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How to Pronounce the Spanish “R” (and perfecting the Latin accent)

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How to Pronounce the Spanish “R” (and perfecting the Latin accent)

The Spanish accent may be one of the sexiest, yet trickiest one to perfect.

While mastering the Latin accent takes more than a video tutorial to perfect, we’re going to summarize the most common and useful pronunciations that you should learn if you’re learning Spanish.

Overview: In this free Spanish lesson, Elkin will share the basic Spanish alphabet pronunciations that will be critical to sound more like a native speaker.

You will learn how to pronounce the vowels (a e i o u), “R” sounds, and accent marks in Spanish.

Who it’s for: Individuals who want to improve their accents and pronunciations in Spanish.

Why: If you want to sound more fluent and native, learning the basic accents and pronunciation is the best way.

Skill level: For beginners and intermediates (who struggle with Spanish pronunciation)

Highlights of the tutorial:

1. Pronouncing the vowels (a e o i u)

a – The Spanish “a” is pronounced like the “a” in father.

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e – The Spanish “e” is pronounced like the “a” in the word “date”, except it’s shorter and crispier

i – The Spanish “i” is pronounced like the “ee” in the word “see”, except that the sound is shorter.

o – The Spanish “o” is pronounced like the “o” in the word “no”, except that the sound is shorter.

u – The Spanish “u” is pronounced like the “ue” in the word “due,” except that the sound is shorter.

Here are some good example words to practice with:

i. Peso –> Weight

ii. Masa –> Mass

iii. Vino –> Wine

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iv. Edificio –> Building

v. Diferente –> Different

2. “R”

a. Double “R”. The “rr” is used with a longer hold on the R, and a stronger tongue roll to emphasis the R sound.

Here are some words you can practice with:

i. Carro –> Car

ii. Torre –> Tower

iii. Perro –> Dog

b. Single “R”. The “r” has a softer pronunciation, similar to the “tt” sound in the word “letter.”

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i. Toro –> Bull

ii. Cara –> Face

However, the “r” will have a strong pronunciation when

-It’s at the beginning of a word:

i. Rojo –> Red

ii. Rata –> Rat

-And when it follows the consonants “l”, “n”, “s” or the prefix “sub”

i. Israel –> Israel

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ii. Honradez –> Honesty

iii. Subrayar –> to Underline

3. Accent Mark

Words containing accent marks will be pronounced with a stronger emphasis on the accent marked syllable.

Example:

-Invitación –> Invitation

-Café –> Coffee

-Pájaro –> Bird

Now the best way to improve is to practice as much as you can. Start by reviewing the examples we shared in this tutorial, and if you would like to learn more and have expert coaching help, consider looking at online services (such as the link in my bio below!)

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Question to you: What is the biggest struggle you have when it comes to Spanish pronunciation?

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Sean Kim

Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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