Pronouncing the vowels correctly is essential to authentic Spanish pronunciation and, therefore, to communication.

Spanish Vowels tend to sound shorter than english vowels. There is a little tip to obtain clipped vowels: You can add an h (silent h, not pronounced) after a, e and o. By doing this, you get ah, eh, oh.

The spanish vowels e and u, can be represented by “ee” and “oo”.

spanish-vowel-soundshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/n_s_p/2889722862/

This can be a little confusing at first, so let’s check some examples. The spanish words sábado (Saturday), libro (Book) and computadora (Computer) are trnascribed as “sah-bah-doh”, “lee-bro” and “khom-poo-tah-doh-ra”.

Pronouncing Spanish Vowels

Below, you can find individual examples for each vowel:

  • ‘a’: The spanish a is pronounced like the “a” in the English word “father”.
    • Example: terraza (teh-rrah-sah)
  • ‘e’: The spanish e is pronounced like a shortened version of the “e” in the English word “cafe”.
    • Example: Mesa (meh-sah)
  • ‘i’: The spanish i is pronounced like the “ee” in the English word “see”.
    • Example: silla (see-yah)
  • ‘o’: The spanish o is pronounced like the “o” in the English word “obey” (but it is clipped short).
    • Example: no (noh)
  • ‘u’: The spanish u is pronounced like the “u” in the English word “rule”.
    • Example: azul (ah-sool)