Hey, amigo, have you ever wondered what the easiest karaoke songs in Spanish for beginners are? If you have, then I’ve got the answer you’ve been searching for. However, if to wish to gang up on the poor karaoke machine, our Best Karaoke Songs for Groups might be a better choice.
The first thing that should be pointed out –even though it’s pretty obvious- is that having even the most basic knowledge of Spanish will go a long way in this endeavor. Most people can handle easy things like “Hola”, “¿Cuánto cuesta?”, and “Hijo de p*ta” (that’s “hello”, “How much?” and “Son of a b*tch”; you’re probably going to use them in that order), but that’s playing on “easy” mode. The issue with Karaoke is that you’re supposed to read the lyrics while you’re singing, and as you’re probably aware, Spanish and English grammar and pronunciation are very different. So, in order to save you much trouble and confusion (or perhaps increase it, I’m not sure) I’ll give you some Spanish pronunciation lessons right here, right now.
Let’s start with the vowels:
A sounds like “ah” – as in cat, or asteroid.
E sounds like “eh” – as in pet, or event
I sounds like a short “ee” – as in feet, or coffee, but shorter
O sounds like “oh” – as in plot, or poison
U sounds like “oo” – as in foot, or poo
As for consonants, I’ll just mention the tricky ones, and you can check the rest of them out here if you wish.
C and G are tricky because of our grammar rules. Whenever preceding of A, O, or U, C will sound like “cat”, “cold”, or “cool”, and G will sound like “gasp”, “gone”, or “gut”. However, when followed by E or I, C will sound like an S, as it does in “celery”, or “cistern”, and G will sound like an English H (Spanish H is mute), as in “her”, or “hilarious”. For G to sound as in “going” when in front of an E or an I, a U needs to be put in between. The word “guillotine” (which is of French, and therefore shares a Latin root with Spanish) should serve as an example.
H, like I said, is mute, no matter where in the word it’s located, just ignore it. In Spanish, the letter that actually sounds like English H is J. I know, confusing, but you’ll get there. If you need a reminder think of the phrase “No way, José”.
I know what you’re thinking: “If J sounds like H, then wtf sounds like J?” That would be Y, a sound that kind of falls in between “Chair” and “Share”. It’s a similar sound to Y is LL (no typo), which is pronounced exactly like SH, something we don’t have in Spanish. However, Y by itself between two words also means “and” (as in “Mario y Juan”), in which case it’s pronounced “ee”, as well as when found at the end of a word.
The worst part is the R. “The Spanish r is pronounced at the front of the mouth by vibrating the tip of the tongue against the front of the roof of the mouth just behind the upper teeth.” There are two variants to it: single R means single vibration, just a roll of your tongue. However, there’s also this little skank, RR, which demands you to drumroll your tongue against your teeth, maintaining the vibration. It also sounds this way when a letter begins with a single R, but I don’t even know why I’m telling you this, you won’t get it right anyway. Just stick to your R.
So… Quick review:
C+E/I sounds like S
C+A/O/U sounds like C
G+E/I sounds like J
G+A/O/U sounds like G in “goal”
Y sounds like EE when alone or at the end of a word
Y sounds like something in between CH and SH when in the beginning or middle of a word
LL sounds like SH
H alone has no sound
J sounds like H
R is a roll of the tongue
RR is a drumroll of the tongue
At this point, I’m not even sure if this lecture was helpful or harmful, but don’t worry, it really isn’t as hard as it seems. In any case, I’ll translate some of the lyrics for you, so you know what the hell you’re saying, and in some cases, I’ll throw in a little pronunciation too. As for the song selection, I deemed variety in the countries of origin important (on the internet “Latin and Spanish” seems to mean Mexico), as well as popularity on the web, of course. Some websites were also helpful, such as DiaADia, Telegraph, Speaking Latino, and Latin Times, to name a few. Also, I feel that being Latin American and actually knowing these songs in Spanish kind of gives me a higher ground when defining what’s easy and what’s not, so just hear me out. If you want to learn some songs in Spanish, or maybe just want to find out where I’m from, click next and get cracking on those easiest karaoke songs in Spanish for beginners. Mi karaoke es su karaoke!