Spanish/Lessons/¿Cómo te llamas?
- Raúl: ¡Hola! Me llamo Raúl. ¿Cómo te llamas?
- Sofía: Hola, Raúl. Me llamo Sofía. ¿Cómo se escribe Raúl?
- Raúl: Se escribe R-A-Ú-L. ¿Qué tal?
- Sofía: Bien. ¿Y tú?
- Raúl: Fenomenal, gracias.
- Sofía: ¡Qué fantástico! Adiós, Raúl.
- Raúl: ¡Hasta luego!
Translation (wait until the end of the lesson).
|Hello||Hola ( )|
|Good morning!||¡Buenos días! ( )|
|Good evening!||¡Buenas tardes! ( )|
|Good night!||¡Buenas noches! ( )|
|See you later!||¡Hasta luego! ( )|
|See you tomorrow!||¡Hasta mañana! ( )|
|Goodbye||Adiós ( )|
- Hasta means "until"; luego means "then"; you can translate it as "see you later" or "see you soon". In the same vein, hasta mañana means "see you tomorrow".
- Note the upside-down exclamation (¡) and question marks (¿); you will learn more about them in lesson three.
- ¡Buenos días, clase!
- Good morning, class!
- Hola, ¿Cómo están hoy?
- Hello, how are you today?
- Adiós, ¡hasta luego!
- Goodbye, see you later!
What's your name?
To ask someone else's name in Spanish, use cómo, then one of the phrases in the table below (¿Cómo te llamas? is "What's your name?" (literally How do you call yourself?). You can also say ¿Cuál es tu nombre? Here the word “cuál” means "which one".
In Spanish, to say your name, you use the reflexive verb llamarse, which means literally to call oneself (Me llamo Robert is "I call myself Robert) meaning "My name is Robert".
|I am called (I call myself)||Me llamo|
|You (familiar/informal, singular) are called (You call yourself)||Te llamas|
|He/She is called (He/She calls him/herself)||Se llama|
|You (formal, singular) are called (You call yourself)|
|We are called (We call ourselves)||Nos llamamos|
|You (familiar/informal, plural) are called (You all call yourselves)||Os llamáis|
|They are called (They call themselves)||Se llaman|
|You (formal, plural) are called (You all call yourselves)|
- "Os llamáis" is only used in Spain. In Latin America, "Se llaman" is used for both the second and third plural persons.
- Me llamo Chris
- My name is Chris (I call myself Chris.)
- Se llaman Peter y Robert
- They're called Peter and Robert. (They call themselves Peter and Robert.)
- ¿Cómo te llamas?
- What's your name? (What do you call yourself?)
- ¿Cómo se llama?
- What's his/her name? (What does he/she call him/herself?)
|It's a pleasure.||Es un placer.|
|A real pleasure.||Mucho gusto.|
|The pleasure is mine.||El gusto es mío.|
|How are you?||¿Qué tal? (listen)|
|Very well||Muy bien|
|So-so||Más o menos|
|And you?||¿Y tú?|
|Thank you||Gracias (listen)|
|Thank you very much||Muchas gracias|
|You're Welcome||De nada
con mucho gusto
For some of the words above, there are two options. The one ending in "o" is for males, and the one ending in "a" is for females. It's all to do with agreement, which is covered in future chapters.
Also, there are cultural differences in how people respond to "How are you?". In the U.S., we might answer "Mal" if we have a headache, or we're having a bad hair day. In Spanish-speaking cultures, "mal" would be used if a family member were very ill, or somebody lost their job. Similarly, "Fatal" in the U.S. might mean a ruined manicure or a fight with one´s girlfriend, but would be reserved more for things like losing one's home in a Spanish-speaking country.
Expressing "you are welcome" is more formal in Costa Rica than in other countries. Con mucho gusto is formal. Gusto is less formal. De nada, in some areas is considered slightly insulting and should not be used.
- Roberto: Hola, Rosa. ¿Qué tal?
- Hello, Rosa. How are you?
- Rosa: Muy bien, gracias. ¿Y tú, Roberto?
- Very well, thanks. And you, Roberto?
- Roberto: Bien también. ¡Hasta luego!
- I'm good too. See you later!
The Spanish Alphabet
Here is the traditional Spanish alphabet. The current Spanish alphabet is made up of the letters with numbers above them, and is also sorted in that order. Please read the notes and sections below. (Blue and red letters are a part of the normal English alphabet).
|Notes about Ñ|
N and Ñ are considered two different letters. They are alphabetized as separate letters, so Ñ always comes after N, regardless of where it appears in the word. Ex: muñeca comes after municipal. It is extremely rare for words to begin with Ñ—the only common example is ñoñear (to whine). Like the digraphs mentioned below, Ñ originally began as NN but morphed into a squiggle that was placed above a standard N to save space when writing. The character ~ is independently known as a tilde in English; tilde in Spanish can generally refer to any diacritic that modifies letters (such as the very common acute accent: ´) and the specific word for the tilde is virgulilla.
|Notes about CH, LL, and RR|
CH and LL are no longer distinct letters of the alphabet. In 1994, the Real Academia Española (Spanish Royal Academy) declared that they should be treated as digraphs for collation purposes. Accordingly, words beginning with CH and LL are now alphabetized under C and L, respectively. In 2010, the Real Academia Española declared that CH and LL would no longer be treated as letters, bringing the total number of letters of the alphabet down to 27. In even more rare and archaic sources, RR was treated as a single letter but was never the beginning of a word. It is still treated as a separate letter in the Filipino creole language Chavacano, which is based on Spanish.
|Notes about K and W|
K and W are part of the alphabet but are mostly seen in foreign derived words and names, such as karate and whiskey. For instance, kilo is commonly used to refer to a kilogram.
Although the above will help you understand, proper pronunciation of Spanish consonants is a bit more complicated:
Most of the consonants are pronounced as they are in American English with these exceptions:
- b like the English b at the start of a word and after m or n, (IPA: /b/). Elsewhere in a word, especially between vowels, it is softer, often like a blend between English v and b. (IPA: /β/ or /b/)
- c before i and e like English th in "think" (in Latin America it is like English s) (European IPA: /θ/; Latin American IPA: /s/)
- c before a, o, u and other consonants, like English k (IPA: /k/)
- The same sound for e and i is written like que and qui, where the u is silent (IPA: /ke/ and /ki/).
- ch like ch in “cheese” (IPA: /tʃ/)
- d at the start of a word and after n, like English d in "under" (IPA: /d/)
- d between vowels (even if these vowels belong to different words) similar to English th in "mother" (IPA: /ð/); at the end of words like "universidad" you may hear a similar sound, too.
- g before e or i, like ch in "Chanukah" or "Challah" (IPA: /x/)
- g before a, o, u, like g in “get” (IPA: /g/)
- The same sound for e and i is written like gue and gui, where the u is silent (IPA: /ge/ and /gi/). If the word needs the u to be pronounced, you write it with a diaeresis e.g. pingüino, lengüeta.
- h is always silent, except in the digraph ch and some very rare loan words, such as hip hop. So the Central American state of Honduras is pronounced exactly the same is if it were spelled “Onduras”: (IPA: /onˈduɾas/, [õn̪ˈd̪uɾas])
- j like the h in hotel, or like the Scottish pronunciation of ch in "loch" (IPA: /h/ or /x/)
- ll is pronounced like gli in Italian "famiglia," or as English y in “yes” (IPA: /ʎ/)
- In some Latin American countries, ll is pronounced differently. For instance, in Argentina, ll is pronounced like s in English "vision" (IPA: /ʒ/); in Chile, ll is pronounced like sh in English "shoe" (IPA: /ʃ/)
- ñ like nio in “onion” (or gn in French "cognac" or Italian "gnocchi") (IPA: /ɲ/)
- q like the English k; occurs only before ue or ui (IPA: /k/)
- r at the beginning of a word; after l, n, or s; or when doubled (rr), it is pronounced as a full trill (IPA: /r/), elsewhere it is a single-tap trill (IPA: /ɾ/)
- v is pronounced like the softer form of the Spanish b. (IPA: /b/)
- x is pronounced much like an English x, except a little more softly, and often more like gs. (IPA: /ks/)
- z like the English th (in Latin America, like the English s) (European IPA: /θ/; Latin American IPA: /s/)
The pronunciation of vowels is as follows:
- a [a] "La Mano" as in "Kahn" (ah)
- e [e] "Mente" as in "hen" (eh)
- i [i] "Sin" as the ea in "lean" (e)
- o [o] "Como" as in "more" (without the following 'r')
- u [u] "Lunes" as in "toon" or "loom" (oo)
The "u" is always silent after a g or a q (as in "qué" pronounced keh).
Spanish also uses the ¨ (diaeresis) diacritic mark over the vowel u to indicate that it is pronounced separately in places where it would normally be silent. For example, in words such as vergüenza ("shame") or pingüino ("penguin"), the u is pronounced as in the English "w" and so forms a diphthong with the following vowel: [we] and [wi] respectively. It is also used to preserve sound in stem changes and in commands: averiguar (to research) - averigüemos (let's research).
The y [ʝ] "Reyes" is similar to the y of "yet", but more voiced (in some parts of Latin America it is pronounced as s in "vision" [ʒ] or sh in "flash" [ʃ]) At the end of a word or when it means "and" ("y") it is pronounced like i.
Spanish uses the ´ (Acute) diacritic mark over vowels to indicate a vocal stress on a word that would normally be stressed on another syllable; Stress is contrastive. For example, the word ánimo is normally stressed on a, meaning "mood, spirit." While animo is stressed on ni meaning "I cheer." And animó is stressed on mó meaning "he cheered."
Additionally the acute mark is used to disambiguate certain words which would otherwise be homographs. It's used in various question word or relative pronoun pairs such as cómo (how?)& como (as), dónde(where?) & donde (where), and some other words such as tú (you) & tu (your), él (he/him) & el (the).
How do you spell that?
|How is it spelled?||¿Cómo se deletrea?|
|¿Cómo se escribe?|
|It is spelled||Se escribe|
|B as in Barcelona||Con B de Barcelona|
- Roberto: Buenos días. Me llamo Roberto. ¿Cómo te llamas?
- Good day. My name is Roberto. What's your name?
- Benjamín: Hola. Me llamo Benjamín. ¿Cómo se escribe Roberto?
- Hello. I'm Benjamin. How do you spell Roberto?
- Roberto: Se escribe R (de Rioja); O (de Orangután); B (de Barcelona); E (de España); R (de Rioja); T (de Tigre); O (de Orangután).
- It's spelled R (as in Rioja); O (as in Orangutan); B (as in Barcelona); E (as in Spain); R (as in Rioja); T (as in Tiger); O (as in Orangutan).
- Benjamín: Muchas gracias. ¡Adiós, Roberto!
- Many thanks. Goodbye, Roberto.
In this lesson, you have learned
- How to greet people (Hola; buenos días; adiós).
- How to introduce yourself (Me llamo Rosa).
- How to introduce others (Se llama Roberto).
- How to say how you are (Fenomenal; fatal; bien).
- How to spell your name (Se escribe P-E-T-E-R).
- How to ask others about any of the above (¿Cómo te llamas?; ¿Cómo estás?; ¿Cómo se escribe?).
- The Spanish Alphabet and how letters are pronounced.
Drill the words covered in this lesson with this Flashcard Exchange deck.