Week 1 Day 2: Spanish Alphabet
What’s in store for you today: Pronunciation and ¿De dónde eres?
Today’s goals are:
● To learn the Spanish alphabet
● To learn how to ask and answer the question “Where are you from?”
Listen to Track 1.2.1
Hombre: Hola, me llamo Miguel Fernández. M-I-G-U-E-L F-E-R-N-A-N-D-E-Z (Hello, my name is Miguel Fernández.)
Mujer:: Hola, me llamo Verónica González. V-E-R-O-N-I-C-A G-O-N-Z-A-L-E-Z (Hello, my name is Verónica González.)
Pronunciation and Spelling – They go hand in hand
One thing about Spanish that a lot of students like is the fact that it’s a “phonetic language.” This means that when you see a word written down, you’re going to pronunce it just as it’s written. No “silent ‘e’s” like we have in English, or random letters in the middle of words that don’t actually do anything (like the “s” in “island,” for example).
So, if we’re going to learn how to correctly pronounce things in Spanish, we should start by learning the letters. Today we’re going to learn the Spanish alphabet!
Listen to Track 1.2.2
Listen as a native speaker reads through the alphabet. Below, you will find the letters written out, but as their names and as they are pronounced.
* Note: In Spain, the way these letters are pronounced will be slightly different. “C”, instead of being pronounced “say”, will be pronounced “thay”; “Z” will be “the-ta.”
**Note: There are a few ways to say “W” in Spanish. Others include “ve-doble,” “doble-u,” and “doble-ve.”
¿De dónde eres?- Where are you from?
Listen to Track 1.2.6
María: Buenos días. Yo soy María. (Good day. I am María.)
Jorge: Hola, María. Yo me llamo Jorge. (Hello, María. My name is Jorge.)
María: ¿De dónde eres, Jorge? (Where are you from, Jorge?)
Jorge: Soy de Madrid. ¿De dónde eres? (I am from Madrid. Where are you from?)
María: Yo soy de Barcelona. (I am from Barcelona.)
Listen to Track 1.2.7
As with asking someone’s name (¿Cómo te llamas? ¿Cómo se llama?) and how someone is doing (¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo está?), there are two ways you can ask where someone is from.
- Informal: ¿De dónde eres?
- Formal: ¿De dónde es?
To answer this question, you will say:
- (Yo*) soy de… (I am from…)
* The “yo” is optional.
Below, let’s look at a list of 25 different countries in Spanish so you know how to answer the question when someone asks you! (Note: It’s not necessary that you memorize all of these right now. But you may want to add them to your vocabulary list to study later.)
Listen to Track 1.2.8
- Alemania – Germany
- Australia – Australia
- Bélgica – Belgium
- Brasil – Brazil
- Canadá – Canada
- China – China
- Colombia – Colombia
- Egipto – Egypt
- Inglaterra – England
- Francia – France
- Gales – Wales
- Grecia – Greece
- Irlanda – (Republic of) Ireland
- Italia – Italy
- Japón – Japan
- Los Países Bajos – The Netherlands
- México – Mexico
- Polonia – Poland
- Portugal – Portugal
- Rusia – Russia
- Escocia – Scotland
- Sudáfrica – South Africa
- Corea del Sur – South Korea
- España – Spain
- El Reino Unido* – The United Kingdom
- Los Estados Unidos – The United States
*When talking about this country, you’re going to need to use a contraction. There are only two in Spanish, and we’ll discuss them in more detail in the future. For now, just remember this:
- Yo soy del Reino Unido. (I am from the United Kingdom.)
Note: Don’t see your country? Check the additional vocabulary at the end of today’s lesson. If it’s still not there, get in touch with us, and we will resolve that!
Below, you’ll find some additional names of countries in Spanish. Pay attention to how they’re pronounced! Just because they are spelled the same as (or similarly to) how they are in English, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re said the same.
Note: Again, these are not words you need to memorize right now. But they may come in handy one day, so make a note of them.
Listen to Track 1.2.11
- Argentina – Argentina
- Bolivia – Bolivia
- Chile – Chile
- Costa Rica – Costa Rica
- Croacia – Croatia
- Cuba – Cuba
- Dinamarca – Denmark
- La República Dominicana – The Dominican Republic
- El Salvador – El Salvador
- Ecuador – Ecuador
- Guatemala – Guatemala
- Filipinas – The Philippines
- Honduras – Honduras
- Hungría – Hungary
- Jamaica – Jamaica
- Letonia – Latvia
- Lituania – Lithuania
- Nicaragua – Nicaragua
- Noruega – Norway
- Marruecos – Morocco
- Panamá – Panama
- Paraguay – Paraguay
- Perú – Peru
- Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico
- República Checa – Czech Republic
- Rumanía – Romania
- Suecia – Sweden
- Suiza – Switzerland
- Uruguay – Uruguay
- Venezuela – Venezuela