Is it like the 'j' in English 'jet' or what? Which is the official sound: the English 'y' or the 'j' sound? How is it? I'm told the letter Y is pronounced in Spain as the J in 'jet' in English.

  • 2
    What do you mean by permanently? Every Spanish speaker has a variety of pronunciations of the letter (and that sounds will evolve over time, it's not fixed) Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 2:36
  • I'm voting to close, as there are several useful answers already in the linked question. If there's something else not covered there or that you don't understand, please say so.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


The short answer is: there is no single pronunciation for the letter y.

The longer one is, it varies regionally and by context.

It can be pronounced like a softer version of the "j" sound in "jet" in words like yegua, yoyo, and like the i sound in "bin" in words like hoy, maya.

Then, in some regions of South America (mainly Argentina), it is pronounced like a mixture of "j" and "sh".

  • in Mexico the geneal rule for Y is : if its followed by a vowel it will sound like ll (J) , if its not followed by vowel it will sound like an 'i' , i haven't heard in Mexico the LL or Y pronounced like "SH"
    – Mike
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 18:22
  • No, like i said the alternate pronunciation of the y happens only in South America, so Mexico would not be included.
    – spiral
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 11:29

In European Spanish the letter "y" is not pronounced like the english letter "j" , although with some Latin American accents it sounds more like the French pronunciation of "j" in "je suis". From my experience Spanish speakers from Spain find it very difficult to pronounce the "j" sound in the way English speakers do when saying jet, jeans or bridge.

The "y" sound is made as if you were pronouncing it in English (eg. in the word yurt), but you start with your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, a little behind your front teeth. Try saying "and you" quickly; the "dyuh" sound – with an almost silent "d" at the beginning – is what you're looking for.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.