Spanish words with unusual spelling

4
votes

When I went to a Spanish language class I was taught that the 4 letters capitalised in CaRoLiNa could be a very useful reminder that only the 4 letters can appear doubled up in Spanish words. Some examples are:

cc - dirección, lección

rr - perro, cerrar

ll - llave, pollo

nn – connotar, innato

Carolina is very useful in spelling exercises, for example, words with double m in English are never spelt with double m in Spanish, similarly the rule applies to dd, ff, pp, ss etc. But recently I have come across several words in Spanish that do not conform to CaRoLiNa.

Examples:

la sobreexplotación - over-exploitation

la contraataca - counter-attack

la brosse - brush (p.83 Dorling Kindersley Bilingual English Spanish Visual Dictionary)

el puzzle - jigsaw puzzle (p.273 Ibid)

Have you come across any other Spanish words with double letters apart from C R L and N ?

32772 views
updated Aug 29, 2017
edited by peterpierre2
posted by peterpierre2
While puzzle is not, puzle is in the DRAE.
ll is a letter, to have it doubled would take llll - that's the word I want to see!

8 Answers

4
votes

la sobreexplotación - over-exploitation

What is unusual about this spelling? There is no double consonant anywhere.

la contraataca - counter-attack

I doubt that is a word. It should be "el contraataque", and again, it has no double consonants. Shall I assume that you've been told that vowels cannot be duplicated for some strange reason? Because they can.

la brosse - brush (p.83 Dorling Kindersley Bilingual English Spanish Visual Dictionary)

La... what? What is that? Where is that used? I'd bet they used the same template for French and they forgot to replace that FRENCH word with a Spanish one.

el puzzle - jigsaw puzzle (p.273 Ibid)

Again, that's an English word with English spelling, like Pizza (which is Italian)

Have you come across any other Spanish words with double letters apart from C R L and N ?

You can find double s in Spanish words, but they are always of foreign origin (or Latin expressions): affaire (French), appeal (English), baghette (French), dossier (French), gamma (Greek), gauss (German), hippie (English), jacuzzi (English), jazz (English), lobby (English), pizza (Italian), mozzarella (Italina), reggae (English), motocross (French+Engish), paparazzi (Italian), sheriff (English), watt (Englihs), vendetta (Italian), topless (English).

updated Sep 30, 2017
posted by lazarus1907
3
votes

How about cooperación ?

Mmmm, the combinations aa, oo and ii are not as frequent as others, but they are not strange to a Spanish native.

These combinations appear mostly in compound words, such as contraalmirante, contraaviso, portaaviones, semiinconsciente, antiinflamatorio, antiimperialista, coordinar, cooficial, microondas,... All words that can be created with contra- can give you aa, all words with semi- can give you ii, and all words with micro- can give you oo.

You can get ii with diminutivos too: tiita, tonteriita,...

updated Sep 30, 2017
edited by lazarus1907
posted by lazarus1907
2
votes

simple word: leer

updated Feb 27, 2013
posted by affairer
1
vote

How about cooperación ?

updated Feb 27, 2013
posted by pesta
1
vote

This is a great way to remember that the general rule is that only C, R, L, and N are doubled in Spanish.

Thanks!!

updated Sep 1, 2010
posted by crazy_for_sugar
0
votes

The doubling up of unnatural letters (ones that dont fit CaRoLiNe) are usually from foreign words. Words like puzzle, Reggaeton or Zoológico.

updated Aug 29, 2017
posted by Reuben6124
0
votes

Spanish is a phonetic language, so besides the confusion similar phonemes pose for many, I don't think we can talk about "unusual" spellings; well, maybe for "extranjerismos".

updated Feb 27, 2013
posted by diagonx
0
votes

Proveer

Zoológico

updated Feb 27, 2013
posted by sinmeta
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