Spanish Alphabets

Spanish Alphabets

Spanish, being European in origin has many similarities with its cousins of Europe namely English, French and German. The similarity of Spanish alphabets to English alphabets is so much that there is just one addition to the 26 letters of English – ñ. That takes the count of Spanish alphabets to 27. The letters and their pronunciations are as under:

A a F efe K ka P pe U u Z zeta
B be G ge L ele Q cu V uve Ñ eñe
C ce H hache M eme R ere (or erre) W uve doble    
D de I i N ene S ese X equis    
E e J jota O o T te Y ye    

Some Peculiarities of Spanish Alphabets:

  • Real Academia Española, the governing body for Spanish language, has added a few more letters to the existing list of 27 Spanish alphabets. They are ch and ll pronounced as ch and sh in English.
  • The letters W and K are known as loan words since their use is restricted to certain English words which cannot be translated or changed;  kilo, watt, karate to name a few.
  • As in English, Spanish alphabets have vowels: a, e, i, o, u. these vowels can be sometimes marked with acute accents (á, é, í, ó, ú) either to mark stress or to differentiatewords.
  • The letter U is silent when used between g, e or i. As a result, gue will be pronounced ge and gui as gi.
  • When reading native Spanish words, the q followed by e and i remains silent. This does not hold good if the word is originally English or even Latin.
  • One other major point which is noteworthy in Spanish alphabets is the capitalization of letters. It is sparse as compared to English. The rules of capitalization are: Persons, place names, abbreviations, first word in the title of a book or a heading, names of companies, initial word of a sentence, names of government bodies - are all capitalized. However, languages, nationalities, days of the week nor months in a year are not capitalized.

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