In Spanish, all vowels are pronounced the same, no matter where they fall in the word (in sharp contrast to English!). This means that, in theory, once you have learned how to pronounce the vowels, you can say nearly any word In Spanish with a fair degree of intelligibility. This phonetic guide should work for most native English speakers.

  • In Spanish, A is like the 'ah' in 'haha', or 'awe'. 
  • In Spanish, E is like the long a, like the 'a' in 'hay'. 
  • In Spanish, I is like the long e, like the 'ee' in 'keep'. 
  • In Spanish, O is more or less a short 'o', the 'o' in 'or'. 
  • In Spanish, U is like the 'oo' in 'zoo'.

Except: We tricked you! In Spanish, some of the consonants are pronounced differently as well.

  • In Spanish, H is silent. Hotel is 'O-tell'.
  • In Spanish, J is the 'H' sound. Jalapeño, is 'haw-la-pain-yo'.
  • In Spanish, Ñ is a sound like 'nyuh' like in the above example.
  • In Spanish, RR is a rolling 'r'. This usually takes practice. Try purring like a cat.
  • In Spanish, B is frequently pronounced like the letter 'V'
  • In Spanish, V is frequently pronounced like the letter 'B'
  • In Spanish, G is pronounced with an 'H' sound unless in front of a 'U' like guacamole, then it is 'GW’.