Why is it pronounced 'H'?

AndreaA0Kwiziq community member

Why is it pronounced 'H'?

Trabajo como: When I read thro the lesson on the alphabet 'b' was sounded 'beh'. Now, the 'b' in the 1st word is replaced by  what sounds like the english 'v'.  Could you please direct me to where I can check these sounds with corresponding letters?

I would also like to know what the upside down question mark at the beginning of a sentence means, and even exclamation marks. As you may have correctly guessed, I'm a total newbie.  Thanks

Asked 3 months ago
ClaraC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Andrea, 

Here is the link to the Spanish alphabet, which includes how to sound all the letters. https://spanish.kwiziq.com/learn/theme/946620

The letter 'b' in Spanish sounds like a cross between a 'B' and a 'V'. However, it's not a hard sounding B or V.  The 'j' in Spanish is sounded like a hard 'h', almost as though you have something in the back of your throat...if that makes sense. 

The more you listen to Spanish being spoken, you'll eventually grasp the pronunciation better.

Whereas in English questions we have just the one question mark, in Spanish two question marks are used... one upside down at the beginning and another the right side up at the end. It's the same with exclamation marks. 

I hope this helps a little. If you type into the search bar here on Kwiziq any questions you may have, you'll find lots of information. 

Ask away here on the forum too. The wonderful teachers, especially Inma, will help you out also. It's a friendly forum and many of the students will also help you if they can. 

Welcome! - ¡Bienvenido! 

Clara :))

DavidC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hello Andrea -

Yes, the Spanish 'j' is a bit 'harsher' [more 'rasping'] than the English 'h', but nobody will mind if you just pronounce it as an 'h'. Or maybe you have heard the Scots word "loch"? - if so, that will be a better guide. This sound is also found in Hebrew - written as כ - and in Arabic, rendered: خـ

And in German, the 'ch' combination is sometimes pronounced that way; [Johann Bach was a famous musical composer].

Good luck with your studies, David Mc

InmaKwiziq team member

¡Hola Andrea! ¡Bienvenida a Kwiziq!

Yes, Clara and David have probably clarified your doubt - you can see that the Forum is great to ask away your doubts as it's for both teachers and students to use, and we have fantastic students who really want to contribute to this.

Just to add a bit more info as you where asking about the double signs in Spanish, apparently, the opening question mark (¿) was introduced some time in the 18th century for long interrogative sentences to mark clearly where the question started. Then in the 19th century it was decided to make this a general rule and use both signs (¿ ?) (¡ !) for all questions. Spanish is the only language that does this. 

Regarding the sound of b and v that you mentioned too, we are currently adding to our content lessons that deal with pronunciation and spelling. You may find this one useful -have a read.

Kind regards

Inma

Why is it pronounced 'H'?

Trabajo como: When I read thro the lesson on the alphabet 'b' was sounded 'beh'. Now, the 'b' in the 1st word is replaced by  what sounds like the english 'v'.  Could you please direct me to where I can check these sounds with corresponding letters?

I would also like to know what the upside down question mark at the beginning of a sentence means, and even exclamation marks. As you may have correctly guessed, I'm a total newbie.  Thanks

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