Jenny is my little cousin, and when I was a teenager, she taught me something about the Spanish alphabet that I did not know.
Once, she approached me and said with a smiley face, “Tati, I learned the alphabet today.” I immediately asked her to recite it to me. “Listen,” she said, “a, b, c, d…” I soon stopped her and said, “Honey, you forgot one letter.” She looked at me and said, “No, I didn’t.”
That little girl was right. She hadn’t forgotten any letter. “Ch” was not part of the alphabet anymore. Let me tell you a bit more about this.
The Spanish Alphabet
The Spanish alphabet is currently made up of the following 27 letters: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z. Each letter represents a sound.
The orthography used in the Spanish language also includes the following 5 digraphs: ch, ll, rr, gu, qu. A digraph is a combination of two letters that represent one sound. For example, the digraph “ch” represents the sound /tʃ/, as in “chip.”
Digraphs continue to be used in the Spanish language. The novelty here is that they are not considered letters of the Spanish alphabet anymore. Before 1994, the digraphs “ch” and “ll” were part of it.
Pronunciation of the 27 Letters of the Spanish Alphabet
Let’s learn how to pronounce each letter of the current Spanish alphabet with the following audio samples!
Notice that each audio contains a letter accompanied by its Spanish name. Click on the play button to listen to the correct pronunciation of each letter.