Posted by: janecronin | July 14, 2011

Differences in pronunciation between Spanish and English

English is a language that relies on distinct consonants to be understood, whilst having variable vowel sounds.

Spanish is a language which relies on distinct vowels to be understood whilst having variable consonant sounds.

Most of the time we concentrate on the wrong thing!

The other overriding requirement for good pronunciation is the correct use of rhythm and beat.  Spanish has rules for this but English doesn’t.  Spanish also has a phonetic alphabet which English doesn’t.  This link takes you to several pronunciation videos which explain this in more detail.

All of this makes Spanish, hands down, a far easier language to learn how to pronounce, but requires a massive retuning of the ear to understand the spoken word.


  1. I have been attempting to learn Spanish for a number of years, both with classes in the UK and living part of the year in Spain. In all my experience I have never found anything as useful as your short video lessons on pronunciation, they were nothing short of brilliant. My biggest problem is understanding the spoken Spanish but I will not give up!! By the way, currently reading your paperback “Las Aventuras de Sid en España”, again, an excellent aid in the learning process.

  2. Thanks very much of your kind comments.

    I must admit I’ve never really understood why most Spanish teachers don’t seem to explain pronunciation rules. They are important all the way through, but once you get to some of the more complex verb endings thing really are vital. How would anyone know how to pronounce a word like “veíais” without knowing the basic rules of rhythm and pronunciation!

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