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Your Spanish Pronunciation Guide

Your Spanish pronunciation guide

Your Spanish pronunciation guide. Have you ever been in an authentic Mexican restaurant and gone to order your favourite Pollo Quesadilla with Jalapeños and queso Oaxaca with a Cerveza but all you could do was point at the menu because you had no idea how to pronounce the names of the dishes? Well fear no more! We’re here to help you get it right with our list of 11 Mexican Foods you’re probably saying wrong (and a guide to getting them right!)

Mexican restaurants and taquerias are popping up everywhere at the moment. It’s really exciting to see Australian’s embrace Mexican cuisine and the dishes that we enjoy with our family on a daily basis. Jefte and I both speak Spanish so we have no problem ordering from a Mexican restaurant menu. Requesting a Tortilla (TOR-TEA-YA) is no brainer for us while for others– including my Dad – it’s still a TOR-TILL-A. Sorry Dad!

Quick Tip: In Spanish double L is always pronounced as a ‘y’ and ‘J’ is pronounced as an ‘H’

When I was learning Spanish one of my lecturers said to me: “If you don’t speak with and accent you aren’t speaking the language.” In the beginning, I always felt a bit silly trying to speak with a Spanish accent, but I quickly learned while living in México that pronunciation is the key to being understood. And using an accent is a must!

Practice your Spanish accent using our list of 11 Mexican Foods you’re probably saying wrong (and a guide to getting them right!) Try saying them out loud and soon you will sound like a pro next time you’re ordering in a Mexican restaurant.

Another Quick Tip: You always pronounce things as they are written. No tricky silent ‘k’s’.

1. Tortilla – TOR-TEA-YA

a thin, flat corn bread, eaten hot or cold, typically with a savoury filling.

2. Doña Cholita – DON-YA CHO-LI-TA

That’s our name!

3. Pollo – PO-YO


4. Quesadilla – KE-SA-DI-YA

A tortilla filled with cheese and other savoury ingredients

5. Jalapeño – HAL-A-PEN-YO

A very hot chilli pepper

6. Carne – KAR-NE


7. Pico de Gallo – PICK-O DE GAH-YO

A fresh salsa made from made from chopped tomato, onion, coriander leaves, chillis, salt and lime juice

8. Tacqueira – TA-KE-RI-YA

A Mexican restaurant specialising in tacos

9. Totopos – TO-TO-POS

The original Mexican corn chip

10. Oaxaca – WA-HA-KA

A white semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from Mexico that’s a bit like mozzarella, also a state and a city in Mexico

11. Cerveza – SER-BEY-SAH


Are there any other Mexican foods that people are saying wrong that you hear and cringe at? I’d love to hear them!

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