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The Spanish language is quite easy to pronounce since most letters (or phonemes) only have one sound. The list below will serve as a guide for how to pronounce each letter alone and in combination with other letters.

a ah

Close to “ah.” This sound does not exist exactly in English, but a close approximation can be found by saying “my” omitting the last “ee” sound.

b beh

Sounds much like an English b. However, in all other cases, the lips do not even touch, producing a more whisper like sound almost close to the pronunciation of the letter v.

c ceh

Sounds like k in most cases. Before e or i, it sounds like an s (or th (thick) in many parts of Spain).

ch cheh

Sounds like the ch in "cheese" in English. 

d deh

Sounds like English d except you  place your tongue to your upper teeth instead of the roof of your mouth. However, in all other cases, the tongue touches nothing, creating a whispery th sound like “the”.

e eh

Close to “eh.” This sound does not exist exactly in English, but sounds much like the a in mate.

f effe

Sounds like the f in English.

g ge

After a pause, or the letters l, m, or n, it sounds much like an English g. Before e or i, it sounds like a harsh h (much like the Spanish j).

h hache

In general, this sound is silent. However, words with foreign spelling and no Spanish equivalent, the breathy aspiration is maintained: Hawái, Hollywood, etc.

i i

Close to “ee”, but short. Before vowels a, e, and o, it forms a y sound.

j jota

Close to the English h sound, but it. In some places, the sound is very harsh in the back of the throat (like you are trying to spit something up). It never sounds like the English J.

k kah

Uncommon in Spanish, but sounds much like the English k with less breath.

l ele

Close to the English l, but with the tongue raised closer to the roof of the mouth rather than dipped down

ll elle

While this is not considered a letter anymore by the RAE, it has a distinct y sound (like in use) in most countries. In other countries it can sound like the g in genre.

m eme

Just like the English m.

n ene

Just like the English n.

ñ eñe

A completely separate letter from the n, it sounds much like the ni combination in onion or the ny combination in canyon.

o oh

Close to “oh” as in so, but shorter.

p peh

Close to the English, but with less breath aspirated

q koo

Always followed by the letter u, it makes the same sound as the letter k

r ere

To trill the rr, try to say brr, but instead of using your lips, use your tongue. When you exhale, the tongue should be raised and widened so it touches the upper teeth.

s ese

Just like the English s.

t te

Softer than the English t, the tongue touches the teeth and there is no explosion of breath after moving the tongue away.

u u

Close to the “oo” in food, but shorter.

v veh

Much like the Spanish b where the lips do not touch and there is less aspiration.

w doble veh

Not native to Spanish, but with the same pronunciation as the English w.

x equis

Between vowels and at the end of a word, it sounds like the English ks. At the beginning of a word, it sounds like the letter s.

y y griega

Most of the time, it sounds like the English y in yes. At the end of a word, it functions as a vowel and sounds like the letter i.

z zeta

Mostly pronounced like the English s, but can sound like the th in thin in many parts of Spain.

 

I have included some Spanish vocabulary that may be useful for anyone who is a complete beginner. They are largely everyday words that you might need to use on a visit to Mazarron. Most people in shops and restaurants do not speak English and the few words here may help. If there inaccuracies, which there most certainly will be, please forgive me. I hope it helps.

Uno

1

Dos

2

Treis

3

Cuatro

4

Cinco

5

Seis

6

Siete

7

Ocho

8

Nueve

9

Diez

10

Once

11

Doce

12

Trece

13

Catorce

14

Quince

15

Dieciseis

16

Diecisiete

17

Dieciocho

18

Diecinueve

19

Veinte

20

Veintidos

22

Trientaitreis

33

Cuarentaicuatro

44

Cincuentaicinco

55

Sesentaiseis

66

Setentaiocho

78

Ochentaiuno

81

Noventainueve

99

Ciento

100

doscientos

 

Que?

What?

Como?

how?

Perdon

Excuse me

No entiendo

I don’t understand

Soy ingles

I am English

Habla mas despacio, por favor

Please speak more slowly

Repetilo por favor

Please repeat

De acuerdo?

Is that ok?

De nada

You’re welcome

Oiga/ah disculpeme?

Oh excuse me

Puedes hablar mas despacio?

Could you talk more slowly?

Zumo de naranja

Orange juice

Limon

Lemon

Pina

Pinapple

Fresa

Strawberry

Pomelo

Grapefruit

Manzana

Apple

Platano

Banana

Frambuesa

Raspberry

Granada

Pomegranate

Una limonada

A lemonade

Fanta limon

Fizzy lemon

De fruta tropical

Tropical fruits

Una leche

A milk

Con leche

With milk

Sin azujar

Without sugar

Bebidas al…

Drink with…

 

 

Soy de ....

I am from..

Somos de ..

We are from..

Un pueblo

Village, town

Una ciudad

City

Vivo…

I live in…

Una villa

A villa

Una casita/casa

House

Un piso/apartamento

Apartment

Si gracias

Yes please

Disculpeme

Excuse me

Perdone

Beg your pardon

Lo siento

I’m sorry

No se

I don’t know

Puedes?

Can you?

Me da…

Give me…

Pues

Well

Los dias de la semana

Days of the week

Hay ocho dias

Week (when booking acc.)

Hay quince dias

Fortnight

Lunes

Monday

Martes

Tuesday

Miercoles

Wednesday

Juerves

Thursday

Viernes

Friday

Sabado

Saturday

Domingo

Sunday

Los pasatiempos

Pastimes/hobbies

Que haces en tus ratos libres?

What do you do in your spare time?

Que te gusta?

What do you like?

Me gusta…

I like

Que no aguantos?

What can’t you stand?

Que te apetece?

What do you like to do?

Que te encanta?

What do you really love?

Cual deporte practicas?

What do you play?

Practico bolas

I play bowls

Leer revistas

I read magazines

…tebeos

…comics

…periodicos

…newspapers

Depende

It depends

Los meses del ano

Months of the year

Enero

 

Febrero

 

Marzo

 

Abril

 

Mayo

 

Junio

 

Julio

 

Agosto

 

Septiembre

 

Octubre

 

Noviembre

 

Diciembre

 

El invierno

Winter

La primavera

Spring

El verano

Summer

El otono

Autumn

En el restaurante

 

En el bar

 

En el meson

 

En el cantina

 

En el cafeteria

 

Que quiere?

Quiero….

Que le gusta?

Me gusta…

Que prefiere

Preferio….

Que le apetece?

Me apetece…..

Que va a tomar?

Voy a tomar…

Menu del dia

Menu of the day

Menu en el restaurante

From the menu (a la carte)

Las sopas de…

…..soup

...Tomate

Tomato

Asparagus

...Asparagus

...Carne

Meat

Pollo

...Chicken

...Maricos

seafood

Salmon

...salmon

De primero quiero..

For the first course I would like…

De segundo querio..

For the second course I would like..

De postre quiero…

For desert I would like…

Y que beber?

And to drink?

Me da

Give me…

Donde quere una mesa?

Is there a table?

Al lado de la ventana

In front of the window

Defante del bar

Near the bar

En el centro del restaurante

In the middle of the restaurant

Esta libre

It is free

Esta ocupada

It is taken

Esta reservada

It is reserved

No quiero compartir la mesa

I don’t want to share the table

Para cuantes personas?

For how many people

Somos cuatro personas

We are four people

Delante del bar

In front of the bar

Detras del bar

Behind the bar

Informacion personal

 Person details

 

 

Como te llamas

What is your name

Eres ingleses?

Are you English?

Si, soy …..

Yes, I am…

De donde eres?

Where are you from?

Soy de…

I am from…

Donde vives?

Where do you live?

Vivo en ….

I live in …

Que haces?

What do you do?

Estoy….

I am…

Como se llama?

What is his name/

Se llama….

He is called….

Es ingles?

Is he English?

Es de….

He is from….

Que hace?

What does he do?

Cual deportes practicas?

What games does he play?

Juega a bolas

He plays bowls

Se llama Juan

His name is Juan

Es mexicano

He is Mexican

Es de Mexico

He is from Mexico

Vive en una casa en ciudad Mexico

He lives in a house in Mexico City

Es profesor

He is a teacher

Juega a football

He plays football

Tiene veinte anos

He is twenty years old

 

 

La famila nuclear

Close family

La famila extendida

Extended family

El padre

Father

La madre

Mother

El tio

Uncle

La tia

Aunty

El hermano

Brother

La hermana

Sister

El primo

Eldest

La prima

Eldest

El hijo

Son

La hija

Daughter

El sobrino

Nephew

La sobrina

Niece

El abuelo

Grandfather

La abuela

Grandmother

El nieto

Grandson

La nieta

Grandaughter

Los ninos

Children

Los suegros

In-laws

El suegro

Father in law

La suegra

Mother in law

El yerno

Son in law

La yerna

Daughter in law

El cunado

Brother in law

La cunada

Sister in law

Ser

To be (permanent)

 

 

Soy

I am

Somos (nosotros)

We are (we)

Eres

You are

Sois (vosotros)

You are (you)

Es

He (it) is

Son (ellos/ellas)

They are (they)

Soy ingles

I am English

Soy de ..

I am from…

Estar

To be, stand, be situated

 

Temporary state

Estoy

I am (not permanent)

Estamos

We are(….)

Estas

You are(…. )

Estais

You are(….)

Esta

He/she is(….)

Estan

We are(….)

Estoy fatal

I am not well

Estoy aburrido

I am bored

Estoy enfermo

I am ill

Londres estoy en Inglaterra

London is in England

Estamos en clase

We are in class

Estoy de pie

I am standing

Soy rico

I am rich

Estoy rico

I am rich at the moment

Que quiere?

What would you like?

Cuanta leche?

How much milk

Cuanto queso?

How much cheese?

Algo mas?

Anything else?

Cuanto es?

How much?

nada mas

Nothing else

Un frozo de..

A slice of..

Un kilo de

A kilo of

Medio kilo de..

Half a kilo of

Cuarto kilo de

Quarter of a kilo of..

Litro

Litre

Una barra de pan

A loaf of bread

Un paquele de farina

Bag of flour

Un melon

A melon

Una pina/sandia

A pinapple/water melon

Un bute de mermelada

A jar of marmalade

Una lata de sardinas

Tin of sardines

Una docena de huevos

A dozen eggs

Una cajita de chocalates

A box of chocs

 

 

H

El hotel

HR

El hotel residencia

HsR

El hostal residencia-media pension

A

El parador

El albergue/la fonda/la posada

Pub/bar

Una pension

Boarding house

Reservado una habitacion doble para 4 personas desde 17 de febrero hasta el 20

I would like to reserve a double room for 4 people from 17th  Feb to 20th Feb….

El Desayuno

El Meriendo

La muerzo

La cena

Breakfast

Packed lunch

Lunch

Dinner

Fecha de nacimento

Date of birth

No entiendo mucho Espanol

I don’t know much Spanish

 

 

 

 

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