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Pronunciation Guide
Use this guide as a beginner's approximation of the Spanish sound system. The sounds on this page do not represent Castilian Spanish pronunciation (the accent common in Spain) but rather Latin American pronunciations more prevalent in the Americas.

Click on the Spanish words to hear them spoken (If they don't play immediately, you may need to download VLC or some similar app that plays all types of media).

• A -- always pronounced "ah", as in father
           (Spanish example: gracias)
• E -- always pronounced as a short E, as in best, ten, dress
          (Spanish example: inglés)
• I -- always pronounced "ee", as in feet, wheel, bee
          (Spanish example: si)
• O -- always pronounced as a short O, as in doctor, but with the lips a little more rounded. It is always a pure vowel with no trace of the U sound (diphthong) which is present in the English pronunciation of no.
          (Spanish example: doctor)
• U -- always pronounced "oo", as in fool, pool.
          (Spanish example: uno)

• B -- Similar to the English B but less plosive; between vowels it is pronounced very softly so that the lips touch only slightly.
           (Spanish example: bebida)
• C -- As in English, before A, O and U it is pronounced as a K, as in can
           (Spanish example: cacharro)
      -- Before E or I the C is pronounced as an S as in cent. In Spain the C before E and I is pronounced "th".
           (Spanish example: ciudad)
• CC -- Pronounced very similar to the CC in "accident"
          (Spanish example: accidente)
• CH -- Pronounced the same as CH in English; no longer a letter of the Spanish alphabet
          (Spanish example: cacharro)
• D -- Similar to the English D in bed but with the tongue further forward; between vowels or as the last letter of a word it is pronounced very softly similar to the "th" in the
           (Spanish example: ciudad)
• G -- Before A, O or U it is pronounced as the G in get
           (Spanish example: gato)
      -- Before E or I it is pronounced like the English H but more emphatic.
        (Spanish example: general)
• H -- Always silent in Spanish. Hotel is pronounced "otel"
           (Spanish example: hotel)
• J -- Always pronounced like the English H but more emphatic
           (Spanish example: jalapeño)
• LL -- Always pronounced as the Y in yes.
           (Spanish example: ella)
• ñ -- This Spanish character is pronounced NY as in canyon
           (Spanish example: español)
• R -- Slightly trilled
           (Spanish example: hora)
       R[-word] -- When it is the first letter of a word, it is strongly trilled.
           (Spanish example: Costa Rica)
• RR -- Always strongly trilled.
           (Spanish example: arroz)
• V -- In Spain and many parts of South America there is no difference between the "v" and the "b"
           (Spanish example: video)
• Y -- pronounced as the English Y, except when it stands alone (y is Spanish for and) then it is pronounced "ee" as in tree
           (Spanish example: cinco y media [five thirty])
• Z -- In South America the Z is pronounced as the English S; in Spain the Z is closer to the "th" in the English word bath
           (Spanish example: diez)

• QUE -- pronounced "ke" as in kept
           (Spanish example: ¿Qué pasa?)
• QUI -- pronounced "kee" as in keep
           (Spanish example: quince)
• GUE -- pronounced "ge" as in guest and get
           (Spanish example: gueto)
• GUI -- pronounced "gee" as in geese
           (Spanish example: guitarra )
• CIÓN -- pronounced "see-on", the Spanish equivalent of –TION ending as in civilization
          (Spanish example: civilización)

The remaining letters are pronounced as they are in English with only very slight variations.

Adapted from, sounds provided by Señora Raquel

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