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Video:How to Pronounce Spanish Vowels

with Milo De Prieto

Learn how to pronounce Spanish vowels so that you speak Spanish more like a native speaker. Here are tips on how to pronounce Spanish vowels, including examples with common Spanish words.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Pronounce Spanish Vowels

Hola, I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about how to pronounce Spanish vowels.

General Rules for Pronouncing Spanish Vowels

Unlike English, Spanish pronunciation is far more consistent even though it is a global language. There are still distinct accents, but overall Spanish pronunciation is quite uniform.

Again, unlike English, Spanish vowels tend not to change with accents as English vowels do. They are clear and sharp and are not normally affected by the letters around them. Overall this makes them easier to learn. Spanish vowels also are not have long and short as they are in English, nor is there the schwa sound, the unstressed, indistinct vocal sound that is common in some languages. So you only have one sound to learn for each vowel.

Pronunciations for Spanish Vowels

  • A is like the a in father: abrigo -- coat; avión -- plane; abril -- April
  • E is like the e in excited or met: elefante -- elephant; eléctrico -- electrical; ejercicio -- exercise
  • I is hard for English speakers as it sounds you are saying the letter e, but keep the sound tight. It always is strong and clear: intentar -- to try; interesante -- interesting; inútil -- useless
  • O is similar to the English o in boat or no. It is like the long o sound, only tighter: octubre -- October; ocho -- eight; olor -- smell
  • U is like the u in tune or the sound of spoon. It is not like English "you": universo -- universe; usted -- you; uva -- grape

As you practice these sounds, remember that they are clear and strong. It might help to exaggerate a little at first, opening your mouth more than you are used to in English.

Continuing practicing and soon you'll be speaking with confidence in no time. For more information on Spanish, check us out at About.com.

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