The Ñ. Queen of the Spanish New Letters.
The newest or most “special” newest for the English-Speakers People is the new letters Ñ (ñ). Is new and a little difficult to pronounce.
Ñ, (pronounced enyeh) is the letter n with a diacritical tilde indicating a nasalized pronunciation. The sound is similar to the “n” in the English word “onion”.
It was born, replacing the double NN sound that in the original Latin spelling of some words like ‘annum’ (year), (Spanish meaning is año). This letter even has its own separate key on Spanish keyboards.
Ñ has become a very important symbol as it appears in the name of the language itself: español.
We will learn its pronunciation, used it in syllables, on the next posts.
Now, we will see the digraphs.
The first one is CH. This digraph sound like the ch in the English words “chat” and “chess”.
The second one new letters are LL (ll). The LL sounds like the Y in the English word “yes”. It is important to mention that, in Spanish, the letters LL and Y have the same sound when we use them, preceding any vowel. This “pronunciation rule” has been a “big headache” for the students of the first years in Grammar when they are evaluated in Orthography.
The last one (and more difficult to learn for the English-Speakers people) new letters are the digraph RR (rr). There are not English word that use this sound. In Spanish it is very used and, inclusive, sometimes the letter R has its same sound. It is, R (like in Rich) but more strongly trilled. We will learn this pronunciation when we work with the syllables.