¡Prospero Año Nuevo!
Attention Spanish linguists and companies that uses Spanish translations: January 1, 2011 marks the date when the new Spanish spelling rules came into effect.
Developed by the Real Academia de la Lengua Española, the new rules contain several clarifications and modifications, including:
New names for the letters B, V, and Y
B is called "Be" in all countries (no longer should be called "be larga" in America)
V is called "Uve" (no longer "be corta")
W is called "Uve doble" (no longer "u doble" or "be doble")
Y is called "Ye" (no longer "Y griega")
New spelling for foreign countries
Iraq becomes Irak
Qatar becomes Catar
Less use of diacritic tildes
Old rule: "sólo" = only, "solo" = alone. Now, the tilde is unnecessary for both meanings
Old rule: "truhán", "búho", "guión". Since they can be pronounced as diphthongs, the tilde is considered unnecessary
The "o" (or) between numbers used to have a tilde which is no longer required. Old spelling: "Vinieron 5 ó 6 personas"; new spelling "Vinieron 5 o 6 personas"
A recent change also removed the tilde from the demonstratives "este/ese/aquel" (and the flexed variants in feminine and plurals) when they worked as pronouns (I. e. "Quiero este helado, éste que señalo", now becomes "Quiero este helado, este de aquí")
Discard hyphens in compounds using "ex", "anti" and "pro"
Old rule: Ex-presidente, anti-social, pro-vida
New rule: Expresidente, antisocial, provida.
For more information, see the articles (in Spanish, of course) at LA NACION and BBC, and then be sure to update your Spanish spellcheckers, translation memories, and glossaries!
[Thank you, Ruben, for the heads-up!]
Language is dynamic - take a look at other recent language developments:
- Brazilian Portuguese changes spelling rules
- China to update list of simplified Chinese characters
- Use of English still growing in global corporations
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