Standard pronunciation of s, soft c and z plus variants "seseo" and "ceceo"
In Spanish pronunciation terminology "distinción" refers to what is also described as the standard pronunciation of the letters s, soft c and z. Standard pronunciation is found mainly in central and northern Spain. The name "distinción" describes how each of these letters has a different and distinct pronunciation from each other in what is considered standard pronunciation.
This is how these words containing s, soft c and z are pronounced using the standard pronunciation:
There are regions, mainly Andalucía and the Canary Islands, and also Latin America where people do not follow this standard pronunciation of s, soft c and z. This phonetic phenomenom is called "seseo", where words that contain z or soft c (-ce-, -ci-) are pronounced as "s".
Here are some examples of how some words are pronounced with and without seseo:
Some Spanish speakers pronounce the letter "s" as a soft c/z, this phenomen is called "ceceo". Again, this is frequently found in southern Spain, specifically Andalucía and in particular in rural areas, as well as more infrequently in some parts of Latin America.
Let's see some examples, pronounced with and without ceceo:
Many Spanish speakers have a negative opinion of ceceo.