Updated: Jan 18
Are you looking for some tips & tricks to improve your Spanish pronunciation? I've got you! Trust me! I've made my fair share of mistakes, and by sharing what I've learned with you, you can feel more confident in your pronunciation as you continue to practice your skills! I am here to share three simple hacks to improve your pronunciation as a second language learner of Spanish.
1.) Pronounce the letters [t,d] as interdental in Spanish.
While /t/ and /d/ are voiceless and voiced alveolar sounds in English. The /t/ and /d/ in Spanish are pronounced as an 'interdental sound’.
Be careful not to produce the [t] sound like a [th], which only presents in Castillian Spanish.
2.) Spanish has 5 TRUE vowels.
There are no 'long/short sounds for each vowel in Spanish. There is only ONE way to pronounce each letter in Spanish.
This means that there are only 5 sounds you need to remember:
ah [a], eh [e], ee [I], oh [o], u [u]
(The videos below are from the University of Iowa Sounds of Speech Program.)
3.) The /h/ sound is silent.
When you see the 'h' written in a word, the /h/ is silent.
I made a common mistake of pronouncing the /h/sound in words, such as 'buho' (owl).
You still produce the /ch/ sound such as lechuza, another way to name the owl
Amy Contant, M.A., CCC-SLP, CLC
Spanish for Speech Language Pathology, LLC