Sunday, July 10, 2016

preliminary notes on spanish pronunciation

a like the stereotypical "say ah" sound.
b, v these are pronounced the same, either like a b or like a "v" made with both lips instead of lips and teeth.  which pronunciation is used depends on the letter that follows.
c (before e or i), s, z these all make the same sound, like english s.
c before any other letter, k, q same as the english k sound except less aspirated, spanish is generally less aspirated.
ch same as english except aspiration
d like the "th" in the english word "the", either the occlusive or fricative version.  which pronunciation depends on the letter that follows.
e either closed "sharp" e like you start to say the word "ape" and get cut off before you finish the vowel, or open e like in english "let", depends on surrounding letters, not a big deal.
f same except aspiration
g (before e or i), j, x (sometimes) these make the same sound, it's the same point of articulation as a k, but it's fricative.  sounds kind of like hissing.
g before any other letter is either the same english or a fricative version of that, depending on the following letter.
h silent. it's there because it used to be an F that then changed in pronunciation to an H and then became silent.  eg spanish hacer comes from latin facere.
i, y, pronounced the same, either like english long e or like english y, depending on surrounding letters and stress.
l normally alveolar but they assimilate to d's and maybe something else i'm forgetting.
ll always the english y sound.
m same
n alveolar except it assimilates to following consonants
ñ palatal n, which causes the "y" sound with it.
o closed like in english "for" or open but idfk how to differentiate this pronunciation so don't worry about it.
p same cept aspiration
r, rr flap your tongue against the alveolar ridge like the t/d in "little ladder", for single r it's usually just one flap, for rr, it's repeated a few times, and sometimes the r is pronounced like rr (eg at the beginning of a word, idk all the cases).
t with the tip of your tongue touching the top back of your teeth.  it comes out sounding slightly more th-y than the english t.
u, w like the i and y, these are either english u like the oo in "boot" or the english w sound, depending on surrounding letters and stress, except that "oo" will never be spelled with a "w" and w only appears in some borrowed words anyway so mostly forget about it.
x either ks or just s, or rarely like spanish j

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