Pronunciation Tips/ Consejos para la pronunciación
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1. THE LETTERS B & V
In Spanish, B and V are pronounced alike. There is NOT much differentiation, and they are pronounced like the English b.
The letter C before the vowels a, o, and u, has a k sound, but before e and i has an s sound.
K sound S sound casa/ house necesario/ necessary comer/ to eat cielo/ sky cucaracha/ cockroach Celia/ Celia (name)
The letter G before the vowels a, o, u, ue and ui has the English hard g sound, such as in government, but before e and i, G has an exaggerated English h sound.
G sound H (exaggerated) sound gato/ cat gente/ people guerra/ war (u is silent) guitarra/ guitar (u is silent) goma/ rubber girasol/ sunflower gusano/ worm
NOTE: If the ü is before the e and i, the vowel u is also pronounced.
a. The letter R sounds similar to the English dd or r sound, such as in ladder or rose, when the R is in the middle of a word, but NOT after the letters n, l, and s.
b. The R and double RR are pronounced with a very strong trill in the following cases:
NOTE that Spanish words do NOT start with or end with RR.
The letter Y sounds like the Spanish vowel i when Y stands alone or at the end of a word.
NOTE: The pronunciation of LL & Y varies greatly throughout the Spanish-speaking countries; however, the majority pronounces them similar to the English sound in the word yes or million.
In countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, and parts of Chile, both LL & Y are pronounced as sh, as in shop.
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