How do I pronounce the letter y in Spanish? | SpanishDict Answers
4 Vote

I have been pronouncing the letter y and the "ll" sounds in Spanish like the letter "y" in English but sometimes, I hear "yo" or the letter y in Spanish pronounced like the letter "j" in English. Sometimes, the "ll" sounds like the "y" sound in English, but sometimes it sounds like "j" in English as well. Is this a regional difference? Or am I pronouncing these words wrong?

  • Posted Aug 26, 2010
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6 Answers

3 Vote

Hi Hola Lizita,

Usually y in a word like yo would be pronounced the same as y in english, but y by itself in spanish like "manzanas y naranjas" the y would be pronounced like "e" in English.

Hope this helps!

  • Like the name of the letter "E" not the "eh" sound. ;) - rabbitwho Aug 26, 2010 flag
0 Vote

Hi Hola , Check this thread it will help you a lot How to pronounce "ll" and "y" in Spanish: voice recording by native speaker Carlos

0 Vote

y (i) As a vowel- in the conjunction y and, and at the end of a word such as Ley, Voy- is pronounced like i

semiconsonant; y (j) like y in English yes, yacht yunta, apoyo

consonant y (j) is pronounced like y in English yes,youth mayo,yo,mayor,ya

Even in dictionaries they do not know how to address this pronunciation and The IPA - international phonetic association- have given symbols for those few Spanish words were spelling and pronunciation are not in accord, such as reloj [re'lo]

It is regional or have cultural strength and in the case such as reloj you can have the pronunciation relo...w/out the J and it is acceptable throughout all the Spanish speaking world! so pick and choose as you wish...and have your personal touch...it will add personality and charm to your accent wink

0 Vote

Totally regional and an endless source of fun when latinos from multiple countries get together.

0 Vote

I always thought it interesting when some Spanish speaking people would pronounce "yo" like "joe" but then would pronounce my name as Yoyce.

  • In Cuba it's pronounced like that I think, can anyone back me up on this? - rabbitwho Aug 26, 2010 flag
  • The Puerto Ricans I have known were those most likely to do this. I have been Yoycita to many Ecuadorians, who seem to love to "ita-ize" names. - JoyceM Aug 27, 2010 flag
0 Vote

I just returned from a couple of weeks vacation in Panamá, and asked this question from some native speakers there. They told me ll sounds like English "J" when a word starts with ll, (llamar, for example), but sounds like English "Y" elsewhere within words. Of course, this was regional, and it perhaps even varies within Panamá.

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