Spanish Class 1: how to pronounce the letters of the alphabet.

The Royal Spanish Academy definitively excluded the letters CH, LL, and RR from the alphabet, since, in reality, they are not letters, but digraphs, that is, sets of two letters or graphemes that represent a single phoneme. The Spanish alphabet is thus reduced to the following twenty-seven letters: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z. However, in our table to learn how to pronounce the letters of the Spanish alphabet, we have included them to practice pronunciation with examples of similar words.

Spanish and English have some similar words. For that, some words have been chosen for you to practice the pronunciation of the letters of the Spanish alphabet. You are welcome to practice with the table below.

Recommendations before looking at the table:

Keep in mind that the words are NOT pronounced the same, only the letters of the start or the ones that are in the middle (the case of the letter RR) are pronounced the same.

    • The letter H NEVER pronounces.
    • The letter LL has as an example the word llama which means a South American animal relative of the camel.
    • The letter Ñ does not exist in English, but it is easy to pronounce in Spanish, as a reference you have the word niño or niña (child).
    • The letter Y is usually pronounced “ye” in countries of Latin America, and “i griega” in Spain.
    • The letter V is usually pronounced “ve” in countries of Latin America, and “uve” in Spain. The same goes for the letter W, usually pronounced “doble ve” in countries of Latin America, and “uve doble” in Spain.
LETTER PRONUNCIATION WORD IN SPANISH WORD IN ENGLISH
A A Alcohol Alcohol
B Be Bola Ball
C Ce Centro Center
CH Che Chimpancé Chimpanzee
D De Distancia Distance
E E Elefante Elephant
F Efe Fruta Fruit
G Ge Grupo Group
H Ache Honestidad Honesty
I I Insecto Insect
J Jota Jojoba Jojoba
K Ka Kárate Karate
L Ele Lección Lesson
LL Elle Llama Llama
M Eme Menú Menu
N Ene Neptuno Neptune
Ñ Eñe Ñoqui / Niño Gnocchi
O O Otro Other
P Pe Pirata Pirate
Q Cu Quórum Quorum
R Ere Roca Rock
RR Erre Correcto Correct
S Ese Subtítulo Subtitle
T Te Trampa Trap
U U Universidad University
V Ve / Uve Vídeo Video
W Doble Ve / Uve Doble Whisky Whisky
X Equis Xilófono Xylophone
Y Ye / i griega Yogur Yogurt
Z Zeta Zen Zen

References:

  • Real Academia Española Dictionary – http://www.rae.es
  • Cambridge Dictionary –  https://dictionary.cambridge.org
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