Have you ever come throughout some onerous Spanish phrases that get your tongue tied?
On this article, you’ll learn to right these phrases and points of Spanish pronunciation that English audio system wrestle with essentially the most.
I’ll level you to the ten most troublesome Spanish phrases to pronounce, every with a tip to grasp them and different phrases like them.
And the audio will provide help to follow your option to stunning pronunciation!
High 10 Hardest Phrases to Pronounce in Spanish
Listed beneath are among the hardest phrases to pronounce in Spanish. I’ve targeted on extra frequent phrases that folks want to make use of. Grasp these and the remaining is simple!
In rainy Latin American countries, you’ll likely see this word often—it can pour a lot in the wet seasons. And to be sincere, I’ve even seen just a few Spanish audio system wrestle with this phrase.
The variety of syllables and the vowel diphthong within the center make it a tough one.
TIP: Break this down into separate syllables and say it slowly till you’re snug. There’s no rush!
Two double “r’s” here in one word!
TIP: The “r” in Spanish is rolled both at the start of any word and when they’re doubled, while a standalone “r” is also pronounced differently from English.
For many English speakers, these sounds are very hard, but they’re possible. When making any “r” sound in Spanish, the tip of your tongue should lightly touch the top of your mouth. Alternatively, to find the right position, say “t” in English. That’s where your tongue goes.
To roll the “r” then, the issue is getting your tongue, in that position, to vibrate. Breathe out of your mouth and let your tongue vibrate up and down. You can do it!
This word is great fun. You have the double-whammy of “rr,” as well as “ll,” with lots of syllables to boot.
TIP: Correct pronunciation of “ll” depends on the country. But for much of Latin America, it’s the same as an English “y,” but a bit harder.
In Spain and in Argentina, “ll” is pronounced like the “j” in jump, and in Venezuela and Colombia, it’s pronounced somewhere between an English “y” and “j.”
The accents aren’t where you’d expect with these words, and many English speakers pronounce them “DI-fi-cil” and “fa-CIL,” instead of their correct pronunciations: “di-FI-cil” and “FA-cil.”
TIP: Note where the accents are and stress that syllable. Say the word ten times until your tongue can’t conceive of pronouncing it any other way.
The temptation here would be to say the similar-sounding English word, then add a “men-TAY” to the end.
TIP: Remember to pronounce the final “e” as “eh,” not “ay,” then break these words down into syllables and give each the same weight.
Turn your English off and say “des-a-for-tu-na-da-MEN-te” slowly at first, then accelerate to normal speaking speed.
The “r-d” combination in Spanish is a really difficult move for the tongue—almost like quick tongue acrobatics.
TIP: Put your effort into the first syllable and that difficult “r,” then let the “d” be softer, and the “de” half of the word like an afterthought.
People often get tongue-tied with this word, perhaps because it’s similar to English but with an extra syllable at the start. The number of “t’s” and “d’s” can also add to your troubles.
TIP: Note the stressed syllable in the middle and don’t stress yourself about the difference between “t” and “d” in this word. Pronounce that first syllable well, so that your mouth is aware you’re going into a Spanish word rather than English.
The obstacle here would be that “v” is pronounced as a soft “b,” plus the double set of diphthongs (“ue”).
TIP: There’s no compromising. The “v” in Spanish is always pronounced as “b,” and in the middle of a word it’s a gentler version of a “b” with the lips barely touching.
To pronounce the diphthong, just say both vowel sounds, then blur them together. So “oo-eh” becomes “weh.”
9. Idea (Idea)
This is another one of those trick words that you’ll be tempted to pronounce just like you would in English. Resist this urge!
TIP: Practice pronouncing this: “ee-DEH-ah,” until it becomes natural to you!
What a lot of vowels and diphthongs to boot, followed by those meddlesome “r’s!”
TIP: For the first diphthongs, just like the “ue” explained above, pronounce the two vowels until they merge together. So, “ah-eh” becomes “ay.”
Next, practice that “ue” followed by the “r.” Once you’ve mastered these two parts, you can build on the rest.
Hard Spanish Letters to Pronounce
There was an interesting Reddit discussion the place somebody requested what English audio system sound prefer to native Spanish audio system.
One factor commenters careworn was the pronunciation of “b” and “v,” that are pronounced the identical in Spanish. English audio system wrestle to let go of the “v” sound they’re used to and pronounce the letter “v” like a “b” in lots of Spanish phrases reminiscent of ceviche.
The Spanish “r” is unquestionably on the high of the checklist of uphill battles for English audio system—each the rolled model and the only “r”—and it may well make or break being understood. Particularly for telling the distinction between phrases like caro (costly) and carro (automotive)!
There are additionally a few sounds in Spanish that English audio system pronounce too harshly. These embrace the Spanish “d” and “t,” that are softer, with nearly no air blown out. When announcing the “t” in Spanish, the tip of your tongue ought to simply contact the again of your tooth, like in trato (deal).
Vowels in Spanish are one other one on the checklist. They’re uneven and quick and all the identical size, besides when one vowel follows one other.
English audio system are inclined to differ the size of vowels, they usually’ll typically distort the sounds, as with the pronunciation of “e.” For instance, English audio system typically pronounce the title José as “hoe-ZAY” instead of “ho-SEH.”
How to Handle Spanish Pronunciation Challenges
In Spanish, almost all consonants, vowels and syllables are fully pronounced, with vigor, dedication and an open mouth. English speakers muffle a lot of the sounds in words and we join words together and close our mouths more.
So if it feels like you’re exaggerating in Spanish, that’s what you should do, and make it a habit.
Don’t Rely on English Vowel Sounds
While in English most vowels in everyday speech are pronounced as a schwa—a short “uh” sound—that isn’t the case in Spanish.
Making this switch, and pronouncing each vowel properly, makes all the difference.
Here are some more tips for nailing Spanish vowels:
- The “a” in Spanish is always pronounced like the “a” in “hat” (but shorter) or “haha” (but more open)
- The “e” is always pronounced “eh,” as in “bed” (but shorter).
- The “i” is always pronounced like the “ee” in “see.”
- The “o” is pronounced like the “o” in “more,” but shorter.
- The “u” is pronounced like the “oe” in “shoe”
In all cases, a wide open mouth is important to making these vowels sound natural.
Listen and Mimic
Really paying attention to how native speakers talk, and then trying to mimic that, will help with your overall pronunciation.
You can listen to how native speakers talk and mimic them with a program like Spanishpod101. Right here, you’ll discover video and audio content material with transcripts, vocabulary classes and grammar notes. The transcripts make it simple to comply with alongside and repeat after the audio system.
It’s also possible to take heed to native audio system with a program like FluentU, which makes use of genuine Spanish movies with interactive captions to immerse you within the language. The subtitles are vetted by language consultants, guaranteeing their accuracy, and there are accompanying transcripts for every video. It’s also possible to get some talking follow by customized quizzes, which embrace inquiries to which you’ll be able to communicate your reply.
One scary however helpful trick you’ll be able to strive is to document your self (you’ll hear your flaws rather more clearly that method) after which examine that to recordings made by native Spanish audio system. You’ll hear the discrepancies fairly clearly and may follow listening and repeating these bother areas.
Attempt Some Fashionable Tongue Twisters
And in the event you actually need to train your mouth and tongue, you’ll be able to check out these in style Spanish tongue twisters for dimension:
Cuando cuentes cuentos, cuenta cuantos cuentos cuentas, porque si no cuentas cuantos cuentos cuentas nunca sabrás cuantos cuentos contaste.
(While you inform tales, depend what number of tales you inform, as a result of in the event you don’t depend what number of tales you inform, you’ll by no means know what number of tales you instructed.)
Tres tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal, en tres tristes trastos, tragaban trigo tres tristes tigres.
(Three tigers swallowed wheat in a wheat subject, in three unhappy containers, three unhappy tigers swallowed wheat.)
Pepe peina pocos pelos pero peina peluqueros, peina Pepe peluqueros con el peine de los pelos.
(Pepe combs few hairs, however he combs hairdressers, Pepe combs hairdressers with the hair comb.)
Be a part of Some Phrases
In Spanish, we be a part of phrases that begin and finish with the identical letter.
For instance, Qué es eso (What’s that) is commonly pronounced “quee-so” (sure, just like the phrase for cheese, however with an extended “e” sound) and Voy a hacer (I’m going to do…) is pronounced “boi a-ser.”
Be Comfy with Talking in a Very Totally different Approach
While you swap from, say, Home windows to Linux, or from consuming dinner to consuming dessert, you don’t anticipate the identical emotions and experiences to translate to that new factor.
To the extent which you can, it’s essential to utterly swap off English and your preconceived notions about how issues ought to be stated, and log your self into a unique system.
For much more troubling and difficult Spanish phrases, see right here.
Mastering pronunciation is usually a powerful journey, although rewarding, and the bonus is that the higher your pronunciation, the extra you’ll perceive as effectively—even within the worst conditions, like over a crackly cellphone line!