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SPANISH LANGUAGE

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in northern Spain, and gradually spread in the Kingdom of Castile and evolved into the principal language of government and trade. It was taken most notably to the Americas, and also to Africa and Asia Pacific with the expansion of the Spanish Empire between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Today, about 400 million people speak Spanish as a native language, making it the world's second or third most spoken language, depending on the sources. Mexico contains the largest population of Spanish speakers.
Spanish is growing increasingly popular as a second or third language in a number of countries due to logistical, economic, and touristic interest towards the many nations which chiefly use Spanish as the primary language. This phenomenon is most notable in Brazil, the United States, Italy, France, Portugal, and much of the Anglosphere in general.
Spanish is closely related to the other West Iberian Romance languages: Asturian, Galician, Ladino, Leonese and Portuguese. Catalan, an East Iberian language which exhibits many Gallo-Romance traits, is more similar to the neighboring Occitan language than to Spanish, or indeed than Spanish and Portuguese are to each other.
Spanish and Portuguese share similar grammars and vocabulary as well as a common history of Arabic influence while a great part of the peninsula was under Islamic rule (both languages expanded over Islamic territories). Their lexical similarity has been estimated as 89%.
There are a number of Spanish dialects; however, the Castilian dialect was already the accepted standard of the language by the middle of the 13th cent., largely owing to the political importance of Castile. There are several striking differences in pronunciation between Castilian and major dialects of Latin American Spanish. In the former, c before e and i, and z before a, o, and u, are pronounced th, as in English think; in the latter, they are sounded as s in English see. Moreover, the alphabetical symbol ll in Castilian is pronounced as lli in English billion; but in Latin American Spanish, as y in English you. On the whole, however, the differences between the Spanish dialects of Europe and of Latin America with reference to pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar are relatively minor.
The term "Spanish literature" refers to literature written in the Spanish language, including literature composed by Spanish, other European, and Latin American writers. It may include Spanish poetry, prose, and novels.
Spanish literature is the name given to the literary works written in Spain throughout time, and those by Spanish authors world-wide. Due to historic, geographic and generational diversity, Spanish literature has known a great number of influences and it is very diverse. Some major movements can be identified within it.
Written Spanish unequivocally marks stress through a series of orthographic rules. The default stress is on the penultimate (next-to-last) syllable on words that end in a vowel, n or s and on the final syllable when the word ends in any consonant other than -n or -s. Words that do not follow the default stress have an acute accent over the stressed vowel. For purposes of this rule, -y is regarded as a consonant, so that estoy is accented on the o, even though no written accent mark occurs.
THE SPANISH ALPHABET
Spanish once had 30 letters in its alphabet. In addition to the 26 letters of the English alphabet, Spanish also had the "CH", "LL", "RR" and the "Ñ". But, several years ago three of those letters were eliminated as separate letters and only the "Ñ" remains, making a total of 27 letters. Many Spanish-English diction- aries still have the old letters in their listings.
A  Name: pronounced as a shortened ah as the "A" in father or the "O" in mop
Sound: It is always pronounced the same as its name above!
B  Name: pronounced as a softened beh as the "BA" in baby
Sound: At the beginning of a word or after the letters "L" and "N" it sounds like the English "B" in baseball. All other times has a softer sound than the English "B". This is produced by
using only your lower lip. 

C  Name: pronounced as a shortened seh as the "SA" in sane or safe
Sound: The "C" can have both a hard sound ( like the English "K" ) and soft sound (like the

English "S" ) when used in words.
D  Name: pronounced as a shortened deh as the "DA" in day
Sound: Place your tongue slightly on the back of your upper teeth. When a word ends in "D"
it is only slightly sounded, giving a slight "TH" sound as in the English word the.
E  Name: pronounced as a shortened eh as the "A" in day with just a bit of the "E" sound in bet
Sound: Turn your lips up slightly at the corners of your mouth.
F  Name: pronounced as a shortened eh feh as in the "A" in day + the "FA" in favorite
Sound: It sounds like the English "F" when used in a word.
G  Name: pronounced as a shortened hay as in "hey" 
Sound: The "g" can have both a hard sound ( like the English "G" in gun ) and soft sound ( like 
the English "H" in happy ) when used in words.
Name: the name of "H" is aah cheh , as in the "O" in mop + the "CHA" in change
Sound: Remember, the letter "H" is the silent letter! It is never pronounced in a word except
when used in combination with "C" as in "CH" the old Spanish letter. Then it sounds
like the "CH" in the English word change.
I   Name: pronounced as a shortened ee as the "EE" in feet or the "ea" in seat
Sound: It is always pronounced the same as its name above!
J  Name: pronounced as a shortened hoh tah as the "HO" in hotel + the "TO" in top
Sound: It is pronounced like the English letter "H" with a slight whisper of aircoming from
the back of your throat.
Name: pronounced as a shortened kah as the "CO" in cod or copper 
Sound: It sounds like the English letter "K". There are very few Spanish words using this
letter and they are all borrowed from other languages.
L   Name: pronounced as a shortened eh leh as the "A" in table + the "LA" in label
Sound: It sounds like the English letter "L" with the corners of your mouth turned
slightly up.
M   Name: pronounced as a shortened eh meh as the "A" in table + the "MA" in maybe.
Sound: It sounds like the English letter "M" with the corners of your mouth turned
slightly up.
N   Name: pronounced as a shortened eh neh as the "A" in table + the "NA" in nail
Sound: It sounds like the English "N" with your tongue slightly on the back of your upper teeth.
Ñ   Name: pronounced as a shortened ehn yay as the "A" in table + the "NY" sound in
canyon + the "A" in may
Sound: It sounds like the "NIO" in onion or the "NY" sound in canyon.
O  Name: pronounced as a shortened oh as the "O" in hotel or the "OA" in coat.
Sound: It is always pronounced the same as its name above!
P  Name: pronounced as a shortened peh as the "PA" in pay or pave
Sound: It sounds like the English letter "P" with the corners of your mouth turned slightly up.
Q  Name: pronounced as a shortened cooh as the "COO" in cool
Sound: It sounds like the English letter "K" when used in a word.
R   Name: pronounced as a shortened eh reh as the "A" in table + the "RA" in rain with a slight "D" sound beginning the "RA" portion.
Sound: It sounds like a combination of the English "R" and "D" when used in the middle of a

word, somewhat like the "TT" in butter. When it begins or ends a word it has a trill as
you lightly roll your tongue.

S  Name: pronounced as a shortened eh seh as the "A" in table + the "SA" in sane.
Sound: It sounds like the English letter "S" with the corners of your mouth turned up slightly.
T  Name: pronounced as a shortened teh as the "TA" in table.
Sound: It sounds like the English "T" with your tongue slightly on the back of your upper teeth
and the corners of your mouth turned slightly up.
U   Name: pronounced as a shortened ooh as the "U" in rude or the "OO" in food.
Sound: It is always pronounced the same as its name above! 
V   Name: pronounced as a softened beh as the "BA" in baby.
Sound: At the beginning of a word it sounds like the English "B" as in baby. In the middle of a
word it sounds like the English letter "V" except you do not blow air across your lip.
W   Name: pronounced as a shortened do ble veh as the "DO" in dome + "BLAY" + "VA" as
in the English word vase
Sound: It sounds like the English letter "W" when used in a word. The letter "W" is used only in words of foreign origin.
X   Name: pronounced as a shortened eh kees as the "a" in table + keys
Sound: It sounds like you are hissing the letter "S" when used before a consonant. Between
vowels it sounds like a hissed "GS".
Y   Name: pronounced as ee gree a gah as the "EE" in feet + "GREE" in Greek + the
"A" in table + the "GA" in garden. (i griega) It means the "Greek I"
Sound: By itself It is pronounced like a long English "E" or the Spanish letter "I". When used in a word it is pronounced like the "Y" in you. Many Spanish speakers often add a slight
"J" sound. 
Z   Name: pronounced as a shortened say tah as the "SA" in sane + the "TU" in tumble.
Sound: It is pronounced like the English letter "S".
CH Although this is no longer a Spanish letter, its sound still exists. It sounds like the "CH" in
the English word change.
LL  Although this is no longer a Spanish letter, its sound still exists. It is pronounced like the
English letter "Y". Many Spanish speakers add a very slight "J" sound to it.
RR  Although this is no longer a Spanish letter, its sound still exists. When it exists in the middle of a word it is pronounced like the Spanish "R" with a trill, produced by slightly rolling your tongue.
This sound is also produced when a Spanish word begins with "R" or ends with "R".

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