Good evening to everyone and thank you for popping in and learn Spanish with me 🙂
Buenas tardes a todos y gracias por pasarse por aquí para aprender español conmigo 🙂
I wanted to write a blog post showing the Spanish alphabet, so those of you who are just starting off to learn Spanish will find these flashcards quite useful.
Quería escribir un artículo mostrando el alfabeto español, así que aquellos de ustedes que justo están empezando a aprender español encontrarán muy útiles estas tarjetas
So let’s get to the point and familiarise yourself with the sounds of the Spanish alphabet with these flashcards I’ve got ready for you. Just in case you don’t know, they have audio available so you can listen to both the letter and the examples (which you’ll find once you “turn” the flashcard).
Así que vamos al grano y familiarícense con los sonidos del alfabeto español con estas tarjetas que les tengo preparadas. Por si no lo saben, tienen audio disponible, para que puedan escuchar tanto la letra como los ejemplos (que encontrarán al «girar» la tarjeta)
And when you finish, please scroll down as I have a few explanations for you 🙂
Y cuando acaben, vayan abajo que tengo algunas explicaciones para ustedes 🙂
How did you find it? Obviously, it will all depend on your native language and the similarities it may have with this alphabet. If your language don’t share the same alphabet (chinese, japanese, thai…) it’s going to be harder, obviously. But, if that really is the case and you’re here learning Spanish, all I can say is that YOU’RE AMAZING AND WELL DONE!
OK, having said that, I would say Spanish pronunciation is relatively easy, compared to other languages. Once you get used to the sounds, words are pronounced just the way they’re written. Also, there are only 5 vowel sounds, but still you’ll have to get used to them of course.
As you could see in the flashcards, there are a few letters whose sound may change if they are next to specific vowels or letters. Let’s have a look at this in more detail:
The letter “c”
1. When the letter “c” is followed by “a”, “o” and “u”
Then we get the [ka] sound:
Ejemplos: catedral, comida, cumpleaños, concierto (concert), cocinero (cook), cocina (kitchen), cocodrilo (crocodrile)
2. When the letter “c” is followed by “e” or “i”
Then we get the [ce] sound:
Ejemplos: celeste (light blue), cinco (five), cocina (kitchen), cocinero (cook), concierto (concert)
3. When we come across two “c” in a row
The sound is kind of a mixture of the two above, in that order. It’s similar to the [x] sound.
Ejemplos: acción (action), inyección (injection), destrucción (destruction), occidental (occidental), ficción (fiction)
4. When the letter “c” is followed by a “h”
Yes, we said the “h” is a silent letter, but this is an exception of that rule :). We get the sound we find in “Chile”
Ejemplos: Chile (Chile), Chorizo (chorizo), Chupar (to lick), Champú (shampoo), China (China)
The letter “g”
1. When the letter “g” is followed by “a”, “o” or “u”
We get the sound we find in “gorila”, which should be familiar to native speakers of English.
Ejemplos: garganta (throat), gorila (gorila), guante (glove), gato (cat), Guanchito (the name of my dog 🙂
2. When the letter “g” is followed by “e” or “i”
It sounds the same as the Spanish “j”, a more difficult one to pronounce (the sound you find in my name, for example, Jose)
Ejemplos: geranio (geranium), gigante (giant), gigantesco (massive)
3. When the letter “g” is followed by “ue” or “ui”
Then it sounds the same as the first case 🙂
Ejemplos: guepardo (cheetah), guitarra (guitar), hoguera (bonfire), guerrero (warrior), guiso (stew)
4. When the letter “g” is followed by “üe” or “üi”
You may be thinking this is getting difficult now. This is the only case where you’ll find those two points over the letter “u”. Whenever that happens, it sounds like a “w”
Ejemplos: pingüino (penguin), cigüeña (stork), piragüista (canoeist)
There are no many words with “ü”. Those two points over the letter “u” are called diéresis. The usual one is called tilde (´)
The letter “q”
Well, the sound is just the one you heard in the flashcards. All I wanted to say is that you will always find this letter followed by “u”, like in the very examples you saw (and heard)
The letter “r”
1. When the letter “r” is at the beginning of the word
Then we get the strong and more difficult Spanish “r” sound.
Ejemplos: rico (rich, or tasty), rata (rat), restaurante (restaurant), Ramón (Spanish name), rayo (lightning bolt)
2. When the letter “r” is in the middle of the word
Then it sounds a bit softer.
Ejemplos: restaurante (restaurant), abrigo (coat), Perú (Peru), enero (January), geranio (geranium)
Two “L” together, “LL”
We haven’t seen this in the flashcards as it doesn’t belong to the alphabet, strictly speaking. The sound is the same we find in the letter “y”
Ejemplos: llave (key), llavero (key holder), llevar (to take), llueve (it rains), lluvia (rain)
And that’s the Spanish alphabet and the sounds we can find! Hopefully this will help you have a stronger foundation to start building up your knowledge 😉
Now, which of these words resonated with you? Take the chance and learn a few ones; maybe the ones you somehow found easy or familiar.