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Home » Language Resources » Spanish Alphabet » Letter Z

The Letter Z

The Letter Z in Spanish

CETA. Unvoiced interdental fricative consonant

Origen of the letter:
De la Z romana

Example of usage:

The Z in Spanish

The letter Z is the twenty-seventh and last letter of the Spanish alphabet. Its name is “Zeda” or “Zeta”. The letter comes from the Roman alphabet, which derives from Greek and has its origin in an Egyptian hieroglyph. 

The regular sound of “Z” appears in words such as “zafiro”, “pozo” and “feliz”. It is pronounced as “C” when it is written before an “E” or “I”, however the pronunciation is not changed with other vowels.

The consonant “Z” is produced by placing the tip of the tongue between the teeth, leaving room for air to pass with friction but without vibrating the vocal chords. This pronunciation is specifically characteristic of Spain. There also exists another variety of the sound, which is produced by placing the folded tongue on the palate which creates a sound similar to “S”. This way of pronouncing “Z” is common in Andalusia, the Canary Islands and in nearly all Spanish-speaking countries in America.