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How to Learn Vowels in Spanish


There are five vowels in Spanish: a, e, i, o, u. Pronounced vowels clearly and distinctly. Unlike Russian and English, in Spanish there is no reduction of unstressed vowels - all Spanish vowels are pronounced equally clearboth in stressed syllable and unstressed.

A a

Pronounced as Russian percussion sound [a] - Pbutthe mouth

ambos, madre, mapa

E e

Pronounced as Russian percussion sound [e] - uhthat one

compadre, café, embarcar

I i

At the beginning of a word, it is pronounced as a syllable vowel [and] — willow

After the vowels are pronounced like a non-syllable sound [th] — riotously

Before vowels, pronounced as a slit consonant [th] whose pronunciation, the noise, although weak, is nevertheless heard clearly

O o

Pronounced like a Russian percussion sound [o], but with a large rounding of the lips - aboutpen

teléfono, amo, foco

U u

Pronounced like a Russian percussion sound [y], but the lips are rounded more energetically - atho

universo, reunión, unidos

Y y

Pronounced like a Russian sound [and]

Pronounced as half-vowel [th] -krath

In Spanish, vowels are divided into strong (a, e, o) and weak (i, u).

The combinations of two vowels (weak and strong, strong and weak, two weak), as well as the combination of three vowels (weak, strong, weak), pronounced as one syllable with one stress, are called diphthongs and trifthongs.

In a diphthong with a vowel u each vowel is read, and the strong vowel in this combination is always stressed, and the weak vowel u pronounced briefly: auto [and then], Europa [u ro ro], bueno [b y eno].

Combinations: ai, ei, oi, ia, ie, io pronounced as [ah] [Hey] [Oh] [ya] [ye] [yo] respectively:

dais [dice] you're giving

coméis [case] you eat

Combinations: iai,iei,ioi,uai,uei,uoi pronounced as [yay] [yay] [yoy] [ atah] [ atHey] [ atOh]:

averiguáis [aβerig u ic] you are exploring

limpiáis [limpjays] you are cleaning

A combination of two weak vowels, for example: iu, uiare pronounced as [yu], [ at and], and the stress falls on the second vowel:

viudo [byudo] widower

fuíste [f u iste] you were

Vowel combinations in which graphic stress is placed above a weak vowel, do not form diphthongs or trifthongs:

día [di] day

baúl [baul] suitcase

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Vowels a, e, i, o, u

Vowels a, e, i, o, u pronounced almost the same way as the corresponding Russian sounds a, e, and, oh, y . The only difference is that the Spanish letter e , in fact, pronounced as something between the Russian "e" and "e". In transcription, we will designate it as [e].

In Spanish, words are spoken, basically the same way they are spelled. Vowels "o "and"e " never not pronounced as "a "and"i ", as in Russian (about cnoabout tank). Reading the word "so mbrero " the Spaniard will never say "sbut mbrerbut "he will surely say" withabout mbrerabout ". This is the first pronunciation rule you need to remember: vowels a, e, i, o, u always read like a, e, and, oh, y , there are no other pronunciation options for these letters.

Another important point to pay attention to is that consonants do not relent before vowels. "e "and"i ", unlike the Russian language: , etc., in this case the sounds t, d remain solid and are not pronounced as soft ti, qi.

As an example, we give the word "discoteca", which is pronounced and translated in Russian in a similar way. When a Russian person pronounces the word "disco", the sound "d "turns soft"q "and sound"t "also turns soft"to ". The Spaniard leaves the sounds" d "and" t "solid, and it turns out something like a" search engine ".

Here is a tongue twister that you try to report correctly

Trabalenguas (patter): El tíoTimoteotieneuna tienda (translation: Uncle Timoteo has a store)

Read the words, paying attention to the correct pronunciation

ma, me, mi, mo, mu, mano, mapa, cama, dama, drama, mamá, malo, mal, marca, martes, goma, pluma, Dinamarca, problema, sistema, María, camarero, más o menos, mesa, América, metro, metal, minuto, camisa, miércoles, como, moto, amor, te amo, mucho, muy, muy mal, muy bien

na, ne, ni, no, nu, un, una, uno, luna, Ana, Anita, bonito, bonita, semana, ventana, enero, dinero, lunes, negro, peine, nevera, sano, mano, sino, bueno, italiano, peruano, noche, nosotros, temprano, monótono, son, con, limón, salón, cartón, rincón, banco, blanco, número, nunca, Norteamérica, Panamá, tanto, planta, pantalón, bien, también ,ran domingo

pa, pe, pi, po, pu, papá, para, mapa, copa, tapa, apartamento, ¿qué pasa? , papel, pepe, pelo, pero, perú, espejo, peine, perfecto, apetito, pino, pepino, piloto, pintor, por, ¿por qué? , punto, puerta, pronto

la, le, li, lo, lu, los, las, hola, Lola, lápiz, blanco, lámpara, sala, lana, largo, claro, clase, catalán, planeta, él, pelo, tele, Elena, lengua, letra, maleta, leer, limón, sólo, malo, color, calor, suelo, Polonia, libro, lindo, litro, boli, bolígrafo, Lima, luna, alumno, bolso, alto, mil, mal, tal, papel, oval, postal, Manuel, manual, sol, gol, fútbol, ​​cristal, fatal, azul, material, español, Brasil, Portugal, teléfono móvil

ta, te, ti, to, tu, tal, ¿qué tal? , metal, cristal, planeta, patata, hasta, taxista, estante, cantante, té, tele, teléfono, tema, sistema, discoteca, techo, tren, letra, otro, teatro, suerte, martes, material, cartera, interesante, transparente , tomate, tipo, tío, cortina, latino, América Latina, tiempo, tienda, entiendo, plástico, tortita, foto, moto, esto, tanto, bonito, secreto, corto, pronto, ¿y tú? , turista, túnel, atún

fa, fe, fi, fo, fu, fama, falso, falda, gafas, sofá, bufanda, flaco, flor, frase, café, feo, Felipe, profesor, profesión, efecto, perfecto, chófer, fin, final, Filipinas, frigorífico, fiesta, foto, fondo, forma, alfombra, teléfono, fútbol

  • Some interesting materials on pronunciation and other aspects of the Spanish language can be found on a friendly site dedicated to learning different foreign languages ​​

So, in Spanish there are 6 vowels and 22 consonants.

What I want to note right away is that for the Spanish vowels, in comparison with the Russian language, closedness is characteristic, that is, they are pronounced the same way under stress and in unstressed position.

What is the importance: for example, you said “Muchacho / a”, drowning out the ending. Thus, you enter the Spaniards into a slight bewilderment: "They say senor, you still decide a boy or a girl." It would seem that one sound, but the meaning has changed dramatically.

Regarding vowels, I would like to note that in Spanish there is no softening of consonants before vowels. You will be convinced of this a little later, when we consider the pronunciation and I will direct you to listen to Spanish words.

Aa [a] - mama ", papa, amor

  • at the beginning of the word and after m and n it looks like a Russian B - bomba.

Note: the consonant [n] before [b] inside the word and at the junction of words sounds like [m] - un vaso

  • - in other cases, it is similar to the Russian "B" - beber (drink), trabajar (work-grass)
  • before a, o, u reads as [k] - casa (house), Cuba (Cuba)
  • before i, e - reads as [Ǿ] Imagine that the tongue does not fit in the mouth and therefore is clamped by the front teeth - cine (cinema), cena (dinner).

Ch - reads like Russian "Ch" - muchacha (girl), chica (girl).

  • at the beginning of the word it reads like Russian “D” - donde (where)
  • [I did not find a symbol for this sound] A sound is formed when the tip of the tongue touches the lower edge of the upper incisors, while leaving a wide enough gap for the passage of air. At the end of a word, and especially before a pause and in words ending in -ado, the sound is pronounced very weakly, and in the conversation it is almost not pronounced. - Madrid

Ee - similar to the Russian sound "E" - febrero (February - fevrelo)

Ff - [f] is similar to the Russian "F" - facil (easy - cut), dificil

  • before a, o, u pronounced as the Russian sound "G" - gato (cat), gusto (taste)
  • before i and e [Russian X] - gente (people)
  • between the vowel and in other cases - a weak Г - pagar (pay). Our teacher warned us not to turn this G into the Ukrainian "He".

Hh - unreadable - ahora (now / aora)

Jj - [x] - jinete (rider), junta (thought)

Kk - rarely used. If it’s already used, it’s exclusively like the Russian “K” - kilo, Kremlin

Ll - Soft Ale! La "mpara (table lamp), lucir (sparkle)

Double el ll - [th] calle (street), llorar (cry)

Mm - [m] - momento (moment)

Nn - [n] - nueve (tree)

Ňñ - [nn] - niña (girl), año (year)

O - [o] - tesoro (treasure)

P - [pe!] Pero (preposition no)

  • at the beginning of the word a rolling Re like a tiger! - russo, rio (river)
  • in other cases, the usual re - prensa (press)

Ss - [с Russian] - sombrero (hat), siesta

Tt - [t Russian] - te "(tea), tintero (inkwell)

Uu - [u Russian] club, cucurucho (bag)

Xx - [xs] - e "xito (success)

Zz - [Ǿ] - similar to CC pronunciation in some cases (see above) Zaragoza

qui - quinto (fifth part)

gui [gi] - giitarra

Funny combination of letters nv. Contrary to logic, it reads - mb

that is, the word invitar reads like an imitar.

This completes the pronunciation study. Now all that remains is to listen and train yourself.

For training, I advise you to visit the following site, since it’s difficult to learn good pronunciation on paper. =)

If you know any European language, then learning Spanish will not cause any difficulties. If this is the first language that you want to learn, then it’s also not scary, since we will start from the very beginning, from the alphabet.

But before you start - a small digression. For several years now, I have been living in Latin America, in Peru. And the Peruvians are proud that they managed to keep the language as it was during the time of the Spanish conquerors. If we compare the language of Spain and Peru, then the main difference is the lack of Spanish "cursing." Listen to the songs of Spanish artists, and you will hear that they do about the same as the English - they pronounce the sound C as interdental th in English. And since almost all discs and tapes were recorded in Spain, dialogs and texts abound with this sound. When I learned the language, it caused a lot of fun in the group. I propose to keep in mind this feature of Spanish pronunciation and use it on my trip to Spain. In the same course, we will not break our tongue and begin to pronounce C as in Russian.

Two more mandatory points - pronounce the letter E always as E.

And always try to pronounce the letter L gently.

Below is a table with the letters and sounds of the Spanish alphabet, as well as examples of words. Let’s take the names as examples, so that there is no need to access the dictionary in the first lesson. But even in order to read these first words correctly in Spanish, we need to know a few reading rules.

  1. We read the word with a “Vologda” accent, we bite. That is, if I see the word “milk”, then I should not pronounce it “malakó”, as in Russian, but “molokó”.
  1. We read what we see. Except for the letter H. It is never pronounced. The logical question is - why write it then? I will answer the question with a question: Why do we write the letter In the word “Hello”? It just so happened.
  1. We emphasize the penultimate syllable if the word ends in a vowel or in the consonants N, S: O lga E dwin, ale xis.
  1. If the word ends in any other consonant (except N, S), then the stress is placed on the last syllable: Davi d, isabe l.
  1. In case of deviation from points 3 and 4, a graphic accent mark is placed above the stressed syllable: Borí s, Antó n

F fefeFrank
G ghehGaspar
H hacheHector
I iandInés
J jhotaJavier
K kkaKevin
L leleLaura
M memeManuel
N neneNicolás
Ñ ñenieÑaki
O oaboutOlga
P ppePedro
Q qkuQori
R reraRicardo
S seseSara
T tteTamara
U uatÚrsula
V vuveViviana
W wuedobleWendy
X xEkisXimena
Y yand griegaIvonne
Z zsetaZósimo
LetterPronunciation Features
AaLike Russian A.
BbLike Russian B.
CcIn combination with A, O, U is pronounced K.

In combination with E, I is pronounced C.

DdLike Russian D.

At the end of the word is almost inaudible.

EeAlways like Russian E.
F fLike Russian F.
G gIn combination with A, O, U is pronounced G.

In combination with E, I is pronounced X.

When combined with a GUI, GUE is pronounced as G, while U is not pronounced.

H hNever pronounce
I iLike Russian I.
J jLike Russian H.
K kLike Russian K.
L lLike Russian L.

M mLike Russian M.
N nLike Russian N.
Ñ ñLike Russian NY.
O oAlways oh
P pLike Russian P.
Q qLike Russian K.

In a combination of QUI, QUE is pronounced K, while U is not pronounced.

R rAt the beginning of the word, after a pause, and also after the letters N, L is pronounced PP
S sLike Russian S.
T tLike Russian T.
U uLike Russian U.
V vLike Russian B (practically does not differ from the second letter of the alphabet in pronunciation).
W wLike Russian V.
X xLike a Russian cop.
Y yLike Russian I.

Like Russian Y at the end of a word and combined with vowels.

Z zLike Russian S.

In Spain - like English ts.

In some alphabets, you can still find two additional letters, or rather a combination of letters - CH and LL. But in 1994 they were officially excluded from the alphabet, precisely because these are letter combinations, not letters,

In modern Spanish, as you can see, 27 letters.

Of these, only 5 are vowels.

In the next lesson, we'll talk about diphthongs and trifthongs in Spanish

Lesson Assignments

1. Read the alphabet several times.
2. Write the letters.
3. Read the names.
4. Type your name in Spanish.

Both in Spain and in Latin America Spanish (Spanish - español ) are also called castilian (Spanish - castellano ) in accordance with the name of the region in which it originated (in the medieval kingdom of Castile, which included the modern territory of the province of Burgos, the autonomous regions of La Rioja and Cantabria in northern Spain). This underlines its difference from other languages ​​of Spain, since there are still Catalan, Galician, Basque, Aran, Aragonese and Asturian languages.

Spaniards themselves usually call their language Spanish if it is mentioned together with foreign languages, and Castilian when they are mentioned together with other languages ​​of Spain.

Any language you need to start learning from the alphabet.

So, in the Spanish alphabet, 27 letters and several letter combinations (two consonants - ch , ll and rrdigraphs which in the Spanish alphabet do not have separate letters).

In spanish everything 5 vowels - a, e, i, o, u - they are pronounced loudly and are not unstressed. The vowels may be stressed to indicate or otherwise make sense of the word.

Also in Spanish, vowels have their own peculiarity: they can form diphthongs.

Diphthongs - a combination of two specific vowels (strong and weak or two weak), which are inseparable from each other and are included in one (!) syllable. Weak vowels are -"i" and "u" .

ei, ai, oi, eu, au, ou,

ie, ia, io, ue, ua, uo,

There is still a separate sign ñ - with the delta, and ü (colon above the letter) - trema. Delta denotes soft sound diaeresis - separate pronunciation.

Spanish is a modified version of the Latin alphabet.

The name of the 27 letters of the Spanish alphabet

(Spanish - Nombre de las 27 letras del alfabeto español ):

Letter spellingLetter name , her sound correspondence :