How to Pronounce Marbella?

You will soon be going on holiday to Marbella and people will ask you about your vacation. Do you know how to pronounce Marbella?

The l’s or ll in the word Marbella are pronounced in Spanish as the letter ‘y’ as in yes or in the German and Dutch language the letter ‘j’ as in ja by articulating with the body or the tongue raised against the hard palate. You do not hear or pronounce the l. This is how you pronounce Marbella the correct way. The ll is pronounced as ‘j’ in Andalusia and most of Latin America. In some parts of Spain, Argentina and Uruguay, the pronunciation is sh like in the English word showbiz.

Listen how to pronounce Marbella.

Why is ll removed from the Spanish alphabet?

Here’s a nice fact, the ll was the fourteenth letter of the Spanish alphabet from 1754 to 2010 because of the palatal lateral articulation consonant. The ll and ch were removed from the Spanish alphabet during Christmas 2010 to make the alphabet easier and more readable, according to the coordinator of The Royal Spanish Academy, Salvador Gutierrez Ordonez. This means that the Spanish alphabet now consists of 27 letters.

What are the letters of the Spanish alphabet?

As described above the Spanish alphabet has 27 letters. The letters are:

01. A15. Ñ
02. B16. O
03. C17. P
04. D18. Q
05. E19. R
06. F20. S
07. G21. T
08. H22. U
09. I23. V
10. J24. W
11. K25. X
12. L26. Y
13. M26. Z
14. N

How well do the Dutch and English people pronounce Marbella?

When you walk through the streets of Marbella you hear American, Dutch and English tourists funnily pronouncing Marbella.

The English speaking tourists pronounce Marbella with a flat l and the Dutch with a hard flat letter l and j. The English tourists invented a handy shortcut, namely Marbs, nice and easy!

Find out how the Dutch and British people pronounce Marbella.

Here are more Spanish words with ll

  • ababilla (ababi-ya)
  • brilla (bri-ya)
  • silla (si-ya)
  • camello (came-yo)
  • follo (fo-yo)

What does Marbella mean?

The meaning of Marbella is beautiful sea. Did you know the name Marbella was originally Salduba? About 1600 BC the Romans possessed the city and called it Salduba this means Salt City. The scars of this era can be seen throughout the city, such as the Villa Romana de Rio Verde.

In the 6th century, the name Salduba changed to Marbil-la. This name was claimed by the Arabs who arrived at that time and brought the Islamic rule. For proof of that, you should pay a visit to the Alcazaba fortress.

In 1485 Marbella was conquered by the Spanish Catholic Monarchs led by King Fernando. Marbil-la was repelled and the town changed its name again for the last time into Marbella, which means “Beautiful Sea” (Mar means Sea, and Bella means Beautiful).

Read 3 interesting facts about Marbella to discover two more facts you most likely didn’t know.

How many Spanish languages are there in Spain?

Spanish Languages in Spain
The official and co-official languages in Spain mapped.

There are seven languages in Spain. The official language is Spanish followed by four co-official languages namely Basque, Catalan, Galician-Portuguese, and Occitan (Aranese). Asturian and Aragonese are recognized but are not official languages of Spain.

According to Instituto Cervantes the Spanish language, known as Castilian, is spoken by 480 million people in 20 countries.

  • Basque 750,000 native speakers
  • Catalan 4.1 million native speakers
  • Galician-Portuguese 2.4 million native speakers
  • Occitan 800,000 native speakers

What is the most difficult Spanish word?

If you have trouble pronouncing ll let’s go for the extra mile.

The longest and most difficult Spanish word is hipopotomonstrosesquipedaliofobia, ironically, the word means ‘the fear of long words’.

‘Hexakosioihexekontahexafobia’ is a difficult word for “fear of the number of the beast, 666”.

Fun and interesting facts about the Spanish language

The Spanish language is after Chinese the second most spoken language in the world. Almost 500 million people speak the Spanish language.

The roots of the Spanish language are Latin. The language is derived from a dialect of spoken Latin, which was brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Romans beginning 210 BC, and evolved in central parts of the Iberian Peninsula in the fifth century.

Spanish is developed from Vulgar Latin, with influence from Arabic, and some influence from Paleohispanic languages such as Celtiberian and Basque. Spanish has also taken many words from other Romance languages. Ancient Spanish, also known as Ancient Castilian was originally an informal Latin that was spoken in the provinces of the Roman Empire that was the root for the early form of the Spanish language that began from the 10th century to around the 15th century at the Iberian Peninsula, before a consonantal adaptation led to the evolution of modern Spanish, before a consonantal adjustment gave rise to the evolution of modern Spanish.

Spanish is a phonetic language. When each letter represents a certain sound and you speak the letters consistently then we speak of a phonetic language. The way it’s written is the way it’s pronounced. Yet there are exceptions such as the foreign word ‘sandwich’. It retains its original spelling but are pronounced differently. The word sandwich is pronounced as sán-g-üich or sen-goe-ich. The l’s or ll such in for example caballo is pronounced in Argentina and Uruguay as sh in shower.

If you pay attention Spanish has two names namely Castellano and Español.

The pronunciation of programming language names like ‘java’ and technical terms like ‘JSON’ should maintain the original spelling, but with Spanish pronunciation and graphic accentuation according to the Spanish rules. For example for airbag anglicism pronounced in English, the pronunciation [airbág] is proposed. In other words, adapt the English pronunciation as closely as is possible for the non-bilingual speaker, and adjust the way the word is written, to fit with the Spanish-style pronunciation.


You have now discovered much more than just how to pronounce Marbella.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

In the News !