Posted by: janecronin | February 25, 2012

Spanish pronunciation for English speakers – the letter J

The letter J joins the ranks of least favourite Spanish letters amongst English speakers, because it is one of the hardest ones to pronounce.  We’ve already talked about the sound itself because it is the same as one of the pronunciations of the letter G, which is the throaty sound like the “ch” in the Scottish word “loch”.   We saw that the letter G only makes this sound when followed in a word by an “e” or an “i”, whereas the letter J always makes this sound, wherever it appears in a word.  You will find the letter J at the beginnings of words, such as “jugar” (to play), in the middle as in “rojo” (red) and at the end as in “reloj” (watch or clock).  As I mentioned when we were looking at the letter G, if you find it impossible to produce a really harsh “j” sound, then you can lighten it down to a “h” sound, just make it as noisy as possible, as if you were panting having just run round the block.  Alternatively, you could run round the block, but that is a bit drastic and not a very practical solution.

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