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CH has the sound which it has in English in the words charity, cherub, chilly, choke; as chalan, cherna, china, choque. See Modern Orthography, page 12.
D preserves the same unvaried sound which it has in English; as dado, dedico.
E, as has been mentioned, has the sound of a in acre; as edecan, elemento.
F keeps the same sound as in English; as fardo, forma.
G (1.) before a, o, u, or a consonant, has the same sound as in gap, gone, grace, &c. in English; as gana, gota, gràdo.
(2.) Before e, i, y, it sounds like the English h when aspirated; as gente, giro. N.B. Gis silent in the words gnomonica and gnomonico. See letter U.
H is never heard except when it precedes the diphthong ue, and sometimes when placed between two vowels: in the first instance its sound resembles the hard sound of the English g, and in the second that of an English h aspirated; but in both cases the aspiration is exceedingly weak.
I was noticed in the alphabet as sounding like the e in even; as ida, indivisible.
J always sounds like an aspirated h in English; as jamon, jardin.
K always sounds as it does in English. See Modern Orthography, page 12.
L always retains the English sound; as lomo, libro. LL.
LL is sounded by placing the tip of the tongue to the palate, and dropping the tongue whilst emitting the breath. No sound, in English, resembles it exactly; a slight resemblance of its sound may be heard in the word million; but the French ll in the word fille, the glof the Italians, and the lh of the Portuguese, are the best examples which can be given of the sound of this letter; as llama, lleno, lloro, lluvia.
M has always the same unvaried sound which it has in English; as madre, medio.
N retains always the sound which it has in English in the word net or ten ; as nada, don.
N has a peculiar nasal sound, like the French gn: the English have no sound like it, except in the last four letters of the word minion, which bear some resemblance to the last three of the word riñon in Spanish: as niño, piña.
O preserves always the sound which it has in obey; as oda, olor.
P sounds always as it does in English; as pan, pino. N.B. It is silent before n, s, or t; and when followed by h it has the sound of f. See Modern Orthography, page 12.
Q, which is uniformly followed by u, always sounds as in English; as quatro, quota. See Modern Orthography, page 12.
R has a rough sound, as in Rome, rage: example, Roma, rubia; and a smooth sound, as in
Arabia, cart: example, arado, carta. Double r has always the same sound as in English; as perro. R has a rough sound only in the following in
1. At the beginning of a word; as Roma, rabia.
2. After 1, n, s: as malrotar, honra, desreglado. 3. After b, in words composed of the prepositions ab, ob, sub: as abrogar, obrepcion, subrepcion; but if ab, ob, or sub, be not prepositions, the r.becomes liquid, as abrazo, obra, &c.
4. In the second part of words composed either of two nouns, or with the prepositions pre or pro: as maniroto, cariredondo, prerogativa, prorogar. Sometimes these words are divided by a hyphea : as mani-roto, cari-redondo, &c.
S sounds like ss in English; as sala, dos.
T always retains the sound it has in English in the words take, ten, &c.; as taba, tema.
U sounds like the English oo in oozy; as unido, uncion. It is silent in the syllables gue, gui, que, qui, unless it is dotted thus ü. [See Modern Orthography, page 12.] Observe, that although in the syllables gue, gui, the u is silent, the g retains the hard sound it has in guess and guilt; as guerra, guia, and agüero, argüir.
V has the uniform sound heard in English in the word vain; as vano, vivo. In pronouncing this letter the Spaniards join the lower lip to the upper teeth as the English do; but the pressure is very slight; hence arises the erroneous opinion, that the Spaniards pronounce b and v alike, because as the pressure in both instances is but slight, the distinction which exists between the
two sounds cannot be easily perceived. See Modern Orthography, page 12.
X (1.) It has the guttural sound of an English h aspirated, when the following vowel is not marked with the circumflex accent; as xabon, xergon.
(2.) It is sounded as in exit, exercise, experience, whenever it precedes a consonant, or a vowel marked with the circumflex accent; as exácto, expresso. N.B. The circumflex is sometimes omitted if the nature of the word require the acute accent, in order to mark its pronunciation; as in hexámetro, exámen, &c. See Modern Orthography, page 12.
Y, as a vowel, sounds like the English e in even. As a consonant, it has, before all the vowels, a sound rather stronger than that which it has in English before the word year: example, yerro, yugo, &c.
Z always sounds like th in thanks, thick, &c.; as zalea, zona.
Power of the Consonants, in their various Combinations with the Vowels: exemplified by nearly similar sounds, heard in English words.
ba sounds like ba as heard in barbarian.