Galician 101

Galician sounds are similar to Portuguese, but nasalization is not nearly as pervasive. The letter x, pronounced sh in both languages, is used in many Galician words where Portuguese uses j or g.



like 'b' in "bed": bico ('kiss').


c + e, i 
like 's' in "supper" (western Galicia) or 'th' in "think" (eastern Galicia): cedo ('early').
c + a, o, u 
like 'k' in "key": can ('dog').

like 'd' in "day": data ('date').

like 'ph' in "phone": ferro ('iron').

like 'g' in "gone". In western Galicia, g is sometimes aspirated, like 'h' in "house": xogo ('game'). If followed by e or i, g must be written with a silent u: xoguete ('toy'), preguiza ('laziness'). If followed by a pronunciated u and then by e or i, that u bears a diaeresis: bilingüe ('bilingual'), Güiana ('Guyana').

silent: harmonía ('harmony').

like 'l' in "love": lúa ('moon').

like 'm' in "month": amarelo ('yellow').

like 'n' in "nice": nai ('mother'). Like 'ng' in "song" if it's at the end of a word: non ('no').
ñ 
like 'ny' in "canyon": xuño ('June').

like 'p' in "party": pai ('father').

like 'q' in "unique". Q is almost always followed by a silent u and then by e or i: queixo ('cheese'/'chin'), arquivo ('archive').


trill with the tip of the tongue, like in Spanish or Italian: terra ('earth', 'land', 'ground').

like 's' in "supper": persoa ('person').

like 't' in "top": ter ('to have').

like 'b' in "bed": novo ('new').

like 'sh' in "shoe": imaxe ('image'), axuda ('help'), xaneiro ('January'), viaxar ('to travel'), lóxico ('logical'), xanela ('window'), cervexa ('beer'), xeral ('general'). Like 'x' in "example" (only in some words): taxi ('taxi'), explorar ('to explore'), texto ('text'), excursión ('trip'), etc.

z
like 's' in "supper" (western Galicia) or 'th' in "think" (eastern Galicia): prezo ('price'). Z is never followed by e or i.

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