Lesson 1: Basics of Spanish

First Spanish Lesson – Primera Clase de Español: Basics of Spanish

¡Bienvenidos!

You’re going to find…

Spanish Alphabet – Pronunciation (Alfabeto Español – Pronunciación)

Some wonders about the pronunciation…

Vocabulary – Vocabulario: Numbers – Números (0-20) and Hello&Goodbye – Hola y Adiós

A short dialogue

First useful and basic sentences

Exercises and key at the end of the lesson

Some wonder about Spain and South America and a little tip!

Let’s begin!/ ¡Empecemos!

SPANISH ALPHABET PRONUNCIATION
A /a/
B* /be/
C* /se/, /θe/
D /de/
E /e/
F /efe/
G* /ge/
H* /hache/
I /i/
J* /jota/
K /ka/
L /ele/
M /eme/
N /ene/
Ñ* /eñe/
O /o/
P /pe/
Q /ku/
R* /ere/
S /ese/
T /te/
U /u/
V* /uve/
W /doble uve/
X /equis/
Y* /i griega/
Z* /s/, /θ/

The alphabet letters with a * are the most difficult ones to pronounce by the native English speakers who are learning Spanish.

PRONUNCIATION TIPS

B and V can be pronounced as “b” or as “v” (to reproduce the “v” sound just press gently your upper teeth on your lower lip). The different pronunciation depends on the words. Anyway the difference is not very strong. If you have any doubt, just tend to pronounce “b”.

C is pronounced /k/ like in the English word car if:

C+A, C+O, C+U,

it’s pronounced / tʃ/ like in the English word chest if

C+H+A, C+H+E, C+H+I, C+H+O, C+H+U,

it’s pronounced /s/ (in South America) or /θ/ (in Spain) if

C+E, C+I.

Z is pronounced /s/ (in South America) or /θ/ (in Spain) if

Z+A, Z+E, Z+I, Z+O, Z+U.

G is pronounced /g/ like in the English word “get” if

G+A, G+O, G+U,

G+U+I (it’s pronounced /ghi/ like in the English word “guinness”).

G and J have the same pronunciation /x/ like in the word “José” (but the sound looks like the German sound “ch”) if

G+E, G+I.

To reproduce correctly this sound you should know that it looks like the sound of English words such as “how”, “house” etc.

H doesn’t have any sound. If you find it in some words you don’t have to pronounce it.

Ñ is pronounced /ny/ like in the English word “canyon”.

Y’s pronunciation is like the LL sound pronunciation. In Spain its sound is /lli/ like in the English word “million”, in many countries of South America it sounds like /i/ and in Argentina it’s like /sh/.

Diphthongs

AI sounds like the English word “eye”.

EU is like a combination of the English sound “ay” like in the word “may” and the sound “oo” like in the word “moon”, so it sounds like “a(y)+oo”.

OI is like in the English word “toy”.

UY is like in the English word “we”.

AU is like in the English word “owl”.

IA sounds like “ea” in “near”.

IE sounds like “yea”.

IO is like the English sound “eo”.

IU is like the English sound “you”.

UA is pronounced like “oo”+a.

UE is like in the English word “when”.

UO is like in the English word “wolf”.

Of course the sound is not exactly the same because the Spanish sounds are shorter but they look like a lot.

Maybe the pronunciation seems complicated but you will learn everything practising! The most important things are to listen and to talk: that’s the best exercise.

PHONETIC EXERCISE (KEY AT THE END OF THE LESSON)

 

  1. Choose the right answer (in the brackets you can find a little help: the translation of the right word). Just say loud the words and choose the one you think it sounds better.

 

a)      bueno/vueno (good)

b)      sena/cena (dinner)

c)      gato/jato (cat)

d)     lleno/yeno (full)

e)      baño/bano (bathroom)

f)       zorro/sorro (fox)

g)      hombre/ombre (man)

h)      muker/mujer (woman)

i)        sal/zal (salt)

j)        baca/vaca (cow)

k)      menos/menoz (less)

Right answers/Respuestas correctas: …/11

VOCABULARY/VOCABULARIO

NUMBERS/NÚMEROS (0-20)

0 CERO

1 UNO

2 DOS

3 TRES

4 CUATRO

5 CINCO

6 SEIS

7 SIETE

8 OCHO

9 NUEVE

10 DIEZ

11 ONCE

12 DOCE

13 TRECE

14 CATORCE

15 QUINCE

16 DIECISÉIS

17 DIECISIETE

18 DIECIOCHO

19 DIECINUEVE

20 VEINTE

 

HELLO&GOODBYE – HOLA Y ADIÓS

HOLA = Hi, hello

BUENOS DÍAS = Good morning

BUENAS TARDES = Good afternoon, good evening

BUENAS NOCHES = Good night

HASTA LUEGO/HASTA LA VISTA = See you, bye, goodbye

CHAU = Bye (it’s informal)

HASTA PRONTO = See you soon, goodbye

HASTA MAÑANA = See you tomorrow

A SHORT DIALOGUE

¡BIENVENIDOS! (WELCOME!)

Mark, Sophie, Michelle and Luke are American students. They’ve just arrived at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid where they’re going to study. It’s their first day at the university and they meet Alejandro, a Spanish boy who is going to be their tutor.

Mark, Sophie Michelle y Luke son estudiantes estadounidenses. Acaban de llegar a la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid donde van a estudiar. Es su primer día en la universidad y encuentran a Alejandro, un chico español que va a ser su tutor.

ALEJANDRO: ¡Hola! Yo soy Alejandro. ¿Cómo te llamas?

MARK: Yo me llamo Mark.

SOPHIE: Yo soy Sophie.

MICHELLE: Yo me llamo Michelle.

LUKE: Mi nombre es Luke.

ALEJANDRO: ¿Cuántos años tenéis?

MARK: Yo tengo 20 años.

SOPHIE: Yo tengo 18 años.

MICHELLE: Yo tengo 19 años.

LUKE: Yo también tengo 19 años, ¿y tú?

ALEJANDRO: Yo tengo 20 años.

 

Translation

ALEJANDRO: Hi! I am Alejandro. What’s your name?

MARK: My name is Mark.

SOPHIE: I am Sophie.

MICHELLE: My name is Michelle.

LUKE: My name is Luke.

ALEJANDRO: How old are you?

MARK: I’m 20.

SOPHIE: I’m 18.

MICHELLE: I’m 19.

LUKE: I’m 19 as well. What about you?

ALEJANDRO: I’m 20.

USEFUL SENTENCES FOR A BASIC CONVERSATION

Yo soy … = I am …

Yo me llamo/Mi nombre es … = My name is …

¿Cómo te llamas? = What’s your name?

Tengo … años = I’m … years old.

¿Cuántos años tienes? = How old are you?

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DIALOGUE – PREGUNTAS SOBRE EL DIÁLOGO

2. Try to answer! You can find the right answers at the end of the lesson.

 

  1. ¿Cómo se llama el chico español?
  2. ¿Cuántos años tiene?
  3. ¿Cuántos años tiene Mark?Y Michelle?

 

Right answers/Respuestas exactas: … /6 (2 points for every right question)

WRITE ABOUT YOURSELF! – ESCRIBE SOBRE TI MISMO

3.Write a short text about yourself using the sentences you’ve just learnt: what’s your name? How old are you?

EXERCISES (Key at the end of the lesson)

NUMBERS

  1. Look at the images and write the numbers in letters.

Right answers/Respuestas correctas: …/9

5. Look at the images. Write the right greeting.


…………………………………………..

……………………………………………….


………………………………………

Right answers/Respuestas correctas: …/3

SOME WONDER ABOUT SPAIN AND SOUTH AMERICA AND A LITTLE TIP!

NOT ONE ONLY LANGUAGE

Spanish language is not one only language: it has many variants. Every Spanish Region and, above all, every country in which the official language is Spanish have something different. One of the most different variant is the Argentinian Spanish: it features strong phonetical and morphological differences. For instance, instead of (“you”) they say vos. The Argentinian variant has many Italian words, for example instead of the word cerveza (“beer”), you could hear birra- that is an Italian word- or instead of pierna (“leg”), you could hear gamba.

El idioma español no es un idioma único: tiene muchas variedades. Cada región española y, sobre todo, cada nación donde el idioma oficial es el español tienen algo distinto. Una de las variedades más diferentes es el español hablado en Argentina: presenta fuertes diferencias fonéticas y morfológicas. Por ejemplo, en vez de “tú” dicen “vos”. La variedad argentina tiene muchas palabras italianas, por ejemplo, en vez de la palabra “cerveza” podrías escuchar “birra” o en vez de “pierna” podrías escuchar “gamba”.

LEARN NEW WORDS WITH NO EFFORT!

If you want to practice Spanish and if you use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace change the language in the setting and choose Spanish! You’re going to learn many new words without any effort! And sometimes it could be funny or useful publishing a post in Spanish!

Si quieres practicar el español y utilizas redes sociales como Facebook, Twitter o MySpace cambia el idioma en la configuración y elige el español. Vas a aprender muchas nuevas palabras sin ningún esfuerzo. Y, a veces, podría ser divertido y hasta útil publicar un post en español.

KEY

1. bueno/cena/gato/lleno/baño/zorro/hombre/mujer/sal/vaca/menos

2. El chico español se llama Alejandro/Tiene 20 años/Mark tiene 20 años y Michelle tiene 19 años

4. siete/tres/cuatro/nueve/uno/ocho/seis/dos/cinco

5. hola/buenos días/buenas noches

 

Right answers/Respuestas exactas: …/29

 

If your right answers are between 24 and 29, that’s a great job!

If your right answers are between 19 ans 23, maybe you should review the lesson and understand which parts aren’t clear for you.

If your right answers are less than 19, maybe you didn’t pay attention…Try again and you’ll succeed!

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2 Responses to Lesson 1: Basics of Spanish

  1. sitaw says:

    Three thumbs-up! :)

  2. sitaw says:

    it means a lot for basic learners like me….

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