This free audio lesson is on the Spanish alphabet. Pronouncing the alphabet in Spanish is one of the key building blocks to Spanish fluency!
Remember your days at kindergarten? You learned the alphabet right? Well, starting with the Spanish alphabet is a great place to start. Spanish is such an easy language to speak. It is phonetic, which means that as long as you memorize the sounds of each letter in the alphabet, you can read ANY word!
Resources for further reading:
The Spanish Alphabet: Audio
You can form almost every sound in Spanish using the English sounds that you already know. Look at the Spanish alphabet below. See if you can pick out the letter that does NOT occur in the English alphabet:
The Spanish Alphabet
If you said ñ you’d be right!
- The ñ sound is pronounced like an n followed by a yay.
How to say the Spanish alphabet
Below is a guide to the pronunciation of the letters of the alphabet. Click on the audio to practice!
(es-eh - almost like ‘S’-ay)
In 2010, the Royal Spanish Academy officially removed two letters (ch and ll) from the alphabet, making it 27 letters instead of 29.
Fortunately for English speakers, the official Spanish alphabet now only has the one additional letter that does not appear in the English alphabet: ñ. (Two of the letters in the Spanish alphabet, k and w, exist only to say words of foreign origin, like “kilómetro” and “whisky.”)
In Latin American countries (specially in the South), around the 60's and 70's, people were taught that "rr" was part of the alphabet, although it was never considered like that by the Royal Spanish Academy. It's important to keep in mind that nowadays, the letter "r" is pronounced "air-eh" (as you hear Mauricio say it!).
For completeness, here are the pronunciation principles of the old letters;
- ch - cheh
- ll - eh-yeh
- rr - err-eh (roll those Rs!)
There are two other letter combinations, "gu" and "qu" that result is a different pronunciation in Spanish, and you may find them quite often. Ultimately, these five combinations are known as "dígrafos" (digraphs).
Can’t get enough of Spanish? Here are some more free Spanish lessons to boost your Spanish:
- Let's take a look at the Spanish consonants.
- Vowels in Spanish are pronounced differently from their English equivalents. Learn more here!
Mauricio Evlampieff: Rocket Spanish