Spanish Consonant

The Spanish letter C can be pronounced in two different ways.

1. When the C precedes an E or an I, it is a soft C and is pronounced like a TH (in Spain)* or an S (in Latin America).

Por ejemplo…

once   eleven
diciembre   December

2. When the C precedes an A, O, U, or a consonant it is a hard C and is pronounced like a K.

Por ejemplo…

como   how
cuatro   four
octubre   October

*This is what you will hear in the sound files.

Also see lessons on CH, CU, and hard and soft vowels

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.