Spanish Consonant

The Spanish letter Z is pronounced like the soft C (the letter C in front of E and I); that is, it is pronounced like a TH (in Spain)* or an S (in Latin America).

Por ejemplo

azul blue
arroz rice
brazo arm
cabeza head
calzones underpants
zapatos shoes

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

 Note: The letter Z can never precede an E or an I in Spanish; it is replaced by the letter C. (Why is this?)

Por ejemplo

  • lápiz -> lápices
  • yo comienzo -> yo comencé

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