Spanish Consonant

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

1. When the C precedes E or I, it is a soft C and is pronounced like the TH in "thin" (in Spain)* or like the S in "say" (in Latin America). IPA symbol: [s]

Por ejemplo…

once eleven
diciembre December

2. When the C precedes A, O, U, or a consonant it’s a hard C and is pronounced like a K. IPA symbol: [k]

Por ejemplo…

como how
cuatro four
octubre October

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

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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Spanish pronunciation