Spanish Alphabet and Pronunciation
Do you want to learn the Spanish alphabet? In Spanish, they call it the abecedario.
At the top of this page, we have a tool for learning the Spanish alphabet in order. Below that is a tool for learning to spell your name in Spanish and below that is a Spanish alphabet chart with audio.
Learn the Spanish Alphabet
Learn to Spell Your Name in Spanish
Knowing how to say the alphabet in order is not the same thing as knowing how to do something useful with it like spelling your name on the phone.
So here’s how to learn to spell your name.
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Days of the Week
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The first vowel of the abecedary sounds like “ah”, the one that you use to express realization. For example: Ah, I didn’t know it!
You might have used this one before since it sounds like the English b when it’s between two vowels.
In English this letter can sound like a k. It can also sound like an s (or th in Spain) when placed before an e or i.
There’s not much difference between the Spanish d and the English d. It can also sound like the th would in English, usually when it’s between two vowels.
This one can sound like the Eh that Canadians use when they are in doubt and you want to be more clear. “Hot enough for you Eh?
Sounds exactly like the English f
This letter often sounds like the English g. But as in cases before, when it’s behind e or I, it sounds like a very hard h.
In Spanish this letter is almost always muted. But some words are pronounced as in other languages, although maintaining the aspiration. Háwáii is a good example.
This vowel is a shorter version of the English e.
This is pronounced similarly to the English h.
An unusual letter in Spanish. Can sound pretty much like the k in English.
It’s similar to the English l, but said with your tongue raised near the top of your mouth, instead of a bit dropped down.
Sounds exactly like the English m.
Sounds exactly like the English n.
This is quite a bit different than either the Spanish n or the English n. The Spanish Ñ sounds like the English ny or ni combination used in the words onion or canyon.
A quicker and shorter version of the English o.
Really close to the English p, but it doesn’t use as much breath.
This letter only appears when followed by u. It is pronounced like the English k.
When it’s alone, it sounds like the r in the word party. When it’s repeated two times: “rr” it’s pronounced like the tt in the word hotter. We know it’s difficult, just repeat hotter until you get it. Try to make your tongue vibrate. It’s also pronounced this way when there is just one r, but it’s located at the beginning of the word.
Sounds exactly like the English s.
More subtle than the English version. But in Spanish, instead of letting your breath explode, it requires only touching your teeth.
Sounds almost exactly like the oo in loop.
This sounds very similar to the Spanish b, and is often confused for it.
Similar to the English w, you might also hear it called doble ve.
Similar in pronunciation to the ks sound in English (rocks, locks), though it can vary by region.
Generally sounds like the English y (yellow) when used in a word.
Sounds like the English s, though it more resembles the “th” sound in many regions of Spain.
The teacher who made these recordings has an educated Latin American accent.
Interested in Other Approaches to the Spanish Alphabet?
Check out the BBC page for the Spanish alphabet. The Royal Academy of Spanish occasionally changes the official alphabet.
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