The Correct Pronunciation of Seville (By an Andalusian)

Whether you’re planning a trip to Seville or talking among Spaniards, you probably want to know how to pronounce Seville.

First of all, it’s important to mention that Spanish people don’t say Seville but Sevilla. Seville is the English spelling for Sevilla.

If you’re struggling to say this word, don’t worry because this guide on the correct pronunciation of Seville will tell you exactly how to say the name of this beautiful Andalusian city.

Pinterest pin that reads a guide on the correct pronunciation of seville.

This post contains affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you click through and purchase something, I receive a small commission on the price at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep the content up to date and make other improvements to the blog.

Seville pronunciation from a local

Although I’m not from Seville, I’m from Malaga, which is also located in the Andalusia region. I’ve been teaching Spanish for 3 years, so I know many people don’t know that Seville is Sevilla in Spanish. Therefore, they can’t pronounce it right.

In addition to this, the double “l” isn’t easy for many non-Spanish speakers to say. The “elle” letter has a Spanish sound that English doesn’t have, so it isn’t a natural sound for English speakers.

In theory, the letter “ll” isn’t pronounced like the letter “y”, but many parts of Spain and South America pronounce them the same way. This is known as yeísmo. If you pronounce it as a “y”, Spaniards won’t even notice.

Other towns that have the “ll” sound are Marbella and Mallorca.

So, how do you pronounce Seville? It’s actually quite simple. The correct pronunciation is “suh-VEE-yuh”, with a soft “yuh” sound at the end. The emphasis should be placed on the second syllable, making it sound like “VEE”.

If you’ve been learning Spanish for a while, you might have noticed that the letter “v” is pronounced the same way as the letter “b”.

Check out this video for a pronunciation guide from a local:

Seville by Cristina Reina

Etymology: what does Seville mean?

Did you know that Seville had many other names in the past? Different civilizations named Seville according to their language.

The oldest name reported is Hisbaal which seems to have originated during the Phoenician colonisation of the Tartessian culture in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula and it refers to a former god called Baal.

During Roman times, the name was Latinised as Hispal and later as Hispalis, and during the Muslim period in Southern Spain, Seville was called Ḥimṣ al-Andalus and then Ishbiliya. The latter one became Sevilla in the Castilian language.

In terms of the meaning of Sevilla, there are many theories behind it. One of the most popular theories is supported by a legend that tells that Hercules named the city Hispalo and it’s believed that this is a variation of the name of Híspalis, the Roman term for Hispania.

A photo of the sign I love Seville at setas de sevilla viewpoint.

How do Spanish people spell Sevilla?

The spelling of Sevilla varies depending on which language you are using. Some English speakers may choose to spell it “Seville”, while Spanish speakers may choose to spell it “Sevilla”.

Check out the video above for how to spell Sevilla from a local.

5 Typical words of Seville

If you’re in love with the Spanish language, you’ll be curious about words that are typical of a place.

The truth is that there are many words in Seville that are used in the rest of Andalusia. However, you’ll also find words that people from other Andalusian cities won’t even know. I’m familiar with these words because half of my family is from Seville. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know their meaning.

Let’s take a look at some words and expressions that only people from Seville use.

  • Mi arma. This well-known expression means “my love” or “my dear”. People use it all the time!
  • Chuminá. It means something that is silly or unimportant.
  • Arrecío. This is the word to say, “I’m freezing cold”.
  • Del tirón. It means to do something straight away.
  • Los cacharritos. This word refers to attractions at a fair.
A photo of the beautifiul plaza de espana square with tiles in seville spain.

Other things to know about the Andalusian accent

Visiting the south of Spain is a different experience from visiting the north or other parts of the country. However, one of the most interesting things about Spain is the wide range of languages and accents you can find.

If you’ve been learning Spanish for a while, you’re likely to be more familiar with Spanish spoken in central or northern Spain than with the one in the south.

Whether you visit Seville or other Andalusian cities, you’ll find some accent characteristics. Here are the most common ones:

  • Most Andalusians don’t pronounce the final “s” of words. For example, gracias is said /grasia/.
  • The letters “c” and “z” are often pronounced as “s”. For example, the word comercio is pronounced /komersio/, and the word zapato is pronounced /sapáto/. Although, some parts of Andalucia pronounced the “s” as “c” and “z”.
  • The sound of the letter “j” is softer than in the rest of Spain. In this case, it’s a similar sound to the English “h”, as in “hello”.
  • Some Andalusians pronounce the letter “l” as “r”. For example, they say “er camión” instead of “el camión”.

Frequently asked questions about Seville and its pronunciation

What are people from Seville called?

People from Sevilla are called Sevillanos (masculine form) and Sevillanas (feminine form).

Is Seville a good place to learn Spanish?

Yes. Seville is a great place to learn Spanish because locals are very friendly so it’s easy to make friends and practise your Spanish. It’s also a fantastic place to immerse yourself in the Andalusian culture and visit incredible historic sites.

Conclusion on how to pronounce Seville

Remember that Spaniards don’t say Seville, but Sevilla and the correct pronunciation is “suh-VEE-yuh” with a soft “yuh” sound at the end.

Do you have any questions about the Spanish language? Leave them in the comments below. I’ll be happy to help you.

Save this pronunciation of Seville guide on Pinterest for later

Pinterest pin that reads a guide on the correct pronunciation of seville.

Do you want to learn Spanish? Check out these language resources:

  • Start learning Spanish with Duolingo, a free app with many short lessons in which you can learn anything from vocabulary and grammar to pronunciation.
  • If you love a good paper book, Easy Learning Spanish Complete Grammar, Verbs and Vocabulary includes key information for anyone who is looking for a Spanish book for beginners.
  • Take affordable online lessons with native speakers with Preply.

Check out other language guides

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *