 's' in 'sea' or 'sober'.
  2. The 'g' in Spanish is sometimes pronounced like a 'g' in English ('gorilla'), but sometimes it is produced in the throat and there is no English equivalent to that sound.
  3. The 'ñ' is like a 'nj' in English.
  4. 'R's in Spanish are rolled.



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pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12        vocabularies       Exercises [A] [B] [C] [D]

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