Posted by: janecronin | July 29, 2012

Spanish pronunciation – the letter N


Just as we saw recently with the letter M, I am happy to tell you that the pronunciation of the letter N is the same in Spanish as in English.  If you actually listen to the way Spaniards speak, you will notice that practically all the consonant sounds are lighter or softer than in English which make them difficult for us to hear at times.   With a simple phrase like “no pasa nada” it is always the vowel sounds that will come over clearest, while the mouth glides over the consonants.  So even though we pronounce the letter the same, the actual sound produced can still be a little hard to pick up.  It’s just a question of tuning in to this and getting used to it over a period of time.

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Responses

  1. As always it’s the little things! Your description of the mouth gliding over the consonants and emphasising the vowels is a perfect way to show the difference between the way English and Spanish are spoken. I managed to pronounce Madrid ‘Madree’ quite early with just a click for the ‘r’ and, as you say, a glide for the ‘M’ and ‘d’ with the last ‘d’ silent. I realise this is why I have terrible trouble getting people to understand that I would like a boccadilla. I’ll try it next time, as you say, with a glide on the ‘b’, ‘c’ and ‘d’. I can see after reading your message that this is a particularly difficult word, having four vowels plus a ‘y’ sound with the ‘ll’, all of which should be emphasised. Vamos a ver! Thanks, Jane.


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