Spanish is one of the beautiful and rhythmic languages spoken by approximately 500 million people. It is known to be the third most spoken language in the planet. Due to the rapid growth of the Hispanic population, it becomes important for one to have knowledge in Spanish in order to understand not only other people but also some interesting instructional materials. It is also vital for various professions in the field of medicine and industry to learn Spanish words in order to understand their clients and communicate with them effectively.
The best way to start learning any language is by learning the correct pronunciations of its words. Learning how to pronounce Spanish words is easy. You only need to take note of the basic principles of pronouncing Spanish words. Here are the basic principles to help you pronounce Spanish words correctly.
- Vowel Pronunciations. Start with the vowels. Since almost all words contain vowels, it is important for you to learn how to pronounce them correctly in order to pronounce the whole Spanish words right as well.
- The first principle in Spanish pronunciation of vowels is pronouncing vowels with one sound. This is due to the fact that the Spanish language contains no diphthongs. For instance, the letter “A” is pronounced as “ah”. Thus, you say the word mal as “m/ah/l” meaning wrong or not well.
- Pronounce Spanish words with the letter “E” as “eh” such as “/eh/s-tah” for esta meaning this.
- Next, the letter “I” is pronounced as “ee” Thus, the word mis is pronounced as “m/ee/s” which means my.
- Say Spanish words with the letter “O” as “oh” such as “mah-ree-p/oh-sah” for mariposa which means butterfly.
- Every time you see the letter “U”, pronounce it as “oo” like the word uno as “/oo/-no”.
- You can also blend vowels such as the word puede as “p/oo/eh-deh” meaning can or may.
- Lastly, Spanish words with the letter “Y” is pronounced as “ee” such as “m/oo/eh” for muy meaning very.
- Consonant Pronunciations. Like in most cases of English pronunciation, leave consonants that are considered as silent letters. However, there are a couple of exceptions such as the letter “H” in the Spanish word hay is pronounced as “ahee”.
- Pronounce Spanish words with “CH” just as you wound in English.
- Say the letters “LL” in Spanish as “Y” in English. For example, tortilla is pronounced as “tor-t/ee/-ya”.
- Pronounce “J” as “H” such as “/h/ooeh-go”.
- Say the letter “ñ” as ny such as the English word onion. For example, niño is pronounced as “nee-/ny/o”.
- Pronounce Spanish words with the letter “R” as rolled R.
- Lastly, pronounce the “Z” as “S” in English. For instance, azul is pronounced as “ah-/s/ool”.
Take note that the one that gives the syllable great stress is the accent mark above the letter. In addition, the next to the last syllable should be accented as well as a general rule. Just follow the above rules and you will learn how to pronounce Spanish words correctly.