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Alpha, Bravo, Charlie - the Spanish Alphabet

Andalucía, Barcelona, Cádiz - el alfabeto español

The Spanish Alphabet

In English we have long and short sounds, sounds which change with other letters and a multitude of rules for pronunciation which we constantly break with exceptions.

Spain makes this process much simpler. Every letter is pronounced the same no matter what the context (take the A, for instance -- it is pronounced the same, pretty much like the A in father, no matter if it is within agua or María). Once you learn the different sounds and rules, you can read any Spanish word with the correct pronunciation.

You don't need to spend months in a Spanish program in Spain and learn endless nuances. Although it is never boring to hear Spaniards saying words with a typical accent and using the normal speed of speech.

Also, not unlike English, it helps to clarify, when you are spelling something out, what letters you are referring to. The English have the Alpha Bravo phonetic alphabet, but in Spain, where no such thing exists, there's an unofficial equivalent in the Spanish vocabulary which we reproduce here:

Spanish Phonetic Alphabet WordLetterPronunciation
A de AndalucíaAah
B de BarcelonaBbay
C de CádizCthay
D de DinamarcaDdaey
E de EsteponaEehy
F de FranciaFeffay
G de GalicaGghey
H de HuelvaHah-chay
I de ItaliaIee
J de JapónJhotta
K de KiloKkar
L de LéridaLellay
M de MadridMemmay
N de NavarraNennay
N de ÑuÑen-yay
O de OviedoOoh
P de PlasenciaPpay
Q does not need clarification, although Quevedo is sometimes usedQkooh
R de RiojaRairay
S de Sevilla / SalamancaSessay
T de TarragonaTtay
U de ÚbedaUooh
V de ValenciaVoo-bay
W de WenceslaoWoo-bay-dob-lay
X does not need clarificationXeh-kiss
Y de YemenYig-reay-iga
Z de ZaragozaZtheta / setta

Don't forget that when you see a Spanish word with a tilde or accent above one of the vowels, it means that this vowel is the strong sound in the word.

For example:-
murciélago: mur-thee-YELL-a-gow
estación: ess-ta-thee-YON / ess-tath-ee-YON

We should also tell you that if you are writing to a Spanish person and don't have a Spanish keyboard layout you are therefore unable to write accented words or ever-intriguing letter Ñ.

It sometimes helps to tell them that for two reasons. Mainly so they don't write back to you telling you that you have made many errors in your Spanish spelling and that you need get yourself into some Spanish course pronto.

If you know how to touch type, then it is far easier to change your keyboard to the Spanish layout. The Ñ is to the right of the L and the accent button and the accent would be right next to it. If you are writing in Catalan and require the opposite accent, then that is next to the P. Some symbols are in different spots too.

If you are interested in find some good translations in spanish, just check the following link: Translation Companies.