Pronunciation lesson: Diphthong "AU"

Let's practise together some pronunciation.

The correct pronunciation of the diphthong "AU" can be elusive, especially for English speakers.

In Spanish we pronounce all the vowels (au) whereas in English, these two vowels make a new sound (ɒ).

Take a look at the phonetic transcriptions for the word Australia.

English → /ɒˈstreɪliːə/

Spanish → /aus.ˈtɾa.lja/

Here is our video lesson for this topic.

Here's the transcript of our lesson's text:

Claudio es un náufrago austríaco que vive en una isla de Australia. Ser náufrago es traumático pero al menos tiene su flauta y unos audiolibros de su autor favorito.

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What about other common words with this sound? Check this list:


El auto / car (synonym of coche and carro)

El aumento / raise

El laurel / bay, laurel

La auditoría / audit

La audición / audition

La autopsia / autopsy

El audio / audio

La causa / cause

La audacia / audacity, boldness

El dinosaurio / dinosaur


Aullar / to howl (Funnily, in Spanish we orally express the sound of howling by yelling "Auuu")

Aplaudir / to applaud

Cautivar / to captivate

Causar / to cause

Auxiliar / to help, to assist

Defraudar / to disappoint, to let down

Clausurar / to close down

Bautizar / to baptise

Augurar / to predict


Automático, automática / automatic

Incauto, incauta / gullible

Autónomo, autónoma / autonomous

Autóctono, autóctona / indigenous

Ausente / absent

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