Back to Basics - Page 1
It is very important to be able to pronounce the vowels correctly, which, in Spanish, are always pronounced the same way.
Repeat after me: a, e, i, o, u
Now the first part of the alphabet: a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, g, h, i
The next part: j, k, l, ll, m, n, ñ, o, p, q
And the last part: r, rr, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z
Important Points About Pronunciation
There are certain consonants that are pronounced in words a little bit differently than in English. For example, the letter "r" is distinct sounding. (Listen below to the word "arbusto.") Also, the letter "d" is a little bit like "th." Listen at the bottom of this page to the word "comida."
Spanish words that end in a vowel, "n," or "s," by default, are pronounced with emphasis on the second-to-last syllable, unless there is an accent mark, in which case you emphasize that syllable. So, when words end on other consonants, such as "d," or "l," the stress is on the last syllable. Listen to the following:
These words end in a vowel: el arbusto, la mantequilla, la comida (the bush, the butter, the food)
This phrase has a word with an accent, and a word ending in "d": el cinturón de seguridad (the seat belt)
The letter "r" is rolled, just like the "rr," when it comes as the first letter in a word.
Rolling the "r": ropa, roja, rodeado (clothes, red, surrounded)
The "ll" is pronounced a little bit like the "j" in English: lluvia, llorar, llena (rain, to cry, full)
The letter "h" is silent: herida, hemorragia, hambre (wound, hemorrhage, hunger)
The letter "ñ" basically sounds as follows: muñeca, mañana, piña (wrist, morning, pineapple)
The letter "j" sounds like the letter "h" in English: jabón, jueves, juntos (soap, Thursday, together)
The letter "y" sounds like "j" in English when it begins a word, otherwise it justs sounds like "y" in English: ya, yo, muy, ley (now, I, very, law)