Talk:Spanish orthography

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b and v[edit]

"The letters b and v were originally simply known as be and ve. However, as Spanish doesn't distinguish between these sounds, it is necessary to add something to the names to tell them apart. "

This is completely false. The prnounciation of "b" and "v" are different. The problem is that the sounds are so closely related that people get confused. "B" is pronounced using both lips, while "V" is pronounced with the lower lip touching the upper teeth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:34, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

What Spanish-speaking region are you from, or what dialect do you speak? In the dialects I have heard, vaca is pronounced with both lips and no teeth, while cabeza is pronounced with the lower lip touching the upper teeth. That is, the pronunciation doesn't depend on whether the letter is b or v, but on whether the letter is the first in the word or between vowels. Rod (A. Smith) 17:51, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

This B is be, & V is ve, it's proper they remain different but this is due a blurring of the letters in some regions especially the less educated ones. -- (talk) 05:16, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

As a Spanish from Spain (and I'd say from an 'educated' region as it is Madrid, working for a university) I should say that nowhere in Spain, as far as I know, there is a dialect where b and v are pronounced different. Askateth [[1]]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps it is a matter of where Spanish is spoken? Perhaps in modern "Spanish" Spanish, b and v are equivalent, but I was raised speaking Mexican Spanish, and I pronounce b and v differently, inclusively, I hear a difference when other speakers use it. I say "vete" for "leave," and "ver" for "see." I say "Vamos a ver," and "Viva la vida." If somebody pronounced any of these words as they do b, I can tell a difference, and I would think there was something funny with their pronunciation. Just my two cents...Solar3939 (talk) 01:34, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

'Something funny with their pronunciation'? I suppose you laugh at the TV every time you watch the news, it's the standard pronunciation in Mexico... Mr KEBAB (talk) 01:26, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Actually (I don't know in spain) in school teachers always make the distinction of B and V pronunciation, being the 1st one bilabial /b/ and the 2nd one labiodental /v/, it's in spoken vulgar spanish that those two merges but not to one sound, it's just interchangeable and adding /β/ for both, all depends on the dialect and how much you care to pronounce well.--Akhshiel (talk) 21:37, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Care to provide citations? This looks like a description of a strongly non-standard pronunciation, or perhaps a regional standard (Paraguayan Spanish?). Mr KEBAB (talk) 01:26, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
To see what the Royal Academy's Diccionario panhispánico de dudas says about b and v, go to <> and read section 3, the paragraph that begins with "No existe en español diferencia alguna en la pronunciación de las letras b y v." Where is the corresponding documentation of a b/v contrast? Kotabatubara (talk) 12:28, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Merger request[edit]

I just created this by moving out the text from Spanish language#Writing system. Spanish orthography redirects here. However, silly me, I didn't check beforehand that Spanish alphabet is already a full article, with content overlapping this one all over the place. I'm requesting a merge (into this one, since the title seems to cover more ground that "alphabet"). --Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 12:54, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

IPA mess[edit]

Who did the original IPA on this page? It's a mess. I'm going in and fixing it. Should have it done today but if not don't revert without a reason for the insane number of diacriticals (which, even if they had much to do with the Spanish system, for simply giving the name of letters in a language with as many dialects as Spanish is rather overkill). Every single a is listed as ä, which whilst technically is centralised as realised in Spanish, it's not normal represented as such in IPA (just a normal a does fine). Ditto for e, which is always shown as being lowered, the s as laminal (which is simply s, except in Castilian where it is apico-dental). The t doesn't need a dental diacritic -- it's already dental, and since it doesn't contrast we don't need it mentioned. The g is only in certain dialects and in certain conditions realised as ɰ, but that doesn't happen in the word grande (in bueno, as güeno, it is). *sigh* —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Guifa (talkcontribs) 22:37, 7 April 2007 (UTC).

Previous reforms[edit]

I've been doing some reading which includes excerpts of old documents about the time of the Conquest of Mexico and I'm seeing both systemtic and random differences to modern Spanish orthography. I cannot find anything on Wikipedia about anything but the current orthography. I would like to know if there were previous reforms, what those changed, or if Spanish orthography was unruly until recently. Any details greatly appreciated! — Hippietrail 03:10, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Examples of systematic differences:
  • á for modern a
  • muger for modern mujer
  • coraçon for modern corazón
  • dixo for modern dijo
  • ansí for modern así
  • mas for modern más
Examples of non-systematic differences:
  • é or i for modern y
  • io for modern yo
  • Letter v in many places taken by modern b
  • Letters u and v are interchangeable
  • Many missing modern acute accents

I'm cross-posting this question to Talk:Spanish language since this page seems to receive little traffic. — Hippietrail 16:48, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Historical overview[edit]

The history of the spelling reforms of Spanish is ancient, rich, and interesting. The Spanish Royal Academy led the way in eliminating etymological fads from European languages. This topic deserves to be expanded.


Translate the Spanish word "corta" into English. (It says that "ve corta" is a name of v.) Georgia guy 01:55, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

short.--AleG 18:41, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

b and v[edit]

they almost sound the same

Mexican Americans are using the V sound more often due to English influence.

WRONG: ORGININALLY THE LETTERS BE & VE WERE DIFFENT!-- (talk) 05:17, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I deleted the part that said that only Spanish and Puerto Ricans call b and v "be and uve". Although in Mexico or Argentina they call "be grande-chica" "be alta-corta", all Spanish speaking people (not only Spanish and Puerto Ricans!)recognize ve and uve as their legitimate names. Meaning that in formal context a Mexican or Argentinean will address those two letters as be and uve, respectively.

Correction the proper Spanish v is a v sound. Many educated speaker of Spanish know that. It only later that ones blurred to two to point almost in some area sound the same.
V: V. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:10, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

The v sound does not exist in the vast majority of Spanish dialects. FilipeS 18:14, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

"Some people even call them be labial and ve labiodental (dentilabial), not realizing that if this were true, there would be no need for such names." <- don't confuse language 'evolution' with people not realizing their 'mistakes'. Spanish (as in Spain) has different sounds for these, and labial/dentilabial would be accurate descriptions. Only because our dialects are now the most common doesn't mean people "doesn't realize". This also seems POV and insulting in some way. ("some people even call them this... haha, some people are just stupid..."). A more accurate explanation is that "this no longer seems to be the case" or "this doesn't seem to be the case in most countries". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:22, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

rr vs r[edit]

I learned R as ere, without the trill, and RR as erre, with the trill. It isn't doble erre. 18:34, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Nope, letter R's name is erre, and RR is said to be doble erre. --Mariano(t/c) 13:08, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, according to the RAE's dictionary on-line, either one of them serves as the letter's name. Benami (talk) 09:33, 22 April 2011 (UTC)


Si is definitelly not a preposition. It literally translates to if, wich is a sentence conjunction. I'm reverting Blindman shady's edit. --Mariano(t/c) 12:40, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

If is both a conjunction and a preposition, now that I think about it.
If you die, I will be sad. If is a preposition with the object "you". That is regardless though, so I will leave it as is.
Blindman shady 18:33, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

You are mistaken. If/si is always a conjunction in conditional clauses. FilipeS 19:37, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Ch and Ll[edit]

I understand that these two digraphs are no longer supposed to be treated as individual letters in collation, but I think this is different from not belonging to the alphabet. I think they should be included in the list of letters. FilipeS 17:57, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

agree--F3rn4nd0 (Roger - Out) 15:11, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I changed the article to reflect that both CH and LL are actual letters in the spanish alphabet according to the RAE entries for CH [2] (fourth letter of the alphabet) and LL [3] (fourteenth letter of the alphabet). In addition the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas states in the entry for abecedario [4] that the spanish alphabet have twenty nine (29) letters and not the twenty seven letters shown in the article. Such entry in the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas also states in its third item that the digraph RR has never been considered a letter in the spanish alphabet because the phoneme represented by it is exactly the same that [one of] the phoneme[s] for R. This is not the case for the phonemes of CH and LL and thus those two are considered letters in Spanish (of course special ones as for collation). This change I made has been undone without reason and as I consider the references already present in the article enough for the change I made (at least considering that even the entries CH and LL says that those two digraph are letters in Spanish) I am doing it again. --cromdia (talk) 01:38, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

I was under the impression that they were no longer considered letters. Even if they aren't, though, I see above that others feel that they should still be included in the table. It's funny, because even as I was reverting, I was thinking "it's too bad we can't put this here because otherwise we're not indicating the pronunciation of the letters." I'll leave it to others to determine the status of these digraphs as letters and the only thing that I'll be changing is the /ʝ/ under <ll> since the IPA representations are only for Castilian Spanish (per the IPA link in the table). — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 07:43, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

They are not letters but digraphs, and whichever current Spanish dictionary you have a look at, it will NOT show them as letters. They should be included in a digraph table apart, but they are NOT a part of the alphabet in their together form. --Jago (talk) 11:17, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

this is not easily understood.. as per RAE in the link on the page for CH: Dígrafo que, por representar un solo sonido, es considerado desde 1803 cuarta letra del abecedario español -- that is to say, 1. it is a digraph, 2. it is a letter, as it is a single letter corresponding to a single sound, and 3. it is explicitly a part of the alphabet (see, for example,ía_del_español ). See also the page in spanish for Ll and Ch ("El dígrafo ch es la cuarta letra..."). But in the orthography of español, the RAE changes the rules and calles the diagraphs not part of the alphabet. --— robbiemuffin page talk 20:13, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

"Largely a combination of Latin and Arabic"?[edit]

Spanish orthography (the alphabet, punctuation and orthographic rules of the Spanish language) is largely derived from a combination of Latin and Arabic, as well as the influence of other Iberian languages.

This remark in the intro sounds absurd. If no one steps up to defend it, I think I will remove it. FilipeS 15:15, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

This is a fallacy. Spanish alphabeth has no Arabic influence. Arabic has only influenced some of the Spanish vocabulary. Spanish uses the Latin Alphabet in addition with some letters borrowed from the Greek (e.g.k, w). And the ñ is a unique letter created by Spanish not Arabic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:12, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

I had already removed the remark from the intro. FilipeS 23:24, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

On a tenuously-related note, I have wondered if the long history of Moorish rule in Iberia helped deracinate Spanish orthography. During this period, was Spanish commonly written, and in the Latin alphabet? I know that Spanish was at least sometimes written in the Arabic alphabet. Or did it become for a period merely the vernacular, spoken language, with Arabic the sole language of administration? Either way, if it ceased to be commonly written in the Latin alphabet, then the etymological history would have been severely weakened by the time the Latin alphabet was resumed, and that could have encouraged the tendency towards phonemic orthography. Anyway, I just wondered if anyone knows of any literature on such a topic. -- χγʒ͡ʒγʋᾳ (talk) 00:50, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
What do you mean by 'deracinate'? FilipeS (talk) 14:39, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Moorish rule did not affect Spanish orthography in any way. The present-day practice of writing Spanish in the Roman alphabet comes from an unbroken tradition reaching back ten or more centuries to the Christian kingdoms of the north (see Reconquista). True, some Mozarabs in the south occasionally used the Arabic alphabet to portray their Latin-derived speech (see Mozarabic language#Scripts), but this emphatically does not imply that the vast bulk of Spanish writing ever ceased to be written with Roman characters. Kotabatubara (talk) 16:38, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

X and J[edit]

Regarding the use of x in words like México, RAE does recomend the use of x instead of j [5] (In Spanish). I have made a little change in the article. Cpt.Miller (talk) 12:59, 21 February 2008 (UTC)


Is it crazy to want to see the basic Spanish phonemic values next to the letters?

Four Wikipedia articles on Spanish and none deigns to describe what the letters represent in a clear way. Suggestion: Edit this page, displaying the alphabet in a vertical list and indicate what phoneme(s) they represent along, commenting as needed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:10, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

You're right. I've re-added the phonemes the letters represent, though we could probably do even more to explain the relationship between letter and sound. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 07:51, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

The Spanish phonology article used to have this information, but it was removed. I kind of understand the desire to make this article stick to phonetics/phonology, but at the same time I can't help feeling that the older version was more useful than the current one to many readers. FilipeS (talk) 14:44, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

u, v and q?[edit]

I am bilingual (my two languages are Spanish and English). In all my years of speaking Spanish, I have never heard "u" called "uve doble." At least in my experience, it is called "doble u" or "doble ve," which brings me to another point. "V" isn't pronounced "uve," it's pronounced "ve."

Also the phonetic spelling of "q" isn't "cu," it's "ku." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:11, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

As I see it, the table of the alphabet lists the names of the letters written with their normal spelling, not phonetically spelt, regardless of the phonemes they represent being also there. This is, by the way, why I wonder when and where eye was ever accepted as a correct spelling of the name of ll—those who still pronounce ll without yeísmo (i.e., [ʎ], as opposed to y [ʝ]) would have to call the digraph ['eʝe] nonetheless, so both they and the vast majority of Spanish speakers who do pronounce ll identically to y would have every reason to believe this weird name refers to y, instead of ll. Needless to say, the RAE does not accept it. I'm thinking of reverting it if no explanation is given. Splibubay (talk) 14:00, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm removing eye as a name for the digraph ll. The odds of its presence in the table being ever justified look minimal. Splibubay (talk) 19:16, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

More simplifications for the Spanish orthography[edit]
I griega changes to ye and be alta/be larga to only be.
ch and ll now are not included in the alphabet (this is very good, so not anymore the old fashioned alphabet A B C Ch... Ll M...ZA B C D... L M...Z).
Orthographic simplification; quórumcuórum, QatarCatar.
Accents simplification; sólosolo, guiónguion, ó (between numbers) → o.
Jaume87 (talk) 16:19, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Alphabet modfications added! thanks for the report. Serg!o (talk) 23:28, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Comparison to phonemic orthographies[edit]

The opening paragraph assert that the Spanish orthography "is fairly phonemic, especially in comparison to other language orthographies using the Latin alphabet, having a consistent mapping of grapheme to phoneme."

This seems like a very strong and unjustified statement. The Spanish orthography may be much more phonemic than English or French, but it is not significantly more phonemic than any other Iberian orthography, or than Italian, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian or Albanian. Some other Latin-alphabet orthographies are way more phonemic than Spanish: most obviously Finnish and Estonian, but also arguably all major Slavic and Baltic orthographies besides Polish. If you make a tally, just among the official languages of Europe, you will find at least two dozen "in comparison" to which the Spanish orthography can claim no phonemic advantage.

Saying merely that it is "fairly phonemic" is probably the maximum that can be reasonably claimed.

Any objection to removing the incorrect comparison? I'd also be content to see a comparison to some specific other languages (like English and French) instead. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps instead of saying "especially in comparison to other language orthographies using the Latin alphabet" it should be "especially in comparison to more opaque orthographies like English and Irish." — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 19:38, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Sounds great. Changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 25 November 2010 (UTC)


I changed 'zeta' to 'ceta'. Check with the RAE before you think of changing it back to 'zeta'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 7 January 2011 (UTC)


Can someone who knows the meaning of "contra-Madridian" please replace it with a standard term? To my knowledge it exists only here and on other websites derived from this article. Kotabatubara (talk) 22:49, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it can mean anything other than that some features of the rural Mexican pronunciation being discussed contrast starkly with the standard from Madrid (Spain). This is hardly worth mentioning, as the Madrilenian standard has other traits (most prominently the distinction between /θ/ and /s/, rather than seseo) which differ from very much any form of Spanish found in the American continent. What is peculiar to the rural Mexican variety is the retention of the /ʃ/ phoneme from Nahuatl in indigenous words like mexicano, whereas it's replaced by /x/ in more standard Spanish, even in Mexico itself. Since this information is mostly redundant in that section of the article, I think the best option is simply to delete that word, which I'm about to do. It's really high time to get rid of it. Splibubay (talk) 21:07, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

A question about the Q+U combination...[edit]

I have read in a few places online that some people spell certain words informally as "quo" and "qua" instead of "cuo" or "cua" (such as "quatro", instead of "cuatro"). I have also read in the wikitext spanish textbook, in the section on Spanish spelling, that words containing the "cuo" or "cua" combinations can be written as "quo" or "qua." Could someone verify that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

See "Older conventions" in the article. Kotabatubara (talk) 00:42, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

My question was, in modern informal written dialogue, do people use "qua" or "quo" combinations instead of "cua" or "cuo" combinations? Such informal dialogue would include Myspace, Facebook, text messages, and even sending letters back and forth. If so, it would seem like something to note on this article of Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Some people do it under the influence of Catalan. It's usually regarded with contempt by most people from the rest of Spain. Splibubay (talk) 15:49, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Spanish names of the letters[edit]

Not only do letters have Spanish names, but these, like any other word in the language, have a correct way to be spelt, and this is what the table in the "Alphabet" section of the article used to show along with the letters themselves and the phonemes they represent. Now I see someone has replaced those names with approximations fitting English phonetics and spelling rules, and there might even be an ongoing edit war about the matter. Perhaps these adapted versions should be kept as an aid to pronounce the Spanish ones—especially along with IPA transcriptions of the latter—but should the correct Spanish forms of the names of Spanish letters really be excluded from an encyclopedic article on Spanish orthography? I find it absurd. Splibubay (talk) 15:20, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

I've reverted the changes. English approximations of foreign words is so misleading and oversimplistic that it's basically wrong. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 15:31, 19 March 2011 (UTC)


Aeusoes1, does the ASALE's Diccionario panhispánico de dudas suffice as a reference for the pronunciation of ‹w› in Spanish? If you look up "w" in the DPD, the following will show up:

2. Aparece en palabras de origen germánico, principalmente inglesas y alemanas, y en transcripciones al alfabeto latino de palabras procedentes de lenguas orientales. Representa dos sonidos diferentes, según los casos:

a) el sonido bilabial sonoro /b/ (→ b). La w se pronuncia como /b/ en determinados nombres propios de origen visigodo: Wamba [bámba], Witiza [bitísa, bitíza]; y en voces de origen alemán o derivadas de nombres propios alemanes: wolframio [bolfrámio], wagneriano [bagneriáno], weimarés [beimarés]. En los nombres propios alemanes puede pronunciarse, como en alemán, con sonido labiodental fricativo, pero lo normal es hacerlo con el sonido bilabial /b/, ya que el sonido labiodental no existe en español: Wagner [bágner o vágner], Weimar [béimar o véimar].

b) el sonido /u/ (→ u1). La w se pronuncia como /u/ —o como /gu/, cuando forma diptongo con la vocal siguiente (→ u1, 2)— en la mayoría de las palabras de origen inglés que conservan esta letra: waterpolo [guaterpólo], hawaiano [jaguaiáno, haguaiáno], newton [niúton], así como en las transcripciones de voces orientales, muchas de ellas incorporadas al español a través del inglés: Taiwán [taiguán].

It should be noted that the DPD, like many other Spanish-language academic publications, uses a sui generis phonological alphabet, based on the Spanish writing system, and probably fit only for this language: /z/ for IPA /θ/, /j/ for IPA /x/, the acute accent—rather than a prefixed ˈ—to mark stress... Bearing this in mind, the text can be translated both into English and into IPA like this:

2. It appears in words of Germanic origin, mostly English and German, and in transcriptions into the Latin alphabet of words borrowed from Eastern languages. It represents one of two different sounds:

a) the bilabial voiced /b/ sound (→ b). W is pronounced /b/ in certain proper nouns of Visigothic origin: Wamba /ˈbamba/, Witiza /biˈtisa/ or /biˈtiθa/; and in words of German origin or derived from German proper nouns: wolframio /bolˈfɾamjo/, wagneriano /baɡneˈɾjano/, weimarés /beimaˈɾes/. In German proper nouns, it can be pronounced, as in German, with a labiodental fricative sound, but it is usually rendered with the bilabial /b/ sound, since the labiodental one does not exist in Spanish: Wagner /ˈbaɡneɾ/ or /ˈvaɡneɾ/, Weimar /ˈbeimaɾ/ or /ˈveimaɾ/.

b) the /u/ sound (→ u1). W is pronounced /u/—or /ɡw/, when it makes a diphthong with the following vowel (→ u1, 2)—in most English loanwords keeping this letter: waterpolo /ɡwateɾˈpolo/, hawaiano /xaɡwaˈjano/ or /haɡwaˈjano/, newton /ˈnjuton/, as well as in transcriptions of Eastern words, many of which were borrowed into Spanish through English: Taiwán /tai'ɡwan/.

I used, both here and in my reverted edit, the common convention of representing i and u before the syllable nucleus in a rising diphthong as /j/ and /w/, respectively, since there is no distinction in Spanish between glide-vowel sequences and diphthongs. I, therefore, have no idea which "one of those isn't even a separate phoneme of Spanish"—note /ɡw/, the only pronunciation given for ‹w› before my edit, only makes sense if we agree to represent a u preceding a syllable nucleus and forming a diphthong with it as /w/ in the first place.

I know the DPD doesn't mention the possibility of a ‹w› pronounced as a lone /w/ (/u/ in the peculiar phonological alphabet it uses) when it is part of a diphthong with the following vowel, but it must be so in any of these loanwords in which the w is preceded by a consonant other than g belonging to the same syllable, for Spanish phonotactics wouldn't allow a /ɡ/ following this consonant: swahili is pronounced /swaˈxili/; it would take a ridiculous effort for any Spanish speaker to distort it into /sɡwaˈxili/, even if there were an actual reason to do so, which is not the case (in fact, the draft of the next edition of the DRAE plans to adapt its spelling as suajili, which corresponds to the /swaˈxili/ pronunciation according to the normal rules of Spanish orthography; you can see it by pressing the "Artículo enmendado" button, meaning "amended article"). Furthermore, the /ɡ/ sound before /w/ is simply a particular case of the following phenomenon (DPD, looking up "u"):

2. En posición inicial de palabra o entre vocales, cuando la /u/ forma diptongo con la vocal siguiente, se suele pronunciar delante un sonido levemente consonántico cercano a una /g/: [guérfano] por huérfano, [aguekár] por ahuecar (→ h, 3).

That is:

2. Word-initially or between vowels, when /w/ forms a diphthong with the following vowel, a slightly consonantal sound much like /ɡ/ is usually pronounced before it: /ˈɡweɾfano/ for huérfano, /aɡweˈkaɾ/ for ahuecar (→ h, 3).

This reinforces the notion that /w/ or /u/ is the real sound ‹w› represents in English and romanized East Asian loanwords, while /ɡ/ is a systematic addition which happens in the language in certain contexts, whether the /w/ is spelt as a ‹w› or the normal ‹u›. Splibubay (talk) 22:09, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Ahh, nice find. I wasn't as skeptical of /b/ (particularly, as your source points out, it is an approximation of a labiodental fricative of other languages) as much as I was of the existence of a separate phoneme /w/ that contrasts with non-syllabic /u/ as well as the cluster of /g/ with non-syllabic /u/. Your source doesn't back this up and, although you say that it "must be so in any of these loanwords," the research that I've done on Spanish phonology indicates that this is unlikely.
In Spanish, when /u/ becomes non-syllabic, it is [w]. There is the phenomenon of an acoustically related sound-akin to the contrast between /ʝ/ and non-syllabic /i/ (e.g. abyecto vs. abierto)-that is potentially (though weakly) contrastive for certain speakers. There are some competing analyses about this, some of which see it as a separate phoneme and others as a simple cluster of /g/ and non-syllabic /u/ (since it isn't contrastive with this cluster. To keep it simple, I went with the cluster approach, though by putting it as /gw/, that makes it imply that there is a phoneme /w/.
I also think adding /u/ as something ‹w› represents isn't backed up by your source, as it says it represents /u/ only when it forms the non-syllabic part of a diphthong. The example of newton really indicates that the digraph ‹ew› can indicate /iu/ ([ju].
Since w is so weird, we might consider a section or paragraph on it, rather than try to fit all potential pronunciations in that little box. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 23:08, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
The word swahili should not be taken into account: it is written in italics in DRAE, which means that it is not a Spanish word but an extranjerismo crudo, i.e. a foreign word which has conserved its spelling, like jazz. DPD gives suajili. Newton is strange: it is given as an extranjerismo crudo in DRAE but as an example in DPD. Burzuchius (talk) 18:32, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Preantepenultimate or earlier stress examples[edit]

Not only words in verb form with enclitic pronouns can be sobresdrújulas but also some adverbs such as fácilmente (easily). I am not an expert on neither spanish ortography nor wikipedia conventions, otherwise I would add it myself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

I've added a note about the accent mark on adverbs in -mente (as this article on orthography should focus more on the written accent than on spoken stress). It's hard to justify calling these adverbs "sobresdrújulas", since their _primary_ stress is penultimate. (If we can find such an adverb at the end of a line of poetry, surely it will be rhymed as a paroxytone.) Kotabatubara (talk) 23:19, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Examples in poetry can be found in Jorge Manrique's "Coplas por la muerte de su padre" ("presente ... sabiamente") and in Garcilaso's "Égloga I" ("estrechamente ... frente"). Also in Góngora and in Sor Juana. Kotabatubara (talk) 10:11, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Use of different letters for the same sound sound[edit]

I think there's a mistake in this table, under the Orthography section. However, I'm just starting to learn Spanish, so I can't be sure enough to change it myself. This table says that the phoneme /kw/ is written ⟨cu⟩ and ⟨cu⟩. Am I crazy or are those the same spellings? Is the phoneme /kw/ supposed to be written ⟨cü⟩ before the letters 'i' and 'e'? If not, then why is the phoneme /kw/ even in this table? Thanks for the help, Terrencereilly (talk) 06:11, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

I see no mistake. The phoneme sequence /kw/ is always written ⟨cu⟩ regardless of what vowel follows. You are not crazy, ⟨cu⟩ = ⟨cu⟩. There is no ⟨cü⟩: ⟨ü⟩ can only occur in the sequences ⟨güe⟩ and ⟨güi⟩. I think the phoneme sequence /kw/ is in the table just for symmetry: voiced and voiceless /g/ and /k/ are there, so likewise voiced and voiceless /gw/ and /kw/ are included. Kotabatubara (talk) 16:46, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Why can't I use ligatures with IPA?[edit]

I made a change to the IPA character for the phonetic symbol for the Spanish digraph ‘Ch’ from this: ‘tʃ’ to this: ‘ʧ’ notice the first one is two symbols yet it was change on the back to the original form I’m just wondering why was this done? I'm saying this because that is one of the symbols I saw on Wikipedia's IPA page about the sound that digraph does. sion8 5:10 April 01, 2012 (UTC)

Ligatures are deprecated in the IPA nowadays. Unicode still encodes for it, but Unicode also has other outdated IPA symbols. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 15:42, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Dead wikilinks[edit]

The following wikilinks are dead on my computer. That is, they appear blue, but when I mouse over them no popup text appears, and nothing happens when I click them. They work as I preview this talk page edit, but not in the article.

In Spanish orthography#Alphabet: Latin alphabet, palatal lateral, yeísmo, Spanish phonology, Wikipedia:IPA for Spanish, acute accent, rr, Association of Spanish Language Academies, alphabetize, and RAE.

In Spanish orthography#Alternative names: Real Academia Española and alveolar trill.

In Spanish orthography#Special and modified letters: status quo.

In Spanish orthography#Differential accents: ó.

In Spanish orthography#Reform proposals: Real Academia Española.

Some of this list has changed since the first time I listed it, but most of it is the same. I use Windows XP Service Pack 3, and Firefox 12.0. I can't duplicate the problem on other articles, other computers, or other browsers, so it doesn't matter much unless others are having the same problem. Are you? Art LaPella (talk) 22:01, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

It sounds like a problem with your computer. Those links work when I try them. Maybe try clearing your cookies or something. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 22:40, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Spanish MOS Needed?[edit]

I noted three months back to a couple of IPA pronunciation expert editors that Category:Wikipedia_Manual_of_Style_(regional) has:

but not:

Is there really nothing at all that could benefit by giving guidance? For instance:
  1. Like when to use a Catalan place name, when to use a Spanish one?
  2. Like whether to use accents on capitals, like Oscar or Óscar?
  3. IPA pronunciation?
  4. Spelling between Iberian and American varieties of Spanish?
  5. How to treat Quechua (Runa Simi) and other articles?
  6. and so on?

In ictu oculi (talk) 07:46, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

My understanding is that some of our more general policies provide answers to those questions. As I recall...
  1. Use the one that's most common in English
  2. Put accent marks on capitals only if they're done in English
  3. WP:IPA for Spanish covers this, though there's a bit of ambiguity/wiggle room about European vs. Latin American pronunciations
  4. A topic can usually be reasonably associated with one or the other. Otherwise, it's ambiguous.
  5. What's the issue with Quechua (Runa Simi)?
Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 13:46, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
It may be that simply linking to existing guidelines will be enough, but it would still be good to collect those links in one place. One editor on WT:SPAIN has responded. (In answer to 5. There may not be any issue) In ictu oculi (talk) 16:28, 10 August 2012 (UTC)


In the Consonants table, quetzal appears as quetz'al, apparently an attempted phonetic spelling carried over from somewhere when it should be standard spelling and typography. I haven't fixed it because I'm afraid of messing up the table, but somebody should, please. Thanks, Awien (talk) 12:23, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Acentuación de las mayúsculas[edit]

Why is this article linked not to its own Spanish-language version (Ortografía del español), but to one just about the accentuation of capital letters (Acentuación de las mayúsculas)? I can't find the code for this link in the source, so I don't know how to fix it. The only interlanguage links I can see there are the Arabic, Hungarian and Italian ones. Splibubay (talk) 10:02, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

I took care of it: diff
For some reason, one colon wasn't enough to prevent it from being interpreted as an interwiki link, so there could be some sort of issue with the "further" template or some sort of bug or limitation in the software.
Espreon (talk) 14:51, 10 July 2014 (UTC)


"a relatively consistent mapping of graphemes to phonemes; in other words, the pronunciation of words can largely be predicted from the spelling" -- actually, the pausal pronunciation of native words can be fully predicted; it would be better to say that the spelling can be largely predicted from the pronunciation, the pairs like ge/je being much less numerous than in English or Irish. (talk) 00:30, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

"Native words" is quite the caveat, but I think you may be right about the rephrase. I don't see a problem with changing the wording. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 00:16, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Spanish orthography. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 19:02, 12 January 2016 (UTC)