The Catalan Writing System
The Catalan writing system is based on the Latin alphabet with 27 letters and its spelling rules began to be standardized with the founding of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans (Institute of Catalan Studies) in 1907.
Catalan orthography was standardized with the publication of Normes ortogràfiques (Spelling Rules) in 1913 and the Diccionari ortogràfic (Spelling Dictionary) in 1917. In addition, grammatical rules for Catalan were standardized with the publication of the Gramàtica catalana (Catalan Grammar) by Pompeu Fabra in 1918.1
Below are some of the main features of the Catalan writing system:
- Use of the following diacritic or "accent" marks.
- Acute accents (´).
- The grave accent (for example, "À").
- The dieresis mark (for example, "ï").
- Letter combinations such as gu, ig, ix, ll, ny, qu, rr, ss, tg, tj, ts, tx and tz to represent very specific sounds.
- Three of the 27 letters in the Catalan alphabet -- K, W and Y -- are reserved for spelling loan words from other languages.
For more information on the Catalan writing system, you can check out the following resources on the Web at:
For information on The Catalan Language, please see our Quick Facts Library.
1 "Catalan (català)" Omniglot: A Guide to Writing
[Accessed November 18, 2004]
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