Spanish orthography

Spanish Orthography

Spanish orthography

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Spanish orthography is the writing system for the Spanish language. It is fairly phonemic, especially in comparison to more opaque orthographies like English and Irish, having a relatively consistent mapping of graphemes to phonemes.


The Spanish language is written using the Spanish alphabet, which is the Latin alphabet with one additional letter, eñe (‹ ñ ›), for a total of 27 letters. Although the letters ‹ k › and ‹ w › are part of the alphabet, they appear only in loanwords such as karate, kilo and walkman. Each letter has a single official name according to the Real Academia Española's new 2010 Common Orthography, but in some regions alternative traditional names coexist as explained below.

The sequence ‹ ch › represents the affricate . The digraph was formerly treated as a single letter, called "che".

The phonemes and have merged in many dialects; see Ceceo.

When ‹ l › is written double (as in calle), it represents either palatal or the same consonant sound as ‹ y ›, depending on the dialect (see Yeísmo). The digraph was formerly treated as a single letter, called "elle".

The letter ‹ r › represents the trill (1) when written double (e.g. tierra); (2) when word-initial......
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