Free Language Lessons

How to Learn Spanish Vowels
By:Marlene Inglis

Spanish is the official language of four continents and more than 20 countries and the second most common language in the United States. Since most words contain vowels, it is a good idea to learn how to pronounce Spanish vowels first before tackling consonants, words or phrases. Vowels such as a, o and u are considered hard vowels since the consonant that precedes them is pronounced with a hard sound, as in the word "mucho" for much. The vowels e and i are soft vowels because the consonant that precedes them have a softer sound.

Learning to Pronounce Spanish Vowels

Pronounce the vowel "a" similar to the way you would say the "a" in "mat". Practice Spanish words such as "papa" or "mama". Make the vowel sound short and crisp. Pronounce the vowel "e" as "ay" as in "day," making the word "ceresa" for cherry sound as "sayraysa".

Continue with the vowels, by practicing the vowel "i" which is pronounced like "ee" as in the word "jeep" or "see." Try saying the Spanish word "italiano" for Italian. Try the next vowel, which is "o" and is pronounced like "oh" or "no" and try not to let your voice rise at the end of the word. Practice saying the word "loco" which in Spanish means crazy. Pronounce the vowel "u" as "oo" as in the word "due" or "zoo." So the Spanish word for much, which is "mucho," would sound like "moocho".

Practice an entire phrase instead of one word at a time once you are confident with the way you are saying the vowels. Say the words or phrases aloud so you can hear the emphasis on the vowel sounds. Add gestures to your words for more impact.

Learn the correct intonation of pitch when speaking Spanish, since the rising and falling of your voice can determine if you are asking a question or making a statement.

Check to see if the vowel in the word has an accent mark above it, such as adiĆ³s, which in Spanish means goodbye. Remember, whenever an accent is above a vowel, you have to break the word up so that the vowels are pronounced separately. This word would sound like "a dee ohs".






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