Alphabet pronunciation



scroll down to find the chalk board with the options to listen to the Spanish letter name or to spell words.


online letter sounds. Click on letter to hear things that begin with that letter in Spanish.



There are 30 letters in the Spanish alphabet. The letter “k” and “w” appear mainly foreign words. ch, ll, rr are treated as single consonants – meaning one letter. These as well as the ñ are listed alphabetically after c, l, r. and n respectively. 


All vowels in the Spanish language are pronounced clearly and without glide, drawl, or slur as in English. They have only one sound, not short and long as in English. The words I chose in this drill will emphasize the difference between English and Spanish pronunciation of letters. Keep in mind that there are regional differences.

A = a in “father” (ala, amigo, esta, antes, cama)

E = e in “met” (entre, espejo, crece, elegante)

I = I in “machine” (mission, iglesia, viví, así)

O = o in “oh” – but drop the “w” sound (oro, todo, modo, poco)

U = u in “rule” (uvas, único, tú, usted, cura, una)

Y = e in “bee” – only when alone, it means “and.”


Letter is followed by the name of the letter in Spanish. The words are for drill reading aloud. The name of each letter in Spanish is shown in parenthesis. Some tips or instruction follow only if the sound is quite different from the English. Listen carefully and try to pronounce correctly. Repeat what you hear your instructor say, not what you think you hear. 

A (a) albino, álbino, ángel, animal, arena, aroma

B (be) Just touch the lips together, don’t press like the harsh English. Similar to pronouncing the “p” in English when saying the word: “pillow.” Incidentally, the  “v” shares the same sound in Spanish.  balance, bamba, bar, baron, bolero, brutal, Bolivia

C (ce) If the letter “c” is followed by an “e” or “I”: sounds like “s” in South America; sounds like “th” in Spain.   If not followed by those letters, sounds like the letter “k.”   cable, California, capital, clamor, cancer, cardinal, color, circular, cine, censor

Ch (che) chalet, chapala, China, chula, Chapultepec

D (de) Almost like the English “the” sound. Debate, decision, director, doctor, Dolores, Madrid

E (e) enigma, epidermis, escape, etcetera, Eva

F (efe) fandango, fatal, federal, festival, fiscal

G (ge) Before e & i: sounds like the “h” in English Any other time, sounds like the “g” in the word “go.”   Argentina, general, genesis, religion, Galileo, gaucho, Gloria, gradual, grave, gusto (makes a “w” sound when combined as “gua”) Guadalupe, guapango

H (hache) This letter is silent. Its purpose is to separate vowels from other letters in order to preserve specific pronunciation.   Alcohol, héroe, hombre, Honduras, honor, hospital, horrible, hotel, humo

I (i) Sounds like the name of the letter “e” in English. Idea, impenetrable, impostor, in augural, incision, India, indecision, individual

J (jota) Sounds like the “h” in English, but formed deep in the throat, almost as in clearing, but not too harsh.  Joya, Jalisco, Jamaica, Japón, judicial, jugar, jefe, jabón, jira

K (ka) kilómetro, kimono, kindergarten

L (ele) Tongue touches the side of the inside of teeth instead of the front as in English.   labor, latin, laurel, lava, legal, leon, loco, local

LL (elle) Pronunced like the “y” in yes or almost a “jch” in some areas of Spanish speaking countries. Both pronunciations are “correct,” and are regional differences. pollo, llave, lluvia, llama, collar, villa, Sevilla

M (eme) machete, maestro, mango, material, mama, matrimonial

N (ene) Napoleón, natural, noble, normal, notable, numeral

Ñ (eñe) Listen for the difference in sound : dona, doña, manana, mañana, pinata, piñata, senor, señor, senorita, señorita, ano, año, Espana, España

O (o) ojo, bobo, ópera, opinion, oral, oregano, oasis

P (pe) More explosive than the English, the lips disappear, as when saying the English “b” in boy. Pampa, particular, pastor, personal , piano, pilar, plan, plasma

Q (cu) Sounds like the “k” in English. The “u” is silent after the q so it doesn’t have the “w” sound.  qué, queso, quinta, quizás, Quijote

R (ere) Trilled ‘r’ sound.  Some have said they hear the “d” in English. grave, motor, razón, rojo, reja

RR (erre) Trilled 2 or 3 times, rolling the “r.”  burro, perro, error, horror

S (ese) salon, siesta, sonata, sable, San Juan

T (te) Tongue touches the back of the top of your teeth instead of the roof of your mouth as in English.   Taco, tenor, toga, total, tractor

U (u) union, universal, utopia, (silent after the letter “q” or the letter “g.”)   que, guerra, aguila  

V (ve)  Just touch the lips together, don’t press like the harsh English. Similar to pronouncing the “p” in English when saying the word: “pillow.” Shares the sound with the letter “b” in Spanish.  vapor, veranda, version, vaso, vivo, vibora

W (doble u) ocurrs in foreign words: Walt, Wáshington, Winston

X (equis) pronounced as in examination, sort of a cross between “eks” and “egz.   examen, extra, oxígeno, extremo (Two exceptions to this pronunciation are the words Texas & México, in which the “x” carries an English “h” sound.)

Y (i griega) uses the same pronunciation options as the Spanish “ll” Pronounced like the “y” in yes or almost a “jch” in some areas of Spanish speaking countries.  yoga, Yucatán, ya, voy, yanqui

Z (zeta) “s” or “th” sound depending on the region. Spanish does not have a “buzzing bee” sound.  luz, zulu, zanco, cazar