phonetics

/ʌ/ for cup

up sound

  • This short sound is not in the Spanish language. It is the sound we can hear in words like English ‘up’.
  • Examples for this sound are in the words:
  • cut, hut, umbrella, cupboard and …here’s one I always tell my students off about ‘comfortable’ 😉
  • Phonetically these words would appear as: /kʌt/ /hʌt/  /ʌm’brelə/  /’kʌbəd/ /’kʌmftəbl/
  • click for audio

phonetics

/ə/ for schwa

SCHW

  • This sound is short and it is not in the Spanish language but it is in Catalan and French. It is the neutral e sound. In English it is a sound that is very common although it is always in weak syllables.
  • Examples for this sound are in the words: umbrella, cupboard.
  • The transcription of these words are: /ʌm’brelə/ /’kʌbəd/
phonetics

/æ/ for cat

a for cat

No, it isn’t a sound made by cats! It’s the a sound that we have in the English word ‘cat’ which between slashes would be written as /kæt/ (which in any case would be ‘miau’). I’ve chosen a very simple English word to illustrate the sound of this very open ‘a’ sound because I know that not all the people that look at the blog are Spanish or Catalan speakers but if they were, this sound is very similar to the ‘a’ sound contained in Spanish ‘gato’ and Catalan plat.

  • Examples for this sound are in the words:
  • mat, hat, caterpillar, and, man.
  • The transcription of these words are: /mæt/ /hæt/  /’kætəpɪˌlə/    /mæn/

Click for sound audio