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How to pronounce the letter J in Spanish

The sound of the Spanish J doesn’t exist in lots of languages, included English. That’s why some people find the letter J one of the most difficult letters to pronounce like a Spanish native. However, not all Spaniards pronounce it in the same way and with the same intensity so, if you are one of those people who have trouble to produce the typical sound of the letter J, don’t worry because I have good news for you.

IPA symbol

[X] is the symbol of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) that represents the typical sound of the Spanish J and HARD G.

How to say the letter J

The letter J sounds like the HARD G in Spanish. The sound is similar to the English H but raspier. Some people say it raspier than others so, you can produce the sound anywhere in between numbers 8 and 9 on the image below. how to pronounce Spanish G J H pronunciation letter throat tongue like a native
  • The number 8 corresponds to the sound of HARD G and J [X].
  • The number 9 corresponds to the sound of South Spanish and some Latin American accents -and to English H.

Tips to pronounce the letter J in Spanish

  • Pronounce the English H but lift your tongue a little bit, just as if you were going to pronounce the letter K.
  • Or you can simply pronounce it like a strong English H, as they do in the south of Spain or in Latin America.

Examples of words with the letter J

ja: jara, jamón, caja, aguja. je: jefe, jersey, lenguaje, viaje. ji: jirafa, cojín, ajillo, bajito. jo: jota, jóven, abajo, cojonudo. ju: jugar, judías, adjunto, brújula. Click to see how to pronounce other Spanish consonants.

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