Learning how to pronounce the Spanish alphabet, or abecedario, is easy! Most letters only have one sound, which makes pronouncing them pretty simple.
The table below shows the letters in the abecedario, along with their Spanish name(s), and some tips on pronouncing them alone and in combination with other letters.
Pronouncing the Spanish Alphabet
This letter sounds like the ah sound you use to express realization in English: Ah, that's the one!
This letter often sounds like an English b. Especially when it occurs between two vowels, it is pronounced with the lips not touching, much like the Spanish v. You may also hear it called belarga, begrandeor be deburro.
This letter often sounds like the English k. Before e or i, it sounds like an s (or like the th in thick in many parts of Spain.)
While this is not considered a letter anymore by the RAE, it sounds like the ch in cheese.
This letter sounds much like an English d, except you should place your tongue against your upper teeth instead of the roof of your mouth when pronouncing it. It often sounds like the th in English then, especially when it comes between two vowels.
This letter sounds like the eh sound you make when asking for clarification or agreement in English: Eh? What did you say?
This letter sounds like the English f.
This letter usually sounds much like an English g. Before e or i, it sounds like a harsh English h. It's very similar to the j in Spanish.
In general, this letter is silent. However, in words adopted from other languages, the breathy aspiration is maintained. For example, Hawái.
This letter sounds like English ee but shorter.
This letter sounds close to the English h sound, though it varies from country to country. In some places, it makes a harsh sound (almost like you are trying to spit something up). It never sounds like the j in English judge.
This letter is uncommon in Spanish, but sounds much like the English k.
This letter sounds close to the English l, but with the tongue raised closer to the roof of the mouth (rather than dipped down).
While this is not considered a letter anymore by the RAE, it sounds like the y sound in English yellow in many places. It can also be pronounced like the j in judge or the s in pleasure. You may also hear it called dobleele.
This letter sounds just like the English m.
This letter sounds just like the English n. Pronunciation tip: Spanish speakers often pronounce this letter like an English m when it appears before the letter f. For example, the first syllable in the words informaciónand enfriaris pronounced em by many Spanish speakers.
A completely separate letter from the n, this letter sounds much like the ni in onion or the ny in canyon.
This letter sounds close to the o in so, but shorter.
This letter sounds close to the English p, but with less breath.
This letter is always followed by the letter u and sounds like English k.
This letter sounds a bit similar to the d sound in English caddy. At the beginning of a word, it's pronounced like the Spanish trilled rr (see below).
To make the famous trilled rr(which is no longer considered a "letter" in the Spanish alphabet), the key is practice. Practice tip: Say the word butter (with American pronunciation) and think of the sound you make in the middle (tt). In American English, this sound is a tap. The Spanish rr is essentially many taps in a row, and you can practice it by saying the tt sound in butter over and over.
This letter sounds just like the English s.
This letter is softer than the English t. To say t in Spanish, the tongue should touch the teeth and there should be no explosion of breath after moving the tongue away.
This letter sounds close to the oo in food.
This letter sounds much like the Spanish b. The lips do not touch and there is less aspiration. You may also hear it called vecorta, vechica, ve devaca.
This letter is not native to Spanish, but sounds similar to English w. You may also hear it called dobleuve, uvedoble, or dobleu.
This letter is pronounced like the ks in English socks. However, in place and person names (especially those from México), it can be pronounced like a raspy English h, an s, or even the sh in English show.
Most of the time, this letter sounds like the y in English yes. At the end of a word, it sounds like the letter i (hay). You may also hear it called igriega.
This letter is mostly pronounced like the English s, but can sound like the th in English thin in many parts of Spain.
Want to learn more about Spanish pronunciation? Check out the following articles!