B

Spanish Consonant

The Spanish letter B has two pronunciations, depending on where it’s found in the word.

Por ejemplo…

1. When the B is at the beginning of a word or immediately follows a consonant, it is pronounced like an English or French B.

bien   well
árbol   tree

2. When the B is in any other position, it is what linguists call a bilabial fricative.* To make this sound, put your lips close together – not quite touching – and push air through them.

Por ejemplo…

hablar   speak
problema   problem

* Bilabial means that the sound is produced with both lips, while fricative means that the sound is created by a partial blockage of the air flow. To give you an idea, the letters F, S, and V are fricative sounds in English.

B is pronounced exactly the same as V in Spanish.

Please note that this explanation is only a guideline for the Spanish that I know, which is Castilian Spanish. There are many regional variations in Spanish pronunciation.

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