Categories Spanish

How to get a perfect Spanish accent?

Our friends Jim and May from Spanish and Go put together this great video with 5 top Spanish teachers from different parts of the world – including Marina from here at Notes in Spanish! Can you guess the accents, and which country each Spanish-speaker comes from?

Spanish Accent Tips!

1. How to get a perfect Spanish accent?

Listen, listen and listen to Spanish! Enjoy how words sound in Spanish, pick your favourites and say them to yourself out loud over and over again, having fun trying to say them as well as possible.

2. High-level attention – See how changes in your mouth and tongue position make a difference (but don’t miss point 3. below!):

A few months back I (Ben) got some really interesting advice from a linguist named Sara:

“Tighten up your vowels – they’re quite relaxed and English, e.g. when you say ‘qué’, the e sounds like the English ‘ay’ in ‘day’ (slight exaggeration). Your mouth needs to be flatter, open more horizontally than vertically (if that makes sense), and the sound more definite or forceful (even when speaking quietly), rather than the more drawn-out, open English ‘ay’ in ‘day’. And ‘tr’ sounds very different in Spanish and English. In ‘tremendous’ the t is hissier, with top and bottom teeth together and tongue a little back; in ‘tremendo’, the t is softer, with the tongue against the back of the teeth, and the r in Spanish is rolled.”

That’s high-level attention to detail, but it’s fascinating – native Spanish speakers combine the movements of their mouths, tongues and teeth in different ways to native English speakers – over time we can learn to do the same!

3. BUT! Don’t get obsessed! How good does your accent need to be?

Your accent isn’t SO important! You don’t have to sound like a native Spanish-speaker to be good at or enjoy Spanish! Look at Penelope Cruz or Javier Bardem speaking great English with their noticeable Spanish accents – it sounds lovely!

Spanish-speakers don’t mind if your accent isn’t perfect! Your Spanish accent will improve on its own if you pay it a little attention every now and again. The most important thing is to enjoy learning and using Spanish, and to keep going:

4. What to do right now?

Keep listening to the Notes in Spanish audios for your level, and to get confident and fluent faster, get the accompanying worksheet pack for your level in our store. Building your confidence and vocabulary is crucial to good, fun Spanish communication. Get your level now to progress faster:

N.B.: If you’ve been working with one level for a while, today is a great day to jump up to the next level!

Marina in the Pyrenees