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Spanish Phrases and Pronunciation Tips for Beginners

by Tyler

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September 9th, 2011

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For those of us who are just beginning Spanish, sometimes it helps to learn a few key phrases and some pronunciation tips. Here are a list of important phrases for beginning students of Spanish:

Hola, me llamo (name) – Hi, my name is (name)

Mucho gusto.  – It’s nice to meet you.

¿Cómo te llamas? – What is your name?

Quiero ir al cine. – I want to go to the movies.

¿Dóonde está el (aeropurto, banco, playa)? – Where is the (airport,bank,beach)?

norte – north

sur – south

este – east

oeste – west

Here are a few quick pointers on pronunciation:

D – The D in Spanish is  alot softer then the English D. It’s what we call “interdental”.  You say it between your teeth, like how we English speakers say ‘the’.

R –  The Spanish R is like our D…it’s hard…If you want to avoid sounding completely gringo do not say a Spanish R as we do in English with words such as Round or Rowboat.

LL- This letter does not exist in English. In Spanish, there are two ways to pronounce it:  Either as a ‘y’, as in yarn, or like a soft ‘j’, as in jam. Typically in Mexico, the Carribean and Central America, it is pronounced like a ‘y’. Keep in mind, however, that it can be mixed. It’s often pronounced almost like a soft ‘j’.  The ‘j’ pronounciation is used in South America, particularly in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. This has a more definitive ‘J’ sound than you might here in Mexico or Central America.

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