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Double Consonants in Spanish


rjkveton

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Two c's appear to be an exception to the general rule of no double consonants in Spanish, except for those considered single letters, but they occur in two syllables and are part of two distinct sounds. In other words a double c will always form the break between two syllables.

So I guess the general rule should be that a double consonant will never occur in a Spanish word in the same syllable. So I stand corrected.

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How would Soriana be pronounced. This is an interesting one and it would be nice to have a Spanish grammar text to refer to but lets wing it for now.

First question is does it have two syllables or three. Most gringos I know seem to pronounce it something like sor-eeh-ANNA. But my guess would be that Mexicans would say something more like sor-YANNA. Caps denote the accented syllable. So if this is true why does it only have two syllables?

OK, so here goes. For one thing the word does not seem to be written with an accent mark. Now, "u" and "i" are weak, so that means that an "i" followed by an "a" would designate a dipthong unless an accent mark is place over the weak vowel, but there is not one there. So it has to be sor-YANNA, unless there is some other obsure rule to enlighten us all.

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Good call, you are right on the money about the diphthong. And right again, there is no written accent in the word Soriana.

However, the syllable division in Spanish pronunciation is different from the syllable division in English. Your syllable division (sor-YANNA) is how a native English speaker would pronounce Soriana.

Native Spanish speakers in Mexico would pronounce it so-RYANNA (accent on the penultimate A). That 'Y' is pronounced like the 'E' in edict, and there's really no need for the double 'N'.

I agree that this seems like nit-picking, but it's an important point for improving Spanish pronunciation. If a native English speaker learning Spanish pays attention to details of this kind, he or she will speak Spanish with a less-foreign accent.

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Now, about that so-called double C.

In English, a double letter such as the P in apple, the T in letter, or the C in occupy is pronounced as if it were one single letter. The division of syllables falls between the letters, even though the words are pronounced as if there were only one P, one T, and one C.

In Spanish, the pronunciation of a word such as acción, lección, or fraccionamiento follows the normal rules. The C is hard (like a K) when followed by a consonant or by the vowels A, O, and U. The C is soft when followed by an I or an E.

Hence even what appears to be a double letter (as we know them in English) in these and other words is in fact not at all. The pronunciation of the letter is different: ak-sión, lek-sión, and frak-sion-a-mi-en-to.

So...you were right the first time. There are no double letters in Spanish.

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There are no double letters in Spanish

To be nit-picky, they still ARE double letters, but are pronounced individually in the case of the C's. Or in the case of the rr's and the ll's, they have a single sound that goes with those double letters.

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But...no matter how it looks, the 'rr' is one letter, pronounced, if you are reciting the alphabet, ERRE (roll the rr). The 'll' is one letter, pronounced EYEY. Because the 'rr' and the 'll' are each one letter, they are never divided between syllables.

The English alphabet has 26 letters.

The Spanish alphabet has 30:

A

B

C

CH

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

LL

M

N

Ñ

O

P

Q

R

RR

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

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As with many things, the use of world languages changes over time to meet the needs of the people. The English alphabet as we use it contains 26 letters. The Spanish alphabet recognizes these 26 letters plus the letters ch, ll, and ñ. In 1994 the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy), the official arbiter for issues regarding the Spanish language, determined that, for alphabetization purposes in dictionary references only, the letters ch and ll would be considered as they would in English or other Romance languages. (The Academy does not recognize rr as a distinct letter in Spanish.) Following this lead, most linguists recognize 29 letters in the Spanish alphabet.

For those interested in tracing the authoritative source, see © 1999 (published in 2000) Ortografía de la lengua española, published by the Real Academia. Chapter 1, page 2 references the 29 letters and the alphabetization issue.

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But...no matter how it looks, the 'rr' is one letter, pronounced, if you are reciting the alphabet, ERRE (roll the rr).  The 'll' is one letter, pronounced EYEY.  Because the 'rr' and the 'll' are each one letter, they are never divided between syllables.

The English alphabet has 26 letters. 

The Spanish alphabet has 30:

A

B

C

CH

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

LL

M

N

Ñ

O

P

Q

R

RR

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

No es correcto (Not correct)

Right:

A, B, C, CH, D, E ,F, G, H, I ,J, K, L, LL, M, N, Ñ, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

No hay más. (There are no more).

It was a looooonnnggg agoooooo. what u are saying.

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El abecedario español está formado por las veintinueve letras siguientes:

a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, ll, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.

Esta variante española del alfabeto latino universal ha sido utilizada por la Academia desde 1803 (sexta edición del Diccionario académico) en la confección de todas sus listas alfabéticas. No obstante, en el X Congreso de la Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española, celebrado en 1994, se acordó adoptar para los diccionarios académicos, a petición de varios organismos internacionales, el orden alfabético latino universal, en el que la ch y la ll no se consideran letras independientes. En consecuencia, estas dos letras pasan a alfabetizarse en los lugares que les corresponden dentro de la C (entre -cg- y -ci-) y dentro de la L (entre -lk- y -lm-), respectivamente.

Translation

The Spanish alphabet is formed by the following twenty-nine letters:

a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, ll, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.

This Spanish variant of the universal Latin alphabet has been used by the Academy since 1803 (sixth edition of the Academic Dictionary) in the preparation of all its alphabetical lists. Nevertheless, at the Tenth Congress of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, held in 1994, it was agreed to adopt for academic dictionaries, at the request of various international organizations, the universal Latin alphabetical order, in which the ch and the ll are not considered independent letters. As a result, these two letters come to be alphabetized in the places which correspond to them within the letter C (between -cg- and -ci-) and within the letter L (between -lk- and -lm-), respectively.

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Willie, you'd better call Telmex and let them know about your research.

I'm coincidentally sitting here looking at the Guadalajara Páginas Amarillas (Tomo 1, A-I). Again coincidentally, I need to call a store that sells artículos para charros. So I followed your advice and looked between Cerveza-Fábricas de and Cierres-Automáticos, exactly where the Academy says 'CH' should be. No go.

However, when I looked at the end of the 'C's, right after Cursos de Superación y Desarrollo Personal, bingo. All the 'CH' businesses from Chapas to Churros are right there.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make that phone call. 'Charros y Vaqueros, Artículos para'. Followed by 'Chatarra'.

The Academy is one thing, real life is another. Here in Mexico, real life most often wins.

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???

I took your post as neither advice nor offense. I just happened to have the phone book sitting on the desk in front of me--ready to look up the number of a charro store--when I read what you wrote, so I thought I'd check out what alphabetization was being put into practice by Teléfonos de México.

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???

I took your post as neither advice nor offense. I just happened to have the phone book sitting on the desk in front of me--ready to look up the number of a charro store--when I read what you wrote, so I thought I'd check out what alphabetization was being put into practice by Teléfonos de México.

Esperanza:

Sorry for the confusion. When you stated "So I followed your advice and looked between...." I understood it to mean that I was giving advice. Maybe I misunderstood.

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