When learning a language, such as Spanish, you may be very conscious that your accent sounds like that of a natural Spanish speaker.
Even though the pronunciation is relatively simple in comparison to English, several small details may give you away when speaking with a fluent Spanish speaker.
So, how can you sound more natural?
You can enhance your accent and speech. You don’t have to be a gringo for the rest of your life. With the 2 suggestions below, you’ll be sounding like a natural Spanish speaker in no time.
Do you consider it difficult to learn Spanish? iScribo can help you.
Are you ready to start speaking the Spanish language in its truest form?
1. Remove the Pronouns
You may already be aware that subject pronouns are optional in Spanish. Native English speakers, on the other hand, prefer to continue using pronouns since they are used to the subject-verb sentence sequence.
To be honest, dropping the pronouns seems strange at first. However, if you use the subject pronoun in every sentence, it may be a clear indication that you are not a native speaker.
The use of subject pronouns is technically correct but it is more customary to eliminate them when the subject is apparent from the verb conjugation or earlier context hints.
You may simply omit the pronoun while still being understood. Other pronouns with shared conjugations, like usted, él, and ella, may need to remain in the phrase unless it’s obvious who you’re talking about.
Instead of: Yo quiero comer tacos.
Say: Quiero comer tacos.
(I want to eat tacos.)
Instead of: Sarah va a llegar tarde. Ella está con su familia.
Say: Sarah va a llegar tarde. Está con su familia.
(Sarah is going to be late. She’s with her family.)
Instead of: Nosotros hemos ahorrado para el viaje.
Say: Hemos ahorrado para el viaje.
(We’ve saved for the trip.)
You don’t always have to remove the pronouns. Listening to a native Spanish speaker is very handy here.
The subject pronouns are most often employed to emphasise a person or to provide clarification.
2. Concentrate on Pronunciation
The pronunciation of Spanish is simple. Each letter has one sound, and that sound is always the same! Isn’t it simple?
In principle, Spanish pronunciation is simple, but it’s difficult to imagine letters, especially vowels, sounding any different from what you’ve been pronouncing in English for years.
The Spanish R is pronounced differently than the English R, you need to pay more attention to touching your tongue to the area just behind the alveolar ridge. You should put more attention to rolling your Rs.
The Spanish D, like the English D, has a difficult pronunciation at the beginning of words. D is pronounced as [ð], the same sound you make when you pronounce the word father.
This difference may be seen by listening to native Spanish speakers and repeating their pronunciation. Take note of words that finish in -idad and pay attention to how soft the sound is.
Instead of: dedo – [day-doh]
Say: dedo – [day – tho]
Instead of: oportunidad – [oh-pohr-toon-ee-dad]
Say: oportunidad – [oh-pohr-toon-ee-thath]
One of the first things you undoubtedly learned in class was the Spanish vowels. However, since we are so used to the 20 English vowel sounds, sticking to the five Spanish vowels might be challenging.
In English, for example, words that finish in vowels are prolonged and have varied intonation. The word “no” has a long “o” sound, and your voice may rise and fall as you say it. In Spanish, the reverse is true. Except for diphthongs and triphthongs, the vowels are short and never change.
Also, depending on where the vowel appears in the word, English vowels such as O and U have numerous pronunciations.
Because we are used to these pronunciations, switching to consistent Spanish vowels, particularly in words that look like English terms, may be difficult.
Let’s take a look at oportunidad. The first O in English sounds more like an A. The Spanish O, on the other hand, is usually oh.
Instead of: oportunidad – [ah-pohr-tyoon-ee-dahd]
Say: oportunidad – [oh-pohr-toon-ee-dahd]
Instead of: no – [nooo]
Say: no – [noh].
Practice makes perfect. Nobody said it was easy to learn Spanish but if you learn basic rules and use them often, your brain will get used to speaking without having to think. There you have it. The road to sounding like a natural Spanish speaker may be long, but it is well worth it.