The Spanish Alphabet

When Spanish speakers sing the Alphabet song or spell a word, the lettersare pronounced differently. Spanish speakers also addfourentirely new "letters": Ch, Ll, Ñ and Rr. That is because these letters, when combined, make an entirely different sound. Other letters may appear next to each other in words, but their sounds will remain the same.

  • When C + H combine to form Ch, it is the same as English: they make the "ch" sound in "church."
  • When two Ls combine, they make an English "Y" sound, like in "Yellow."
  • When you put a tilde (~) over N, you make the sound of the "ny" in canyon.
  • When two Rs combine, they are rolled. This means you put the tip of your tongue on the fleshy mound behind your front teeth, and vibrate it as you make the sound. Keep practicing - not everyone can roll theirRs at first.

Here is a list of how to spell the letter names in Spanish (if pronunciation needs clarifying, it is listed in parenthesis)

A a (like the "ah" sound people make after taking a drink)
B be (like the English word "bay")
C ce (like the English word "say")
Ch che (like the name Che Guevara; rhymes with clay)
D de (like the English word "day")
E e (Like the letter A in the English alphabet - careful!)
F efe (eff-ay)
G ge (Like the English word "gay")
H hache (Don't pronounce the "h": aaaah-chay)
I i (like the vowel sound in the English word "seek")
J jota (pronounce the j as an h: Hoe-ta)
K ka
L ele (Like the city L.A.)
Llelle (ey-yay)
M eme (em-may)
N ene (en-nay)
Ñ eñe (en-nyay)
O o
P pe (like the English word "pay")
Q cu (like the English word "coo")
R ere (like the English words "air ray")
Rrerre (like the English words "air ray", but with the R rolled)
S ese (like the English word "essay")
T te (tay)
U u (Like the "oooh" sound people make when they watch firewords)
V ve or uve (vay or oovay)
W dobleve or uvedoble (doh-blayvay or oovaydoh-blay)
X equis (ek-kees)
Y igriega (eegree-egg-ah)
Z zeta

Related Links:
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Spanish FlashCards


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