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Old 5th November 2010, 10:26 PM   #1
Urgellenk
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Default New Spanish Spelling Rules

The 22 Academies of the Spanish Language have just released a new edition of the Spelling Rules of the Spanish Languages. There are no substantial changes, but some minor considerations to keep into account for advanced learners:

* The Academies confirm the 27 letters of the Spanish alphabet (ll and ch are no longer letters since 1999), but the "y" letter is now called "ye" instead of "y griega". The denominations " be larga" and "be corta" for "b" and "v" - common in America - disappear.

* Words like 'guión' and 'truhán' will no longer have a tilde.

* The adverb 'solo' and the demonstrative pronouns will no longer require a tilde even in ambiguous cases. The use of tilde in these words becomes optional.

* Absurdly in my opinion, the Academicians have decided to substitute the "q" letter in words like Iraq, Qatar or quórum by either "c" or "k" - Irak, Catar (sic) or cuórum (sic) are now the correct forms. At least, they leave us the option to use the original Latin form quorum as a Barbarism - in italics and with no tilde.

* The prefix "ex" will be attached to the word (not hyphenated) - exmarido, expresidente -, except when it modifies composed nouns. In such case it will appear as a detached word: ex capitán general.

Last edited by Urgellenk; 9th November 2010 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 5th November 2010, 11:08 PM   #2
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The 22 Academies of the Spanish Language have just released a new edition of the Spelling Rules of the Spanish Languages. There are no substantial changes, but some minor considerations to keep into account for advanced learners:

* The Academies confirm the 27 letters of the Spanish alphabet (ll and ch are no longer letters since 1999), but the "y" letter is now called "ye" instead of "y griega". The denominations " be larga" and "be corta" for "b" and "v" - common in America - disappear.

* Words like 'guión' and 'truhán' will no longer have a tilde.

* The adverb 'solo' and the demonstratives pronouns will no longer require a tilde even in ambiguous cases. The use of tilde in these words becomes optional.

* Absurdly in my opinion, the Academicians have decided to substitute the "q" letter in words like Iraq, Qatar or quórum by either "c" or "k" - Irak, Catar (sic) or cuórum (sic) are now the correct forms. At least, they leave us the option to use the original Latin form quorum as a Barbarism - in italics and with no tilde.

* The prefix "ex" will be attached to the word (not hyphenated) - exmarido, expresidente -, except when it modified composed nouns. In such case it will appear as a detached word: ex capitán general.
What actual humans do may be a different story.
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Old 8th November 2010, 03:26 AM   #3
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The 22 Academies of the Spanish Language have just released a new edition of the Spelling Rules of the Spanish Languages. There are no substantial changes, but some minor considerations to keep into account for advanced learners:

* Words like 'guión' and 'truhán' will no longer have a tilde.
Why are they saying "guión" and "truhán" shouldn't have an accent? I don't understand the reasoning behind that, because if you take away the accent there it changes the spoken emphasis if you follow the rules for syllable stress.

I take it they've decided the incredibly simple and consistent system for accentuation (IF explained properly) is too hard for a few people and the solution should be to suppress accents in places they belong?

Manda huevos . . .
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Old 8th November 2010, 09:23 AM   #4
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......
I take it they've decided the incredibly simple and consistent system for accentuation (IF explained properly) is too hard for a few people and the solution should be to suppress accents in places they belong?

Manda huevos . . .
I think the poor old academics do have a problem that they need to keep the language definition close to reality. If the spec diverges too much from common usage it would soon become irrelevant. So maybe this is a concession to the common usage .

That said the use of advanced technology to write, as opposed to the pen and paper, I would have thought would be a way to enforce and thus encourage correct usage even if it was seen as complex. For years the 'oldens' used to say "with all these spell checkers kids will never spell correctly". In truth I believe the reverse is true. If kids keep seeing red lines and then the correct spelling, then the latter is reinforced.

"This is my theory and my theory alone" by Anne Elk, that is A N N E not an elk ......

and if you remember that you are an olden

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Old 8th November 2010, 06:54 PM   #5
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Why are they saying "guión" and "truhán" shouldn't have an accent? I don't understand the reasoning behind that, because if you take away the accent there it changes the spoken emphasis if you follow the rules for syllable stress.

I take it they've decided the incredibly simple and consistent system for accentuation (IF explained properly) is too hard for a few people and the solution should be to suppress accents in places they belong?

Manda huevos . . .
Yes, I agree. They must be a boring old men. Was really so dificult to continue with the traditional rules? Today, I have been in the university and I listened that foolishness, everyone laughed when our teacher said: "Now is "ye" not "i griega". Because she had heard it in the radio two hour ago. Among other reasons of such complaints, it's important to include that, recently also any academics wanted to change the ways of writing the chemical formulas oriented to the access exam to university what it supposed a generalized tension.

I think the main problem is when it's not possible to tell if a word is pronunced of one way or another, as you very good said. I don't understand with what purposes they is doing it. However, I have my own conclusions, plainly they have seen that is more easy to adapting to the current world, full of conversations SMS and other misspelled things.
They'll say: "Alright let's go to delete all grammar rules". How will be the future? Who knows. I wouldn't like to offend but, I disagree with the Spanglish, the languages mix aren't correct to me.

Certainly, as SrCandas said too, to writing only it's learned writing. Jeje, this thread encouraged me to write in English. Every time, I feel more free to voice what I mean.
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Old 9th November 2010, 12:56 AM   #6
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Why are they saying "guión" and "truhán" shouldn't have an accent? I don't understand the reasoning behind that, because if you take away the accent there it changes the spoken emphasis if you follow the rules for syllable stress.
I do think this new rule is congruent with the general Spanish spelling rules. It is true that most people pronounce "truhan" and "guion" like they were two-syllable words, but they are actually not. The general spelling rule is that, in order to break up a diphthong, you have to put a tilde on the weak vowel ("i" or "u"), never on the strong vowel. Therefore, truhan and guion are monosyllabic words - because the diphthong is not broken, and as such, should not have any tilde.
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Old 9th November 2010, 01:29 AM   #7
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I do think this new rule is congruent with the general Spanish spelling rules. It is true that most people pronounce "truhan" and "guion" like they were two-syllable words, but they are actually not. The general spelling rule is that, in order to break up a diphthong, you have to put a tilde on the weak vowel ("i" or "u"), never on the strong vowel. Therefore, truhan and guion are monosyllabic words - because the diphthong is not broken, and as such, should not have any tilde.
But, it exist one rule by which all words finished in "on" must have tilde. For instance: Camión, acción, canción, cabrón, tirón. If it weren't so, it would have to pronounce as a word "llana".
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Old 9th November 2010, 01:56 AM   #8
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But, it exist one rule by which all words finished in "on" must have tilde. For instance: Camión, acción, canción, cabrón, tirón. If it weren't so, it would have to pronounce as a word "llana".
Such rule does not exist as far as I know. Paroxytone words (llanas) need to have at last two syllables, because the stress falls on the penultimate syllable. That is why monosyllabic words have tilde exceptionally only in ambiguous cases (tilde diacrítica: mas vs. más, té vs. te, etc.).

There are plenty of one-syllable words ending in "on" that do not have tilde: pon, con, son, don, ron... Now "guion" also belongs to that category of words.

That is the reason why, in my opinion, the new rule puts an end to a confusing inconsistency in the complicated rules on when to put the tilde.

Last edited by Urgellenk; 9th November 2010 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 9th November 2010, 03:48 AM   #9
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I remember V as b-chica, not b-corta. And I have the hardest time convincing my boyfriend that those are really entirely separate sounds in English....
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Old 9th November 2010, 04:00 AM   #10
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Yes, I agree. They must be a boring old men. Was it really so difficult to continue with the traditional rules? Today, I have been in was at the university and I listened to that foolishness, everyone laughed when our teacher said: "Now it is "ye" not "i griega". Because she had heard it in on the radio two hours ago. Among other reasons of for such complaints, it's important to include that, recently also any some academics also wanted to change the ways of writing the chemical formulas oriented to on the access exam to university what it supposed a generalized tension (???- not sure what you're saying here -- which caused general tension?).

I think the main problem is when it's not possible to tell if a word is pronounced of one way or another, as you very good said very well. I don't understand with to what purposes they is are doing it. However, I have my own conclusions, plainly they have seen that is more easy easier to adapting to the current world, full of conversations, SMS, and other misspelled things.
They'll say: "Alright let's go to delete all grammar rules". How will be the future What will the future be like? Who knows. I wouldn't like to offend but, I disagree with the Spanglish, the mixture of languages mix (or language mix) aren't isn't correct to me.

Certainly, as SrCandas said too, to writing only it's learned writing (???). Jeje, this thread encouraged me to write in English. Every time, I feel more free to voice what I mean.
And you're getting pretty good at it! Sad to think that this may be the last time (sniff!) that I get to offer you corrections....
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Old 9th November 2010, 12:34 PM   #11
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And you're getting pretty good at it! Sad to think that this may be the last time (sniff!) that I get to offer you corrections....
Doesn't have to be. Bring it over here.
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Old 9th November 2010, 07:12 PM   #12
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Now we're glad we never really learnt the old rules
I bet they can't write any for English
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Old 9th November 2010, 07:55 PM   #13
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I do think this new rule is congruent with the general Spanish spelling rules. It is true that most people pronounce "truhan" and "guion" like they were two-syllable words, but they are actually not. The general spelling rule is that, in order to break up a diphthong, you have to put a tilde on the weak vowel ("i" or "u"), never on the strong vowel. Therefore, truhan and guion are monosyllabic words - because the diphthong is not broken, and as such, should not have any tilde.
I did some further research and it appears you are right. I was just confused because, as you say, most people in Spain make "guion" a sort of forced bi-syllable and also I'd only ever seen it written with an accent.
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Old 9th November 2010, 08:00 PM   #14
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I remember V as b-chica, not b-corta. And I have the hardest time convincing my boyfriend that those are really entirely separate sounds in English....
Try demonstrating how your top teeth touch your bottom lip when pronouncing "v" (labiodental fricative) and only your lips come together when pronouncing "b" (bilabial plosive).
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Old 9th November 2010, 09:10 PM   #15
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"v" (labiodental fricative) and "b" (bilabial plosive).
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Old 10th November 2010, 12:57 AM   #16
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I did some further research and it appears you are right. I was just confused because, as you say, most people in Spain make "guion" a sort of forced bi-syllable and also I'd only ever seen it written with an accent.
In my opinion, that forced and mistaken pronunciation is due to that oddly placed tilde. People reading out "guión" tend to put an unnecessary extra stress on the "o", because that is what tildes are meant to be for, after all.

A similar mispronunciation happens with "rio" (pretérido indefinido of "reir"). It is clearly a monosyllabic word, and yet most people tend to write it with a tilde on the "o" and, therefore, to pronounce it like it has two syllables (ree-OH). Oddly enough, the same phenomenon does not happen with similar verbs like "vio" and "dio" - that any educated person will write with no tilde and pronounce as monosyllables.
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Old 10th November 2010, 04:12 AM   #17
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Why are they saying "guión" and "truhán" shouldn't have an accent? I don't understand the reasoning behind that, because if you take away the accent there it changes the spoken emphasis if you follow the rules for syllable stress.

I take it they've decided the incredibly simple and consistent system for accentuation (IF explained properly) is too hard for a few people and the solution should be to suppress accents in places they belong?

Manda huevos . . .
perhaps I did not understand the subtleties of the preceding rules, but I would have thought that guion and truhan do not need accents and that their presence is a violation of preexisting rules, viz, words of one syllable generally do not take accents, and that one or more a "weak" vowels i and u combined with a "strong" vowel (e, o, or a) just make a dipthong of one syllable. Given that the "h" is effectively nothing at all in spanish, we have in both cases a single syllable. No?

In any case it is not for you to question the all-powerful Real Academia Español--hay que fastidiarse.
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Old 10th November 2010, 03:42 PM   #18
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I just realised that the 3rd person singular of "guiar" is "guió," but if the combination "uio" is supposedly a monosyllable in Spanish, why is there an accent there? Wouldn't it be considered superfluous as well strictly speaking? Like writing *dió or *vió, both of which are common mistakes among natives, but we foreigners are usually taught that most (or is it all?) irregular preterites don't have accents, so it helps us remember that. I guess it might be because it helps differentiate it from the present simple "guío" when reading it.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10th November 2010, 04:13 PM   #19
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I guess it might be because it helps differentiate it from the present simple "guío" when reading it.
I think that's the case.
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Old 10th November 2010, 11:00 PM   #20
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I just realised that the 3rd person singular of "guiar" is "guió," but if the combination "uio" is supposedly a monosyllable in Spanish, why is there an accent there? Wouldn't it be considered superfluous as well strictly speaking? Like writing *dió or *vió, both of which are common mistakes among natives, but we foreigners are usually taught that most (or is it all?) irregular preterites don't have accents, so it helps us remember that. I guess it might be because it helps differentiate it from the present simple "guío" when reading it.

Thanks for your help.
http://buscon.rae.es/draeI/SrvltGUIVerbos?IDVERBO=6888
It is exactly the same rule as "guion" or ("Sion"). The rule is not that new, until now, it was optional to write the "tilde" depending if the writer felt like pronouncing an hiatus. That, obviously, wouldn't last.
Note that in Spanish there are orthographical hiatus and diphthongs and depending on dialectal variations they may not be the same as spoken ones.

I don't dislike the new rules, I feel them not to be necessary, but I suppose they know better than I do. And the point that those rules were agreend by academies in every Spanish speaking country is a nice step.
"Pero, ¿porqué no han mantenido el estatus cúo?"

RAE policy of "descriptive and normative" seems somewhat contradictory to me. And the "Q"s rule seems to be a good example: Nobody writes that way (with the exception of Irak). "Güisqui" or "cederrón" also comes to mind.

************************
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I remember V as b-chica, not b-corta. And I have the hardest time convincing my boyfriend that those are really entirely separate sounds in English....
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Try demonstrating how your top teeth touch your bottom lip when pronouncing "v" (labiodental fricative) and only your lips come together when pronouncing "b" (bilabial plosive).
My grandma makes distinct sounds for "v" and "b" (and for "y" and "ll" btw). But I doubt her "v" is a pure "labiodental fricative".
Here comes my wild guess, or perhaps guesstimating:
Andrés Bello produced a simplified version of the Spanish orthography back in the 1800-something. It was officially used in Chile for some time.
It dropped the C's replacing them with Zs and Qs, separated Js and Gs sounds... but no merging of Vs and Bs. He even called them "Be" and "Ve" (without "corta" or "alta"). That merge must have been something quite new. And even more surprising: it happened in Spain as well as in America after the independence.

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