4 Pronunciation of the letter ‘h’
You will now look at how to pronounce the letter ‘h’ in Spanish.
Listen and pay attention to the pronunciation of the letter ‘h’. How would you describe the way in which this letter is pronounced in Spanish?
hola, Horacio, historia, hotel, hospital, Helena, Honduras, alcohol
Listen to the following words and repeat them out loud. You can also record yourself and listen back to your pronunciation.
hola Horacio historia hotel hospital Helena Honduras alcohol
Notice that the ‘h’ isn’t sounded at all in Spanish, whether it’s at the beginning or in the middle of a word. This is one of the few exceptions to the rule of sound–letter correspondence in Spanish.
Sound–letter correspondence in Spanish
Most sounds in Spanish are represented by a single letter. This is true for all vowel sounds and also for most of the consonant sounds, with a few exceptions. This makes reading and writing much easier than in some other languages, even when you have never seen or heard a word before.
You will now hear the same words one by one. Listen again and practise repeating each word out loud. Record yourself as you do this and then listen back to your recording and compare it to the model.