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Do You Need a Spanish Pronunciation Dictionary?

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With all the dictionaries available these days, it can sometimes be confusing as to which ones you need and which ones you can do without. One type of dictionary that is available for you is a Spanish pronunciation dictionary. These dictionaries are focused on providing you with the correct way to pronounce the words in the language.

While some dictionaries focus exclusively on providing correct pronunciation, other Spanish dictionaries provide the pronunciation as just another feature.

So the question is whether or not you need a dictionary or textbook exclusively devoted to Spanish pronunciation. I think that most people don’t need a Spanish pronunciation dictionary and there a couple of reasons why I think this is the case.

First of all, most Spanish dictionaries already come with pronunciation help and so there is no need to have a Spanish pronunciation dictionary or book focused specifically on that.

Second of all, Spanish pronunciation is not as difficult as the pronunciation of other languages, especially if English is your native language. By learning a few rules, you can understand most of what you need to know about Spanish pronunciation.

If you feel like the pronunciation help in a regular dictionary isn’t enough you can always buy a Spanish pronunciation book that gives you more examples and more in-depth analysis of Spanish pronunciation.

One of the best books that goes into a deeper linguistic analysis of Spanish pronunciation and other linguistic features of Spanish is Spanish/English Contrasts. The book was written by Melvin Stanley Whitley and discusses various linguistic phenomenon of the Spanish language, and will help you get a deeper understanding of them, such as pronunciation.

I used the book in college and it definitely goes into specifics about Spanish sounds. It is an excellent book if that is what you are looking for. The book isn’t a dictionary, though, so make sure you’re aware of that.

Another option you might want to consider is finding a native Spanish speaker and practice speaking with them. Just speaking with a native and listening to how they speak and trying to mimic their speech will help you improve yours.

Whatever you decide, make sure that you get what you want. Don’t bother getting a Spanish pronunciation dictionary or textbook that focuses specifically on pronunciation if a pronunciation guide in a dictionary you have will be enough.

Clint Tustison is a Spanish <--> English translator interested in helping businesses and translators better understand the translation industry. If you’re interested in how to improve your translation business or your relationship with translation companies, check out his website at

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  • Posted On December 31, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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