Home Language Learning 7 DIY Hacks to Drastically Enhance Your Spanish Accent [with Audio]

7 DIY Hacks to Drastically Enhance Your Spanish Accent [with Audio]

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7 DIY Hacks to Drastically Enhance Your Spanish Accent [with Audio]

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Have you ever ever felt self-conscious about your Spanish accent or struggled to pronounce sure phrases?

Worry not, as we’re right here that will help you fine-tune your pronunciation and infuse your Spanish with an genuine contact.

On this article, you’ll be taught seven helpful tips to do away with that pesky international accent and sound extra like a local Spanish speaker.

These DIY hacks will pave the way in which for extra assured and fascinating Spanish speech, no matter your present degree.

Contents

1. Study the Appropriate Vowel Sounds

Fortunately for you and me, Spanish pronunciation is kind of common. In contrast to English vowels, every Spanish vowel has precisely one sound:

  • E is pronounced just like the “e” in “mattress.” For instance, elefante
    (elephant).
  • I is pronounced just like the “ee” in “see”. For instance, caliente
    (scorching).
  • is pronounced just like the “o” in “go.” For instance, oso
    (bear).
  • is pronounced just like the “oo” in “too.” For instance, uva
    (grape).

In fact, there are guidelines for Spanish diphthongs and the dieresis. However these are your 5 primary vowel sounds.

There are a ton of free assets on YouTube that will help you be taught and reinforce the Spanish vowel sounds. Personally, I like to recommend beginning with this hilariously outdated video.

Sure, the video is foolish. But it surely’s additionally fairly useful. Do you discover how, when announcing a phrase, the coed says each vowel with the identical crisp, clear sound? Each “e” in excelente
 sounds precisely the identical because the one earlier than it.

One massive drawback that English audio system are inclined to have with Spanish is inserting diphthongs the place they don’t belong, so {that a} phrase like excelente comes out sounding extra like “excelentay.” One other frequent drawback is announcing Spanish phrases with English vowels, so {that a} phrase like cerveza
 (beer) incorrectly turns into “sir-VAY-zuh.”

The trick is to apply making clear, constant vowel sounds that don’t change: ah, eh, ee, oh, ooh. Attempt to maintain every sound for a number of seconds with out altering the form of your mouth. Then, apply inserting the sounds into phrases.

2. Pay Consideration to Accent Marks

As talked about beforehand, Spanish pronunciation follows common guidelines. So it shouldn’t shock you that there’s a quite simple rule for understanding which syllable will get the stress in a Spanish phrase. It breaks down like this:

By default, put the stress on the second-to-last syllable of a phrase. Casa
 (home), manzana
 (apple), domingo
 (Sunday), and amarillo
 (yellow) are all phrases that observe this instance.

The one exceptions are phrases that finish in consonants aside from “n” and “s.” In these instances, stress the final syllable of the phrase. Consider phrases like hablar
 (discuss), ordenador
 (pc), pincel
 (paintbrush) and cicatriz
 (scar).

Any phrases that stray from this sample shall be conveniently marked with an accent—a bit of line above a vowel that permits you to know to emphasize that syllable. See, for instance, phrases like miércoles
(Wednesday), melo
(inform me), escocés
 (Scottish) and habrá
 (there shall be).

In spoken Spanish, accent marks could be of essential significance. Take, for instance, the completely innocuous sentence “Como papas” (I eat potatoes.) Following the easy guidelines laid out above, we all know that this sentence is pronounced, Como papas.”

Stress the incorrect syllables and also you’ll find yourself with the sentence, Como papás,”
 or “I eat fathers.” Yikes!

Thoughts your accent marks and be taught which syllable to emphasize—it may well make the distinction between comprehension and utter confusion.

Over time, understanding which syllable to accent will turn out to be intuitive. Till then, right here’s an train that will help you apply: Discover a passage of Spanish textual content that you just even have a recording of. (For instance: lyrics to a music, an audiobook that you just even have a tough copy of, a listening train from a textbook, and so forth.) With out listening to the recording, underline the syllable in every phrase that will get the stress. Then, take heed to the recording and test your solutions.

3. Soften Your T’s and D’s

Let’s do an experiment. Attempt saying the next phrase out loud: “Two implausible tigers.”

Concentrate: The place does your tongue go once you make the “t” sound? If you’re like most English audio system, it in all probability hits the roof of your mouth.

In Spanish, t’s will not be pronounced the identical manner. When making a “t” sound in Spanish, press the tip of your tongue in opposition to the highest of your entrance tooth. This produces a softer, gentler “t” sound like in tiempo
(time/climate) and guitarra
 (guitar).

Attempt it out on the very helpful phrase, Tú tomasttequila hasta las tres de la mañana.”
 (You drank tequila till three within the morning.)

“D” sounds additionally bear a slight change. For instance, attempt saying “Diana’s lovable canines.” The place does your tongue find yourself? Most likely the roof of your mouth once more.

In Spanish, you have to make the “d” sound along with your tongue barely touching the again of your prime tooth. On this case, the result’s a a lot softer sound, nearly just like the English “th” within the phrase “this.” For instance, madre
(mom) and día
(day).

Go forward and apply with the next phrase: Soy de los Estados Unidos. ¿Ddónde es usted?”
(I’m from the US. The place are you from?)

This video by Study Spanish Proper provides an ideal comparability of the English and Spanish “d” sounds.

The variations between these sounds could seem trivial. It’s true, a Spanish speaker will in all probability perceive you simply high-quality in case you use the English “t” and “d” sounds in your Spanish. However specializing in particulars like these will provide help to lose your international accent and converse Spanish like a native.

In the event you’re having bother perfecting the finer factors of the Spanish accent, think about making a recording of your self studying a passage of Spanish aloud. Do not forget that textual content/audio useful resource from the earlier level? Now can be a good time to make use of that once more! File your self studying the passage aloud in your greatest Spanish accent, after which hear again.

You’ll have the ability to pick the areas that want enchancment rather more clearly than you’ll whereas talking. Now, evaluate your recording with the native speaker’s. Do your t’s and d’s sound like theirs? If not, attempt studying aloud once more.

4. Excellent Your R Fuerte

The letter “r” in Spanish makes two totally different sounds: the r suave, or smooth r (like in caro
 — costly) and the r fuerte, or robust r (like in carro
— automobile).

I’ll deal with the r fuerte, generally known as a rolled “r,” as a result of it’s one of the vital tough sounds for English audio system to grasp. Some folks appear to choose it up intuitively, whereas others must put forth a concerted effort to be taught to roll their r’s. In the event you’re struggling, don’t fear—you’re positively not alone!

Listed here are some suggestions in case you simply can’t appear to roll your r’s:

  • Fake you’re purring like a cat.
  • To be taught the right tongue placement, attempt saying the phrase “butter” again and again in a short time. The spot that your tongue hits on the “tt” in “butter” is the spot the place it ought to be once you roll your r’s.
  • To strengthen the tongue muscle tissue required to make this sound, say “tee-dee-va” shortly again and again every time you’ll be able to—whilst you’re driving, washing the dishes, throughout commercials, and so forth.
  • Put the tip of your tongue in opposition to the roof of your mouth. Exhale, and fake your tongue is a flag flapping within the wind. The motion of your tongue shortly hitting in opposition to the roof of your mouth will produce the sound of a rolled “r.”
  • Bonus tip: A buddy of mine who spent years studying to roll her r’s insists that it’s far simpler to realize after a beer or two. She says that beer helped loosen her tongue muscle tissue. That recommendation could or could not give you the results you want, nevertheless it labored for her, and both manner, you get to get pleasure from a number of drinks and apply your Spanish!

Now that you just’re properly in your option to making an ideal r fuerte sound, here’s a run-down of when to make use of it:

  • A single “r” firstly of a phrase: rincón
    (nook), rata
     (rat)
  • A single “r” after the letters “l,” “n,” or “s”: alrededor
     (round), enriquecer
     
    (to counterpoint)

Feeling courageous? Observe your “r” fuerte with this tongue tornado:

Rosa Rizo reza en ruso, en ruso reza Rosa Rizo.

(Rosa Rizo prays in Russian, in Russian prays Rosa Rizo.)

5. Thoughts Your Z’s

There are literally two appropriate methods to pronounce the Spanish “z,” relying on the place you’re on the earth.

Spanish “z” pronunciations Areas the place it is used Pronunciation Examples
seseo all of Latin America, components of southern Spain and the Canary Islands “z” is pronounced like an English “s” zapato
(shoe)

zorro
(fox)

rechazar
(to reject or refuse)

ceceo the remainder of Spain and Equatorial Guinea “z” makes a sound just like the “th” within the English phrase “tooth” zapato

zorro

rechazar

Each methods are appropriate, however what you’ll by no means hear in Spanish is a “z” that sounds prefer it does within the English phrase “buzz.”

My private favourite listening useful resource for listening to the 2 totally different Spanish “z” sounds is the music Bailando,” sung by Spanish-born Enrique Iglesias and Cuban-born Descemer Bueno. Within the first verse of the music, you’ll be able to clearly hear each “z” sounds within the phrase corazón (coronary heart):

Enrique Iglesias: Cuando tú me miras se me sube el corazón

Descemer Bueno: Me palpita lento el corazón

The primary time round, you’ll hear the ceceo (the “th” sound), and the second time, the seseo (the “s” sound).

“Bailando” is peppered with examples of each “s” sounds, in phrases like cerveza (beer), cabeza (head) and abrazarte (hug you).

A music like “Bailando,” with its mixture of accents and its many repeated strains, makes for an ideal talking apply train! Learn by the lyrics out loud phrase-by-phrase till you’re feeling assured in your pronunciation.

Then, attempt to sing together with the recording to apply fluidity. Singing in Spanish is a brilliant enjoyable train that works your pronunciation whereas additionally offering a lesson in grammar, vocabulary and tradition. Better of all, you are able to do it within the automobile, in your bed room, or mainly wherever you need.

Not into Enrique Iglesias? There are tons of different z-heavy Spanish songs to apply this specific ability. Attempt Celia Cruz’s “Azúcar negra” or Kudai’s “Tal vez.”

6. Hyperlink Your Phrases

In the event you hear carefully to native Spanish audio system speaking, you’ll discover that they hyperlink or mix sure phrases collectively.

When will Spanish audio system hyperlink phrases?

  • When the final letter of 1 phrase is a consonant and the primary letter of the following phrase is a vowel. The query “¿Estás enfadado?”
     (Are you indignant?) would sound extra like “¿Estásenfadado?”
  • When the final letter of 1 phrase and the primary letter of the following phrase are each vowels, like within the sentence “Ella está enamorada.”
     (She is in love.) To the untrained ear, this phrase would sound like one lengthy phrase: ellaestáenamorada.

Studying this method won’t solely enhance your Spanish accent. On the similar time, it’ll prepare your listening abilities. As you apply mixing and linking your personal phrases, you’ll end up higher geared up to grasp what different audio system are saying once they do the identical.

For an ideal listening useful resource, take a look at this web site, which gives clear examples of every of the three sorts of linking. The web site’s audio examples evaluate how the phrases sound un-linked after which linked. To apply, merely repeat after the recordings offered on the web site.

7. Take heed to Native Audio system

The easiest way to bolster the entire above is, after all, to actively take heed to native audio system and duplicate what they do.

In the event you’re fortunate sufficient to be in a position to be taught Spanish by immersion simply in your hometown or overseas, this gained’t be an issue. In any other case, attempt to discover a language change companion you can apply with in particular person or on-line. 

If you wish to work with somebody who’s extra certified to present you personalised suggestions, rent a Spanish tutor. The web has introduced us nearer to succesful language tutors from throughout the globe. Since there are such a lot of Spanish tutors accessible on-line, you’ll find one that matches your funds and schedule. 

Begin in search of out your personal Spanish tutor on Verbling, the principle on-line hub for tutors and college students. You possibly can kind by lots of of Spanish tutors and select one primarily based on pupil critiques, expertise, worth vary, area, different languages spoken and availability.

It’s also possible to attempt listening to a Spanish-language information program, TV present or podcast. Pay attention to a couple sentences at a time, then pause and attempt to repeat again what you’ve heard. Or may attempt FluentU, an internet site and app that makes language classes out of movies from actual Spanish media the place you’ll be able to hear native audio system in motion and observe together with the subtitles. There’s even a talking characteristic so you’ll be able to apply your accent.

 

Begin implementing these fixes at this time, and also you’ll quickly be sounding extra like a local Spanish speaker. 

Observe with a language companion or tutor, with a Spanish-speaking buddy and even at house within the mirror!

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