Spanish words that start with ‘J’

Knowing words that start with “J” in Spanish is important for several reasons. First, it enhances one’s language comprehension and communication skills. Spanish speakers need a strong vocabulary to effectively express themselves and understand others in various contexts. Also, it includes casual conversations, business interactions, and academic settings. Learning words starting with “J” helps individuals broaden their language capabilities, allowing them to better convey their thoughts and ideas.

words starting eith J in spanish

Differences between ‘J’ and ‘G’ sounds might be confusing

Making mistakes with words starting with “J” and “G” is a common challenge, even for native speakers. And spanish has unique pronunciation rules for these letters. The letter “J” often has a guttural sound, similar to the English “h,” in words like “jardín” (garden) or “jugar” (to play). While the letter “G” can have different pronunciations. So, it depends on whether it’s followed by an “e” or “i” (resulting in a softer sound) or an “a,” “o,” or “u” (resulting in a harder sound). These distinctions can be subtle, leading to mispronunciations and confusion.

Je / Ji or Ge / Gi

The distinction between the “je” and “ji” sounds versus the “ge” and “gi” sounds in Spanish can be confusing, especially for learners and even some native speakers. These sounds are voice postalveolar affricates (for “je” and “ji”) and voice velar fricatives (for “ge” and “gi”), and they are quite different from common sounds in English.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the differences:

  1. “Je” and “Ji” (voiced postalveolar affricates): These sounds are similar to the “zh” sound in English. To produce these sounds, place the tip of your tongue against the alveolar ridge (just behind the upper front teeth) and release a gentle burst of air. Examples in Spanish include “jugar” (to play) and “jirafa” (giraffe).
  2. “Ge” and “Gi” (voiced velar fricatives): These sounds are closer to the “g” sound in the English word “go” but slightly softer. They are produced further back in the mouth, with the back of the tongue against the soft palate. For instance, these are some examples in Spanish include “gato” (cat) and “guitarra” (guitar).

The confusion often arises because some dialects or regions of Spanish may merge these sounds, making them sound more similar. Other dialects preserve the distinction. For learners of Spanish, it’s essential to practice and pay attention to these sounds to achieve clear pronunciation.

List of Spanish words that start with the letter “J”

Spanish WordEnglish Translation
JardínGarden
JuegoGame
JirafaGiraffe
JovenYoung
JaulaCage
JuezJudge
JaponésJapanese
JardineríaGardening
JabónSoap
JazmínJasmine
JefeBoss
JoyeríaJewelry
JamónHam
JirónShred
JotaJay
JirgueroFinch keeper
JornadaDay, workday
JaulónBig cage
JaraRockrose
JirafitaBaby giraffe
JocosoJovial, funny
JudíoJewish
JirónRag, tatter
JugadorPlayer
JuramentoOath
JugarTo play
JuzgarTo judge
JornaleroLaborer
JornalWage
Jardín botánicoBotanical garden
JornalistaJournalist
Jaula de pájarosBirdcage
JúbiloJubilation
JergaSlang
JerarquíaHierarchy
JuergaSpree
JusticiaJustice
JulioJuly
JaleaJelly
JarrónVase
JunioJune
JúpiterJupiter
JubiladoRetired
JeringuillaSyringe
JubilaciónRetirement
JilgueroGoldfinch
JubilosoJubilant
JubileoJubilee
JorobaHump
Jornada laboralWorkday
JudicialJudicial
Juez de pazJustice of the peace
JudicialmenteJudicially
JovenzueloYoungster
JuicioJudgment
JabalinaJavelin
JuiciosoSensible, judicious
JactanciaBoast
JactarseTo boast
JurídicoLegal
JurisdicciónJurisdiction
Jardín de infantesKindergarten
JibaritoHumble, small
JacuzziJacuzzi
JovialidadJoviality
Jefe de cocinaHead chef
JuzgadoCourt
JugosoJuicy
JactanciosoBoastful
JugueteToy
JacarandaJacaranda tree
Jugar a las cartasTo play cards
Juez de instrucciónInvestigating judge
Juicio críticoCritical judgment
JudicializarTo judicialize
Juez de familiaFamily judge
Joven promesaYoung promise
Jornada completaFull-time job
JuntarTo join
JeroglíficoHieroglyphic
Juicio sumarioSummary judgment
JugueteríaToy store
Jornada de trabajoWorkday
Juicio penalCriminal judgment
Jardín zoológicoZoo
JaleoRacket, noise
JumentoDonkey
Jornada escolarSchool day
Jornada de puertas abiertasOpen house
Juicio públicoPublic trial
Junta directivaBoard of directors
Juramento de lealtadOath of loyalty
Junto aNext to
Junto conAlong with
JuntoTogether
Junta de accionistasShareholders’ meeting
JunioJune
Junta escolarSchool board
Jalea realRoyal jelly
JurisprudenciaJurisprudence
JuventudYouth
JocundidadJocundity
JubilarseTo retire
Jugador de fútbolSoccer player
Juez de tribunalCourt judge
Juez de paz municipalMunicipal judge
Jalea de frutaFruit jelly
Jugador de baloncestoBasketball player
JubilarTo retire
JuramentadoSworn
Juego de mesaBoard game
Juzgar porTo judge by
Jaula de animalesAnimal cage
JactanciosamenteBoastfully
JengibreGinger

This table provides you with a variety of Spanish words that start with “J” along with their English translations.

Need to know more words starting with specific letters in Spanish? Check our other posts:

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