We know that following groups of syllables

  1. se, si, sa, so, su
  2. ce, ci, za, zo, zu

can be pronunced in 3 different ways:

Context distinción seseo ceceo
"s" + vowel /s/ /s/ /θ/
"c/z" + vowel /θ/ /s/ /θ/

The question is: approximately how many people in Spain use each of these pronunciations?

I don't ask for Latin America because I know they use "seseo".

  • 1
    This appears to be nearly the same question as How is the letter 's' pronounced in Spain?. As that one is older and has more answers, I'm closing this is favor of that—but please feel free to add the details from this question there.
    – Dori
    Nov 16, 2011 at 0:06
  • 1
    @Dori I'm not asking the same thing and this is much more detailed (for ex. I'm not talking only about 's'). Anyway you have the chance to merge the 2 questions and their answers as an admin.
    – bluish
    Nov 18, 2011 at 7:54
  • 5
    The other question is extremely confusingly named, and posed. Without a bunch of fixing I don't think it makes a good "master" question to redirect other closed dupes to in its current state. Dec 2, 2011 at 12:16
  • 2
    The other question asks about 's' in Spain, it does not worry about the pronounciation of z/c. These are very different questions. Jun 23, 2014 at 4:52

2 Answers 2


The images in this wikipedia page outline the areas of the Spanish speaking world which have predominance of seseo / ceceo / distinción:

  • ¿Y cuáles áreas tiene qué forma de hablar? Es mejor resumir el contenido de los enlaces. Además, ¿qué nos cuentas del español africano? Dec 16, 2017 at 18:09
  • 1
    He insertado las imágenes en el comentario. El español africano se detalla en la primera imagen.
    – jacobo
    Dec 20, 2017 at 17:14

Seseo - used entirely in the Canary Islands and rarely in Andalusia.

Ceceo - can be often found in western and southern Andalusia.

You can safely say that in the rest of the Spain speakers have distinción:

  • /s/ "s"
  • /θ/ "z" & soft "c"
  • 1
    "Correctly" distinguished? What makes one way correct over another?
    – Richard
    Nov 16, 2011 at 17:51
  • I meant: they pronounce each sound as it is supposed to be: θ for c/z, s for s.
    – deprecated
    Nov 16, 2011 at 18:34
  • This seems to answer a specific question I also wanted to ask that doesn't seem to be clearly addressed in the so-called duplicate. Dec 2, 2011 at 12:37
  • 1
    Note that seseo exists in Galicia in some parts as well Dec 20, 2017 at 11:06

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