How To Spell in Spanish Like a Native Speaker

Spell in Spanish Like a Native

Dear Spanish students, today I’m bringing you one of those things that native speakers don’t usually think about, and will help you in how to improve your Spanish speaking skills. Even though I’m a Spanish teacher, it doesn’t stop my native mind from sometimes missing “important” information for students. So, one day a student asks you a question about how to spell words in Spanish, and that’s when you realize that this is the way it is and you’ve always accepted it without noticing that in other languages, it’s not the same. This is the case with how we spell things. Why? Well, because we usually use place names when spelling out words to clarify the letter, and generally, they’re about the same cities,  with some variations, but yes, roughly the same. A student told me that in the languages he spoke, it didn’t work that way, and then I thought this was an interesting topic to talk about briefly. I am leaving you the list below the video. Let’s learn how to spell in Spanish!


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In this video I will be explaining to you that we usually use “topónimos” to spell, usually about the same ones from cities in Spain mostly, and some countries. So if you want to sound like a native in Spanish, this would be the way to do it in Spain. As I promised at the end of the video, here is the list of topónimos widely used in Spain to spell: 

A de Almería/Alicante/Ávila/Albacete/Almería

B de Barcelona/Burgos/Bilbao/Badajoz

C de Cádiz/Cáceres/Castellón/Córdoba

D de Dinamarca

E de España

F de Francia

G de Gerona/Granada

H de Huelva/Huesca

I de Italia

J de Jaén

L de Lugo/León/Logroño/Lérida

K de Kilo

M de Madrid/Málaga/Murcia

N de Navarra

Ñ (eñe, no necesitamos añadir nada porque no hay posibilidades de confusión al mencionarla)

O de Oviedo/Orense

P de Pamplona/Palencia

Q de queso 

R de Roma

S de Sevilla/Salamanca/Segovia/Soria/Santader/San Sebastián 

T de Tarragona/Teruel/Toledo

U de Úbeda

V de Valencia/Valladolid/Vitoria

W (uve doble, igualmente no hay posibilidad de confusión)

X (equis, mismo caso que las anteriores)

Y (i griega, mismo caso que las anteriores)

Z de Zamora/Zaragoza

How do you spell it?

Do you know how to spell your name in Spanish like a native would do it? Sounding like a native is a goal for many. Other students don’t aim to sound like a native, but at least want to sound natural, not translating everything from their own language. However, I’ll tell you this too, be patient with it because it takes time.

By the way, I still remember the day I realized English was entering my brain without passing through my “mental translator.” I was sleeping at home in Pennsylvania, and my neighbor was fixing his roof, getting it ready for the winter snow. He was shouting to his wife, and he woke me up. In those first few seconds after waking up, when you haven’t turned on the English-Spanish translator in your mind yet, I understood perfectly what he was saying. I jumped out of bed, excited, ready to tell the world hahaha. From that day on, I noticed that I was translating less when I spoke English; my brain was going almost directly to my mouth without passing through my “Spanish-English translator” before speaking. What a thrill!

Well, I got sidetracked. Sounding like a native or at least sounding natural, right? That’s what we aim for, surely. We don’t want to sound like robots. So, of course, there are little things in daily conversations that make your Spanish sound more natural. Spelling could be one of them, why not?

In this video, I start with an example, I spell it out, and you’ll notice that I use place names. What are place names? They’re proper names of places. This is where a student made me think because he mentioned that in the various languages he spoke, place names weren’t used. So, I started teaching him this, and I quickly realized that we tend to use the same ones, with some variations, but more or less the same. So, above, I’ve left you a list of these names so you can sound like a native Spanish speaker!

Here, on my website you have more free content to help you learning Spanish. Did you know this? So why don’t you take a look to my podcasts with transcripts, and translation, or my videos, and articles