Coffee is an important export for many
Central and South American countries. For
extra credit, learn more about the industry
and/or investigate the movement for Fair
Trade coffee from Latin America.
*These ones are often
confusing to English speakers
because Spanish E sounds like
English A, and Spanish I sounds
like English E. Devote some
time to distinguishing these for
B - be
B and V make an almost identical sound in
Spanish, so to distinguish them, you might
hear “B grande” or “B como burro”
C - ce
C may make a hard or a soft sound.
– When followed by a consonant or the vowels: a, o
& u, C will make a hard “kuh” sound.
– When followed by the vowels: e & i, C will make a
soft “suh” sound
Ch - che
Che has been removed from alphabetized
lists (like in dictionaries) but still is recognized
as a letter by many people. It is kind of like
Pluto… no longer a planet, but it’s still there.
D - de
D makes a strong “duh” sound unless it is
in between two vowels. If that is the case,
it makes a “th” sound.
F - efe
There is no “ph” spelling combination in
Spanish, we just use F instead.
G - ge
G may make a hard or a soft sound.
– When followed by consonants or the vowels: a, o
& u, G will make a hard “guh” sound.
– When followed by the vowels: e & i, G will make a
soft “huh” sound.
H - hache
The H is silent! ¡La hache es muda!
J - jota
The J makes what we think of as an H
K - ka
K is a borrowed letter, so you will only see
it in words that originate from another
L - ele
LL - elle
LL makes a Y sound, or depending on
one’s accent is can even sound like a
“Juh” or a “Shuh”
M - eme
N - ene
Ñ - eñe
Ñ makes the sound you will recognize
from piñata. Words in English that sound
this way are “onion” and “canyon”
P - pe
Q - qu
R - ere
You will roll your R if the word begins with this
letter. Otherwise, you make the sound by just
a quick press of your tongue against the
gums slightly above the back of your front
RR - erre
Also known as doble ere; however, it is not
technically a letter. You roll the double R.
S - ese
T - te
V - ve
As you know, B and V make extremely
similar sounds. V is known as “v chica” or
“v como vaca”
W – doble u/v
Like K, this is another borrowed letter. It
works just like the English W.
X - equis
Equis makes a “k-s” sound
Y – i griega
Y makes our usual Y sound, just the the
LL. Also, like the double L, is may sound
like a “juh” or a “shuh” depending on one’s
Z - zeta
Z makes an S sound. Not a ZZZZZ!