2 English pronunciation challenges for native Spanish speakers

Spanish is a major global language, with more than 350 million people speaking it natively across 4 continents (including in Australia); and many millions more speaking a dialect of Spanish as a second (or later acquired) language.

Common English pronunciation issues for native Spanish speakers include:

1. learning to pronounce English consonant sounds that are not found in Spanish, e.g.:

  • “ng” as in something;
  • “v” as in victory;
  • voiced “th” as in this or that;
  • voiceless “th” as in think;
  • “z” as in Zach, dozen or bees;
  • “sh” as in should, bashful or mash;
  • “zh” as in vision or measure;
  • voiceless “h” as in house;
  • “ch” as in chocolate or match;
  • “j” as in January or majesty; and
  • “r” as in rabbit (rather than the Spanish trilled or flapped “r”).

2. learning to pronounce the English “b”, “d” and “g” in the middle of words (rather than their Spanish equivalents).

Speech pathologists are specially trained to teach people how to pronounce sounds and to use correct word and sentence stress patterns.  If you need help with speaking English clearly, get in touch.

Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  Facts on Spanish Phonology, retrieved from here.



Hi there, I’m David Kinnane.

Principal Speech Pathologist, Banter Speech & Language

Our talented team of certified practising speech pathologists provide unhurried, personalised and evidence-based speech pathology care to children and adults in the Inner West of Sydney and beyond, both in our clinic and via telehealth.

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