The alphabet (alfabeto)was named after the Greek letters alpha and beta “a” and “b” that it begins with. The Phoenicians designed it and invented the alphabetic writing, but it was Cadmo from Phoenicia who took it to Greece and passed it onto the Romans, who transmitted it to the European languages.
The alphabet and its form, content, names and pronunciation had, as the Spanish language, many changes through its evolution. Originally from Latin, Greek and Arabic, the Spanish alphabet took some letters and combinations of them to support the blend of languages, overall, when having to adapt to the language of the natives. An example of this is the letter X becoming important to support indigenous words; also with time the form of the letter “V” changed into “U” but the “V” remained as another letter, too.
The pronunciation of single letters
The following chart shows the current alphabet. Read carefully.
- The first column has the symbol or what we know as letter.
- The pronunciation of the name of the letter, in Spanish, is in the second column.
- The third column has a guide to the sound of the letter considering a similar English sound as a preparatory starting point. This means that the sound will be very close to the one emitted in English.
To make a real sound you may need to open your mouth at the same time that you let the air and sound flow strongly.
- The fourth column shows words in English that have a similar sound in English to the sound in Spanish.
- The fifth column has an example of a word in Spanish with a letter in turn. The parenthesis shows a representation of how to read and pronounce the Spanish word written above.
Use this chart to practice, review and learn the sound of each letter