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Changes to official international guidelines for the Spanish language mean foreigners may now find it a little easier to learn.

The new standards, which include shortening the Spanish alphabet by 2 letters, were recently approved by Spain's Royal Academy and 21 other language academies from the Spanish-speaking world.

Previously, "ch" and "ll" - pronounced roughly as "che" and "eh-yay" - were considered separate letters in the Spanish alphabet, but now they have been removed.

When looking in a dictionary, words beginning with "ch" and "ll" will now be found under "c" and "l", indeed, many modern editions have already adopted this convention.

Not being scrapped is the letter "ñ" - pronounced a little like "en-yay" - so Spanish now has 27 letters, still one more than English.

The new rules were formally agreed by the 22 academies, including the Mexican Language Academy, at the international book fair in Guadalajara, Mexico, in November.

They came into print, earlier this month, in the new edition of the Spanish Royal Academy's spelling dictionary, Ortografía.


Learn Spanish
Royal Academy, Spain.

Other changes which could help foreigners learn Spanish include a more relaxed use of accents on certain words, and clarification on some confusing spelling.

For more information in Spanish visit the Spanish Royal Academy website.