It is known that there are differences between English and Spanish that can interfere with the pronunciation, reading or spelling of Spanish words. Despite these dissimilarities, saying the alphabet in this language is not a big deal. Remember that Spanish is straightforward when it comes to pronunciation, every single letter has a corresponding sound and it will almost always sound that way.
Spanish and English vowels
It is vital to know that Spanish has five vowel sounds in contrast to twelve vowel phonemes in English. Therefore, it seems to be an advantage for English speakers since they are able to use more vowel sounds than Hispanics. However, in order to produce the Spanish vowels more easily, keep your mouth and lips more widely opened and tense. Unlike English pronunciation, which is more relaxed. What is more, Spanish vowels are pure; there aren’t any variations in sound, so they are pronounced in the exact same way every single time.
Common mispronounced vowels
Keep in mind that spelling and pronunciation are the same in Spanish, so be aware of some vowels like “o” that sometimes is pronounced like “ou”. Take for example, the word “oso” > “bear”, English speakers would say “ou-s-o” instead of “ooh-s-o”. That is to say, do not “dipthongize” Spanish vowels.
Drilling vowels in sentences
At its simplest, drilling words with the same vowels can help you to produce Spanish sounds. In Spanish, the vowel “e” will always sound “eh” but in English the same vowel can be pronounced as “ee” “eh” or “er”. Let’s practice the following sentences:
- Ana ama a la gata Lala.
- El enano se ve en el espejo.
- Imágenes interesantes incentivan la imaginación interior.
- Los ojos de los osos son oscuros.
- Nuestra unión universal es única, uniforme y utópica.
Whenever you can, drill these sentences so that you become more familiarized with Spanish vowels. Do not forget to open your mouth more widely when you produce /a/, /e/ or /o/ and extend your lips when pronouncing /i/ and /u/.
One advantage of learning Spanish with Bright Lingua is that you will be able to raise phonemic awareness throughout our lessons, provided by the most qualified native teachers whose training is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.