Spanish Language IPA: Get Pronunciation Right!

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The Spanish Language IPA

The Spanish Language IPA is something that you’ll need to learn if you really want to learn the Spanish language quickly and effectively. Learning the Spanish Language IPA will mean you can learn pronunciation from reading, and it’ll mean that your pronunciation is a million times better than it would have been otherwise.

Those are the reasons for learning the Spanish Language IPA, but before I show you what it is, I’ll explain what it is, and why it’s important.

What Is The Spanish Language IPA?

The IPA is the International Phonetic Alphabet. Essentially, some clever fellows decided that with all the alphabets, scripts and logographs of the world, it’d be great if we had a dictionary that could encapsulate them all. They decided that because human languages have a limited amount of sounds, that this alphabet should be based on phonetics.

Voila.

The IPA is a list of correspondences between the letters of the alphabet of a language, and the sound that those letters tend to represent. The Spanish Language IPA is therefore a list of all the sounds that Spanish uses.

The Spanish IPA: The Vowels

A is like the a in “Part” in English.

E is like the e in “bed” in English.

I is like the ee in “Seed” in English.

O is like the o in “Bore” in English.

U is like the oo in “Boot” in English.

The Spanish IPA: The Consonants

B is akin to “bar” in English if it is at the beginning of a word. It is like the b in “tube” if it is within a word.

D is like “Deacon” in English if it occurs at the beginning orf a word. It is like “this” if it occurs within a word.

F is like “face” in English.

G is like “Goat” in English at the beginning of a word. If it occurs during a word, you say it without letting any air out.

Y is like “yacht.”

K is like “Cat.”

L is like “Late” at the beginning of a word. If two occur together, it is like “l-ee-aa.”

M is like “Make”

N is like “Night” at the beginning of a word. During a word, it is like “sing.”

Ñ is like “Canyon.”

P is like  “Place.”

R is pronounced with a slight trill.

S is like “Song.” At the beginning of a word, and like the s in “Prison” during a word.

C and z are both pronounced like the th in “thing.”

EDIT:Commenter Gatsy writes below:

Just to add the detail of “C”:

C + A, O, U: they have strong sound, like “K”. Always.

C + E and C + I: they have soft pronunciation, similar to “th” in Spain and “S” in Latin America.

Z sounds also like “S” in Latin America.

T is like, “Tiger.”

Ch is the same as “Church.”

X is pronounced like the ch in “loch.”

 

 

That should allow you to read a text in Spanish and help you pronounce it, mentally or otherwise, correctly.

 

 

 

About the author

Language Bug

  • Gatsy

    Hello:
    Just to add the detail of “C”:

    C + A, O, U: they have strong sound, like “K”. Always.

    C + E and C + I: they have soft pronunciation, similar to “th” in Spain and “S” in Latin America.

    Z sounds also like “S” in Latin America.

    Good website!

    • languagebug

      Hey Gatsy and thanks for your kind comment.

      I’m glad that you’ve commented with the additions! I’ll edit the post to reflect this, and make your comment a featured one as soon as I work out how!


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