You are here:
Home /
The Languages /
The Spanish language

The Spanish language

The Spanish language
is sometimes referred to as Castilian, because it belongs to Castilla, the linguistic community that used this modality of language coming from the Latin in the Medieval Age. In addition, there are controversial issues around the name given to the language because the term “Spanish” is a relatively recent name and it is not admitted by some bilingual speakers of Spain, since they think that the Spanish language is made of the terms Galician, Basque, Valencian, and Catalonian, which are the official languages within the territory of their respective autonomous communities. This is the reason why bilingual Spanish speakers suggest using the most ancient name the language had, that is, the Castilian understood as the language spoken in Castilla.

The expansion of the Spanish language
in the world has been a constant since the XV century. It is currently spoken in four continents (a great area of the American continent, Philippines and Africa, and especially in the Magreb zone and Equatorial Guinea). The Spanish language is one of the languages that is spoken by a greater number of people and most widely geographically dispersed. However, the inaccurate source information on this subject leads to use very different figures. Nevertheless, we can claim that the Spanish language is the third language of the world in terms of speakers (following the mandarin Chinese language—885 million— and English —440—) and in scores of countries where it is the official language. Besides it is the second international language, being English language the first; and it is the third as a vehicle of communication in international politics, economics and culture following the English and French language.

The spanish alphabet
The Spanish language uses, as many other European languages, the latin alphabet, and contains 29 letters, of which 24 are consonants and 5 vowels: a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, ll, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z

Spanish words are pronunced

the same way as they are written so that reading a written text is a very easy task. The Spanish phonetics is rather straightforward. The Spanish language uses the Latin alphabet and ascribes a distinguished sound to each sign. There very few exceptions.

It includes 5 well-established vocalic sounds corresponding with the five vowels of the Latin alphabet that always have the same sound: A, E, I, O, U.

The consonants (B C D F G H J K L M N Ñ P Q R S T V W X YZ) always have the same sound, except C and G with such sounds as: CA CE CI CO CU and GA GE GI GO GU.

The rest of consonants have the same sound as they are written:

Some notes:

The letter H is not pronounced, except when used after the letter C: CHA CHE CHI CHO CHU.
The letter Q is always followed by G: GUE GUI.
If you want the letter U to sound we must use diaeresis: CIGÜEÑA.
The letter LL sounds like Y: LLA LLE LLI LLO LLU (or almost similar)
The letter RR sounds like an engine: (Brrrrrrum!) RRA RRE RRI RRO RRU.


Alike English ‘a’ in: art, after ANDÉNPlatform
E As in: ten, menEXAMENExam
I like English ‘e’ in: he, me CINECinema
OAs the short ‘o’ in: Tom, all NOCHENight
USame pronunciation as in: newNUEVONew


Blike English ’b’ in: bookBOCAMouth
CA/CO/CUclose to ‘c’ in: case, come CASA // COMIDA// CUANDOHouse // Food // When
CI/CEAs in: think, therapyCINE // CERILLACinema // Matches
DAs in: daughterDOSTwo
Flike ‘f’ in fourFARMACIAPharmacy
GAs in goGUANTEGlove
HAs English ‘h’ in: honestyHIERBAGrass
JAs English ‘h’ in: house, hamJAMÓNHam
KAs in kindKILO Pound
LAs in: lamp, late LITROLitre
MAs in: my, meMAMA Mum
NAs in: not, nameNONo
ÑSimilar to the sound “gn” ESPAÑASpain
Plike English ‘p’ in: potPUERTADoor
Rlike Scottish ‘rolled’ ‘r’ ROJORed
SAs in sonAUTOBÚSBus
TAs in table TIA Aunt
Wlike in verbWÁTER Toilet
YLike ‘y’ in: yogourtYOGUR(T)Yoghurt
ZAs in zoneZONAZone