Tongue-tied in Spanish? 8 tricks for you to improve Spanish pronunciation and accent

8 TRICKS to improve your SPANISH PRONUNCIATION

Actor 1
¿Cómo estás, Susan?
(How are you, Susan?)

Actor 2
Súper feliz porque voy a Puerto Escondido este fin.
(Super happy because I’m going to Puerto Escondido this weekend.)

Actor 1
¿Ah, sí?
(Oh, yeah?)

Actor 2
Sí, y vamos a comer un montón de empanadas.
(Yes, and we’re going to eat a lot of empanadas.)

Actor 1
¿De qué?
(Of what?)

Actor 2
Empanadas.
(Empanadas.)

Actor 1
Empanadas.
(Empanadas.)

Even the most advanced language students still make many pronunciation errors. We all do. I’m Paulisima, your Spanish teacher at Spring Spanish. In this video we will explore an effective method to improve Spanish pronunciation of all those words in Spanish that until now, have been a nightmare.

Are you ready? Let’s begin.

1. Most common reasons why your Spanish pronunciation is wrong

Susan
¿Por qué crees que estoy pronunciando mal algunas palabras?
(Why do you think I’m pronouncing some words wrong?)

Actor 1
Tal vez te saltaste una lección muy básica. Como es la lección sobre el alfabeto en español.
(Maybe you skipped a very basic lesson. Such as the lesson on the alphabet in Spanish.)

If that happened to you, check out this video.

Actor 1
Tal vez no estés escuchando suficiente español.
(Maybe you’re not listening to enough Spanish.)

Susan
(solo reacciona)

And we also have the right video for how to make the best out of your listening sessions here.

Actor 1
Tal vez tienes errores fosilizados.
(Maybe you have fossilized mistakes.)
Veo que eso pasa todo el tiempo cuando los estudiantes empiezan a hablar demasiado pronto.
(I see this happening all the time when students start speaking too early.)

Susan
¿A qué te refieres con fosilizado?
(What do you mean fossilized?)

Actor 1
A que se quedan como los fósiles, grabados “para siempre”. En este caso, en tu cerebro.
(That they stay like fossils, recorded “forever”. In this case, in your brain.)

Susan
Ah, ya entendí… me imagino que pasa si uno no tiene mucha exposición al español. ¿No?
(Oh, I understand now… I imagine it happens if one doesn’t have much exposure to Spanish. Right?)

Actor 1
Exacto. Es que muchos estudiantes empiezan a hablar antes de que tengan la suficiente exposición al español. No reconocen aún los sonidos, la tonalidad, la melodía. Estos errores son muy difíciles de corregir. Por eso, es mejor primero escuchar mucho mucho español.
(Exactly. It’s that many students start speaking before they have enough exposure to Spanish. They still don’t recognize the sounds, the tone, the melody. These errors are very difficult to correct. That’s why it’s better to first listen to a lot of Spanish.)

Susan
¿Qué me recomiendas para corregir mi mala pronunciación?
(What do you recommend me to correct my bad pronunciation?)

So, here is a summary of possible reasons:

  1. No estudiaste bien la pronunciación de los sonidos del español. (You didn’t study well the pronunciation of the sounds of Spanish.)
  2. Empezaste a hablar demasiado pronto. (You started talking too soon.)
  3. No estás escuchando lo suficiente. (You are not listening enough.)
  4. No te estás exponiendo al español lo suficiente. (You’re not exposing yourself to Spanish enough.)
improve spanish pronunciation reasons why you're getting it wrong explained by a female teacher

Whatever the reason is, by implementing the next steps, we will be able to see a great improvement.

2. Improve Spanish pronunciation to speak like a native speaker

Actor 1
Primero que nada, paso numero uno: Tener una meta razonable. En lugar de desear sonar como un nativo, es mejor tener una meta modesta y alcanzable. Por ejemplo: Quiero pronunciar estas palabras tan bien que la persona con la que estoy hablando me entienda.
(First of all, step number 1: Have a reasonable goal. Rather than wishing you sound like a native, it’s better to have a modest and achievable goal. For example: I want to pronounce these words so well that the person I’m talking to understands me. )

By the way, I didn’t ask you which words are the hardest for you.

Let me know in the comments.

By the way you can practice your pronunciation skills at the Spring Spanish Inner Circle. I know that words with R tend to be difficult, check out this video, where I teach you how to R. And also, check out this video where you learn to pronounce Spanish sounds that do not exist in English.

Susan
Ok, ok. ¿Y después, qué?
(Ok, ok. And after that, what?)

Actor 1
Como paso número dos, busca la pronunciación de las palabras, por ejemplo en Google. Es importante que además busques cómo suenan las palabras dichas en contexto. Por eso, ve much contenido en español.
(As step number 2, search for the pronunciation of the words, for example on Google. It is important that you also look for how the words sound in context. Therefore, watch a lot of content in Spanish.)

Susan
Muy bien, muy bien, suena muy bien. Sí he estado viendo mucho Spring Spanish. ¿Qué más?
(Very good, very good, sounds very good. If I’ve been watching a lot of Spring Spanish. What else?)

Actor 1
Te vas a grabar pronunciando frases con las palabras que te den trabajo. Lo que pasa es que cuando hablas, realmente no escuchas tu pronunciación. Por eso sirve mucho escuchar una grabación de ti mismo. En esto, te puede ayudar mucho pedirle a algún amigo hablante nativo que escuche tus grabaciones. También le puedes pedir que se grabe él, y después tú comparar las dos grabaciones.
(You are going to record yourself pronouncing phrases with the words you find difficult. The thing is, when you speak, you don’t really listen to your pronunciation. That’s why it’s very useful to listen to a recording of yourself. On this, it can help a lot to ask a native-speaking friend to listen to your recordings. You can also ask them to record themselves, and then you compare the 2 recordings.)

Susan
Me encanta la idea. ¿Tú me podrías ayudar?
(I love the idea. Could you help me?)

Sí, claro. Eso sí, tienes que considerar que aunque yo soy hablante nativa, enseñar pronunciación no es mi fuerte. Si tienes las posibilidades, contrata a un tutor especializado en fonética. Dentro de la enseñanza de los idiomas, es una habilidad muy específica. No todos los maestros ejercemos las mismas habilidades. Eso es principalmente porque todos los estudiantes tienen diferentes objetivos de aprendizaje.
(Yes, sure. However, you have to consider that even though I am a native speaker, teaching pronunciation is not my forte. If you have the possibility, hire a tutor specialized in phonetics. Within language teaching, it’s a very specific skill. Not all teachers exercise the same abilities. That is mainly because all students have different learning goals.)

Let’s do a quick summary, shall we? Here is how you can improve bad pronunciation:

  • Paso uno (Step 1): Tener una meta razonable. (Have a reasonable goal.)
  • Paso dos (Step 2): Escuchar y escuchar en contexto. (Listen and listen in context.)
  • Paso tres (Step 3): Grábarte y compárarte. (Record and compare yourself.)
  • Paso cuatro (Step 4): Pedir retroalimentación e implementarla. (Ask for feedback and implement it.)
improve spanish pronunciation summary by female teacher

3. Perfect Spanish pronunciation skills with lots of practice

It is important to clarify that: You are very brave for daring to speak a language that is not “yours”. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. Keep your head up high.

Practice, practice, practice.

It does take time to get really good at Spanish and at Spanish pronunciation.

Tell me how it has been implementing my advice in this video.

Continue improving your Spanish with me in the next lesson where I show you the most common mistakes that Spanish students make when speaking Spanish and, above all, how to correct them.

Similar Posts