Spanish Pronunciation: Do You Hesitate to Speak Spanish?

by Chief Spanish Learner on June 18, 2011

Speaking SpanishThere are a lot of reasons people want to improve their pronunciation of Spanish words when they are learning Spanish. Many people learning Spanish hesitate to speak Spanish, afraid that they sound unintelligible, awkward, or simply like someone who still belongs in Spanish 101 on Day 1.

So here are a couple ways to get more practice or feedback with your Spanish pronunciation and improve your confidence.

- Repeat phrases out loud from a learn-Spanish program. This method you probably already know, but some folks don’t think to do it with No-Work Spanish. But you can pause the recording and repeat a word, phrase or sentence. My all-time favorite line of the No-Work Spanish stories to repeat is: Aqui venimos! (Here we come!) I know, I’m weird, but I often get in the car and say, “Price Chopper, aqui venimos!”

- One website that offers opportunities to practice your Spanish (or other language you might be learning) in exchange for helping someone else practice their English is LiveMocha.com. You need either a microphone or web camera to participate though.

- I also recently discovered a couple websites that will read Spanish text out loud. This can be useful if you have written a phrase that you need to say and you are feeling uncertain of the pronunciation. While converting text to speech doesn’t give quite the same rhythm and emphasis to words that someone reading a sentence in its entirety will, today’s sophisticated processing comes pretty darn close.

To simply hear a Spanish word, sentence or entire passage read aloud, you can cut and past the Spanish text into the box at: http://www.naturalreaders.com/sample.htm and select Spanish as the language you want to hear it in.

A slightly more-awkward interface, but with the ability to translate from English to Spanish and then read it in Spanish, can be found at: http://imtranslator.net/translate-and-speak/

Both of these can be a great help in practicing your Spanish pronunciation.

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  1. [...] my last post, I talked about improving your Spanish pronunciation and confidence speaking Spanish. While the methods I listed are good, a MUCH more fun and effective way to practice speaking [...]

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