Spanish to Lose a Couple of Letters

Not to mention the Chupacabras.

Heh. I’d never thought about how many ñ/n word pairs there are. Excellent video!

No word yet from the Dalai Llama.

Haha the first thing I thought of was how sad I’d be now that my high school Spanish teachers won’t have to cram so many letters together from L to P using the traditional US alphabet song.

Used to be
otchay, ee, hota, kah,

Then we’d all laugh together and try to do the rest of the alphabet without snickering.


I was in elementary school during the mid-90s, and I remember no longer having to say: “cé, ché, dé” and “ele, elle, eme” but instead going “cé, dé, e” and “ele, eme, ene”.

Curiously, my Spanish teacher during those grades always taught us to use “yé” (y) instead of “i griega”, and I’ve used “yé” since. I mean, you don’t really mess up with “little sweet old ladies”, do you?

As long as Spanish keeps the ñ and k, I’m content. Eñe is my favorite letter of all!

And I still don’t understand why French or Portuguese (or Italian?) adopt that, since they basically have the same phoneme. “Gn” in French and “nh” in Portuguese are the same sound, or close enough.

Pourquoi ? Je l’iñore.

Why would you be talking to cones about Spanish?

I was taught the alphabet with ch and ll (early 70s), but by the time my brothers were learning it c. 1980, the recitation didn’t include either one - they were told that old dictionaries and encyclopedias would have ch and ll separate, but not current ones. There were other editorial houses that were still keeping them separate years after the Academies performed the merger.

The dictionaries, Ortografía and so forth have been prepared by the AcademIES of the Spanish Language for over 150 years - complaining about RAE “imposing the language on Latin America” is like blaming last year’s flu epidemic on the first monkey that sneezed lo so many thousand years ago (I suspect it would be the first monkey ever, too).

Oh, hey, found an explanation for the “I thought this was old news” thing…

From the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas (dunno if link will work):

So the slight distinction they made is that, for sorting purposes, those letters had lost their “space” and would be divided when sorting alphabetically. But that they were still part of the recited alphabet. I think the last part was lost in the teachers, or they didn’t care. Because I remember going from having to recite them to being happy I didn’t have to recite them the next school semester.

Really, the recited alphabet was to help us sort the words alphabetically. How the hell are you supposed to say “recite this letter, but sort it with the previous one”? Especially when you’re teaching little kids?

Example (before change):


(After change):


Linky works fine. Love that their point 3. is what I said about rr, I feel… impohtahnt, academic and highly edumacated!

Looking around, I like their explanation for eñe. They give a background for it. It seems Galician also adopted that letter, but not so Catalan, which uses the ny (forgot that one).

Silly Romance languages. Spanish for once does something to simplify the alphabet and set a phoneme, and most of the other ones ignore it in favor of their (different, even) convoluted ways. :wink:

With apologies to Sunspace, we’ll adopt it when you adopt ‘č’ for [tʃ]. :stuck_out_tongue:

Actually, in my very important opinion, there should be a letter for rr, one for ch and one for ll. That way we’ll have a kickass keyboard the size of a piano.*
*Not really Danish keyboards are the same size, despite the extra letters.

Sounds like academicians went for a DADT-like bogus-compromise, you know, we will pretend to acknowledge the facts on the ground but we will continue to claim that we oppose that sort of thing. The spin about nominally remaining in the abecedary but not being used for alphabetical order does reinforce my initial hypothesis that it was a way to face the reality, that The Powers That Be in IT were NOT going to accommodate ch and ll as independent “letters” for data sorting purposes, all the while proudly claiming that we never surrendered their precious ch and ll.

Dudes at the Latin American academies had better be advised that while fighting this lost battle, the youth in many nations, through texting, are fast replacing “qu-” with k…

Which I don’t mind… That means the revival of my letter! YES! After being relegated to kilo- prefixes! :wink:

What I meant was whether ñ is alphabetized as a separate letter. For example, would it go “ano anos año años” or “ano año anos años”?

Yeah, ñ is alphabetized separatedly, but why would it not be? We have never had any confusion about whether it was a separate letter, we don’t talk about it as “a letter with a comb stuck on its hair” or “n with a hat” except when speaking to foreigners. And not only do we have it on our computer keyboards, but in our cellphones :slight_smile:

Do you alphabetize double u separatedly, or with u? Same thing.

Ñ is often neglected, but has had its place. There has not been any confusion as to where to put it (once they decided to put it after the n).

Just to make sure, the comment I cited is not updated. Or at least it wasn’t when I cited it. The explanation given is from the 1994 reunion, and sort of explains why JRD, Mighty, and I went “Hadn’t they done this before?”. Answer: Like JRD said, they did a weird compromise then. Of course, I think most people just ignored the distinction… starting by many Spanish teachers. By now there has been almost one generation of kids that has gone to school and ignored the “special place” ch and ll had.

Well, it depends, you know. In French, Ç isn’t alphabetized separately from C, for example. It isn’t even considered a separate letter; it’s just called C-cédille, even though it’s a different consonant sound, like eñe.

For many years in English, I and J were alphabetized together, even after it had become clear that I was the vowel and J was the consonant.

Although this makes my eyes bleed every time I see it, I am open to such change. QU is basically identical to K, so is C in many cases.

So who’s with me?

Get rid of QU.
Use K instead of C when the sound is identical.
Get rid of C entirely (we have S, and it’s good enough for us Caribbean types).
Get rid of Ll (we have this nifty letter Y that we barely use).

Español 2.0.