Phrases

Greetings                                        Check how to pronounce these words

Hola                                   Hello

Until around two in the afternoon, you can also greet people with

Buenos días                       Good morning

After about two and until about eight or nine in the evening, you can say

Buenas tardes                   Good afternoon/Good evening

Then you would greet people or say good night with

Buenas noches                   Good evening/Good night

Adiós                                 Goodbye

¡Hasta luego!                     See you

Me llamo …                       I’m called …

¿Cómo se llama usted?     What are you called?

Gracias Thank you

Por favor Please

De nada You’re welcome

 

Pronunciation: the most important thing is to keep your vowel sounds short!

a should be like cat

e should be like egg

i should be like feet

o should be like pot

u should be like mood

c when followed by e or i is pronounced as a soft ‘th’ like the word ‘thing.’ You will hear it pronounced in Southern Spain and in Latin America like an ‘s,’ but in standard Castilian Spanish it is a ‘th’ and so is z no matter what letter comes after it. c when followed by a, o, u or r is a hard ‘k’ sound, the same as it would be in English.

If you think about it, if in English it is a ‘k’ sound, then so is it in Spanish, but if in english it is a soft sound as in ‘centimetre’ or ‘cinema’ then it is a ‘th’ in Spanish: centímetro, cine.

Pronounce ‘ll’like the ‘ll’ in ‘million’ or, if you find it easier, pronounce it like a ‘y.’

g has similar rules to ‘c.’ If it is followed by a, o, u or r is is hard, like the English ‘got’ but with an ‘e’ or an ‘i’ after it, it is soft like the ‘ch’ in Scottish ‘loch.’ If we say ‘g’ hard, so do the Spanish, if we say it like we do in the words ‘general’ or ‘giant,’ then the Spanish say it like Scottish ‘loch.’ j is always pronounced like that, no matter what comes after it. If you really can’t manage a throaty ‘ch’ sound, simply say it like an English ‘h’ but as throatily as you can manage!

Don’t forget the only silent letter is ‘h’ – pronounce everything else you see!

Just beware that some of the voices have standard Castilian accents, some don’t. It’s all Spanish of course, but one accent may be more useful to you than another, and it can be a bit confusing to have learnt one of saying something, only to be presented with a different way!

Let us know if this was useful: info@tailormadelanguages.com