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SmartPhrase language pronunciation guide. Helping you to speak better Spanish and talk with an accent the Spaniards can understand. Explaining the pronunciation of individual letters: consonants and vowels. Pronouncing phonemes and diphthongs. Phonology, phonetics, and dialects of speech. Language pronunciation guide for spoken sounds, speech, talking.

Where is Spanish Spoken?
Spanish is a true world-wide language with around 225 million speakers. Castilian Spanish, the dialect featured on SmartPhrase, is spoken in Castilia, the central region of Spain which includes Madrid and Andalusia in the south of Spain. Spanish is also spoken in most of South America (the exception being Brazil) but with sight regional variations. All of the following countries have a significant population of Spanish-speaking citizens: Spain, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador , Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, United States, and Puerto Rico.

The Alphabet
In Spanish the same 26 letters are used as in the English alphabet. In addition to the sounds found in spoken English, there are also the following: ch, ll, and rr. See below for an explanation of how to pronounce these.

Accents
Acute (, , , , ) accents are used in Spanish to alter the stress on a word. If a word ends in a vowel, or in n or s, then the penultimate syllable is stressed, eg. Historia, palabra. Diaereses (, ) are used above i and u to indicate that the letter should be pronounced.

Consonants (and combinations)

b

starting a phrase, after ma, and after n - like b in boy
• otherwise - as above but lips should not meet

c

• before e or i - like th in thin
• otherwise - like k in kick

ch

• like ch in church

d

starting a phrase, after l, and after n - like d in dog
• otherwise - like th in this

f

• like f in for

g

• before e or i - like ch in Scottish loch, strong and guttoral
starting a phrase, after n - like g in g et

h

• always silent

j

• like ch in Scottish loch, strong and guttoral

k

• like k in kick

l

• like l in love

ll

• like ll in million

m

• like m in made

n

• before v - like m in made
• otherwise - like n in none

p

• at the end of a word - generally silent
• otherwise - like p in put

qu

• like k in kick

r

• rolled/trilled like r in Scottish (generally quieter at the end of a word)

rr

• as r, but rolled/trilled more strongly

s

• before d, g, l, m, n - like s in rose
• otherwise - like s in same

t

• like t in tame

v

starting a phrase, after ma, and after n - like b in boy
• otherwise - as above but lips should not meet

x

• between vowels - like x in box
• otherwise - like s in same

y

• like y in yes



Vowels

a

• like a in pat, but longer

e

• in a syllable ending with a vowel - like e in they
• otherwise - short like e in set

i

• like ee in seek

o

• in a syllable ending with a vowel - like o in note
• otherwise - like o in pot, but very slightly longer

u

• either like u in rule or oo in food
• silent after q, and in the groups gue and gui (not ge, gi though)

y

• at the end of a word (incl. the word y) - like ee in seek

Spanish: Pronunciation
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