Spanish Alphabet


The Spanish alphabet is a  Latin alphabet 0041–007A of 27 letters used to write the Spanish language. In 1994 LL and CH were announced to be no longer official Spanish letters.

A point of interest in Spanish is the inverted question mark ¿ and inverted exclamation mark ¡. They are used to begin interrogative and exclamatory sentences (or clauses). The reader distinguishes what kind of sentences it is at first glance. So prudent, isn't it?

Spanish is a descendant of Latin that was brought to the Peninsula by Romans in 2nd century BC. It has been changing with time giving birth to new dialects and specific sounds. At first it had no uniform rules. The first steps toward standardization of written Spanish were taken in the 13th century by King Alfonso X of Castile, known as Alfonso el Sabio (Alfonso the Wise), in his court in Toledo. One of its results was double N that represents palatalisation. Later, it was replaced with Ñ.

Antonio de Nebrija was the author of the first Spanish grammar (Reglas de orthographia). In 1531 Alejo Venegas del Busto published Tractate of orthographia and pronunciation (Tractado de orthographia y accentos). In 1627 Gonzalo Correas wrote his Art of Castilian Spanish (Arte de la lengua española castellana). All these authors had a great impact on the writing language.

The Royal Spanish Academy was founded in 1714 with the purpose “to fix the voices and vocabularies of the Spanish language with propriety, elegance, and purity”. Since then it had been inserting some amendments in the Spanish alphabet. For example, in 1803 CH and LL were awarded the status of letters.