Bienvenido o bienvenida, my dear Spanish beginner!
As I told you in the previous podcast, we learned a new problematic sound that comes from the letter «C». Remember that C+A+O+U sounds as CAT in English (casa, correr, culebra), but when it meets with «E» or «I» it sounds like»thing» in the north Spanish variation (CENAR, CIEN) or like «S» sound in the American and south Spanish regional variation (SENAR, SIEN).
And also, remember that if you want pronounce the vowels E or I as Cat, you must change the «C» letter by the «QU» letters: QUIEN, QUERER.
However, as well as the sound C+E+I, we must add a new one: the sound of the letter «Z».
Having said that, we have to face with other difficulty. And it’s that, the sound C+E+I sounds exactly as Z+A+O+U+I+E.
There are words as, por ejemplo, ZEBRA (z+e) ZAPATO (+za) zozobrar, but also words as CENAR or CINTURÓN. You will say… there is not difference regarding the sound, and you are right (tienes razón). But the three first words are writen with «Z» and the last two with «C».
And again, my recommendation is the same that I told you in the podcast number 24 with this same situation in the letters G and J that sounds the same /X/. My recommendation is to learn this words by heart.
How? Reaaading a lot in Spanish but, also, listening a lot to be able to memorize how they are writen and how they sound. In this sense, audiobooks or podcasts like this one with is transcriptions help a lot.
Nos vemos en otro podcast, my dear beginner.