ABC: Listen to the Sounds of the Spanish Alphabet

By Eric W. Vogt

Hear the "names" of the Spanish letters and the way they are pronounced in various positions in words. You'll find links to each letter, with examples. Now beginners have 24/7 material for some listening practice. Great for teachers who want students to hear a different voice.

Hear the Sounds of Spanish

By clicking on each of the letters or, as the case may be, "double letters" below, you will be able to listen to (1) the names of the letters in Spanish, and (2) the word or words to the right of each letter. By listening to the words, you'll be able to hear the sound or sounds which each letter represents.

As you look at the examples, you'll notice that some of the recordings will demonstrate how a letter is pronounced when it is in the initial, medial or final position. Please note that many consonants in Spanish have no final position (for instance, no word in Spanish end in the letter F).

Some of the examples show the hard and soft pronunciation of a consonant (for instance, ganar versus general). Whether a consonant must be pronounced hard or soft depends on two things, depending on the consonant: when B, V or D fall between two vowels they are softened. If G precedes an e or an i (called weak vowels) it is pronounced quite differently. Since there is no way to describe these differences except to resort to more technical language used by linguists, I have created the sound files to simply model them.

In the case of C and Z the same word is repeated twice to show the difference between the pronunciation of these letters in Spain versus the rest of the Spanish-speaking world.

More Help

You may find it helpful to use this article along with the article Lesson Plan: How to Teach the Spanish Alphabet.