Essential Guide to Spanish Pronunciation. The Letter ‘c’

blog post 45 Essential Guide to Spanish Pronunciation. The Letter c

To help you master the Spanish pronunciation one letter at a time, today I bring you the consonant c in this Essential Guide to Spanish Pronunciation.

I guarantee that if you follow my pronunciation tips throughout this guide, your accent will dramatically improve in no time.

Spanish pronunciation. Saying the letter ‘c’

Most Spanish consonants have only one sound. Unfortunately that’s not the case with the letter c.

The Spanish c has two possible sounds which depend on the letters that follow them. Also, it’s said differently in different regions.

These are the letter c pronunciation rules:

  • The Spanish c sounds like a ‘k’ in the clusters: ca, co, cu; and also in: cr and cl.
  • In the north and center of Spain, the letter c sounds like a strong English ‘th’ in the clusters: ce and ci.
  • In the south of Spain and in Latin America, the clusters ‘ce’ and ‘ci’ sound like the English ‘c’ in ‘central’, rather than a ‘th’. In these areas ce and ci sound identical to the Spanish se and si.

You need to remember these rules, but the good news is that they’re strict. Once you learn the sound for each cluster of letters, you’ll always get it right.

Spanish pronunciation. Practicing the ‘c’

Let’s now practice saying ten words that have fairly similar spellings in English and Spanish, but sound quite different in both languages.

You can hear these ten words with my Spanish Online Course.

Spanish words English translation
invitación invitation
distancia distance
democrático democratic
paciente patient
diccionario dictionary
concentrar concentrate
policía police
cereal cereal
banco bank
bicicleta bicycle

Spanish pronunciation. More practice

Here’s another Spanish pronunciation drill you can play with my interactive Spanish Online Course. Say these place names out loud:

Spanish place names
Yucatán
Culiacán
República Dominicana
Cáceres
Cataluña
Castilla
Menorca
Mallorca
Alicante
Murcia

The only secret of how you can achieve an enviable Spanish accent is regular practice with good learning material and audio recordings.

To get where you want, you need to practice your Spanish pronunciation with audio drills. Have a look at this free interactive Spanish lesson.

It’s your turn

Are there any Spanish words with the letter ‘c’ you are having trouble saying? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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