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The pronunciation of letter “ñ” in Spanish (Intermediate Listening Practice) Posted by on Jul 29, 2022 in Language, Pronunciation, Spanish Vocabulary

The pronunciation of letter “ñ” in Spanish can be a little tricky for Spanish learners, especially if this sound is not present in their native language. This peculiar letter does not derive from Latin as some might think. Its origins date back to the 12th century, when monks used to copy books by hand in the monasteries. At that time, as parchment was very expensive and scarce, the monks had to save space in words that contained the spelling “nn”, which is common in Latin, and chose to write a simple “n” and add a “virgulilla” on top as a form of abbreviation.

Practice the pronunciation of this curious letter with the help of the following video:



Video transcription and translation


Vamos a practicar con el sonido de la letra “ñ”.

Let’s practice with the sound of the letter “ñ”.



Let’s go!


La “ñ” es un sonido nasal. Esto significa que el aire sale por la nariz.

The “ñ” is a nasal sound. This means that air comes out from the nose.


Y, atención, la lengua se adhiere al dorso del paladar.

And, attention, the tongue adheres to the back of the palate.


En otros idiomas como francés, italiano o portugués, corresponde a los sonidos que veis en estas palabras.

In other languages such as French, Italian or Portuguese, it corresponds to the sounds you see in these words.


Y recordad que la “ñ” no es una “n” con una “i”.

And remember that the “ñ” is not an “n” with an “i”.


Escuchad cómo se diferencian estas palabras: uñón y unión.

Listen to how these words are differentiated: uñón and unión.


Pues, ahora vamos a practicar juntos.

Well, now let’s practice together.


Recordad que la “ñ” aparece normalmente al principio de una sílaba.

Remember that the “ñ” normally appears at the beginning of a syllable.


Pues, teniendo todo esto claro, ¡a practicar!

So, having all this clear, let’s practice!


A continuación, os voy a presentar la “ñ” con las diferentes vocales.

Next, I am going to introduce you to the “ñ” with the different vowels.


Escucha y repite conmigo.

Listen and repeat after me.


Recuerda que puedes parar el vídeo y repetir cuantas veces necesites.

Remember that you can stop the video and repeat it as many times as you need.


Bien, pues, con la “a”:

Well, then, with the “a”:


Mañana, niña, caña.

Tomorrow, girl, cane.


Con la “e”:

With the “e”:


Muñeca, bañera, niñez.

Doll, bathtub, childhood.


Con la “i”:

With the “i”:


Añil, teñir.

Indigo, to dye.


Con la “o”:

With the “o”:


Año, baño, guiño.

Year, bath, wink.


Con la “u”:

With the “u”:


Pañuelo, castañuela, buñuelo (que es un dulce).

Handkerchief, castanet, fritter (which is a sweet).


Bien, pues, si quieres practicar con más palabras, solamente necesitas ir al enlace, al link, que hay aquí en la explicación del vídeo y encontrarás un reto lleno de palabras con “ñ”.

Well, if you want to practice with more words, you just need to go to the link here in the explanation of the video and you will find a challenge full of words with “ñ”.


¿Conoces alguna más? Por favor escríbela aquí en comentarios.

Do you know of any others? Please write it here in comments.


Muchas gracias y hasta pronto.

Thank you very much and see you soon.


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About the Author: Anais

Hello, Spanish learners! My name's Anais. I'm a Venezuelan freelance translator living in Argentina. I'm a culture and language freak and such a big foodie! I'm thrilled to share my language and culture with all of you and, why not?, some recipes of our traditional delights, too. Stay tuned, guys! :-)