1. Grammar and Spelling
Section One – Grammar and Spelling
1. Gender: Catalan has masculine and feminine genders.
2. Plurals: The plural can generally be identified by the addition of an s at the end of a noun or adjective, and changed verbal endings.
3. One letter words: a, i, o, u
4. Apostrophe: Note the use of the apostrophe - (anar-se'n, ficar-s'hi, m’en vaig) and also before words beginning with a vowel or silent h. However, there is an exception to the latter when there is a definite article and a feminine word, e.g. "la universitat" and "la Isabel".
5. Capitalisation: It is used at the beginning of sentences and for proper names. Unlike English, days/months/languages/nationalities/managerial posts like 'director financier' do not take capital letters. With regard to titles/headings/subheadings etc. only the first word is capitalised. Use upper case for polite forms of address (el Ministre d'Economia) but not when used generically, e.g. els ministres d'economia de l'Unió Europea.
Section Two - Punctuation
1. Ellipsis: '...' [ellipsis] can replace the abbreviation 'etc.'. It also denotes a short pause, an omission or gives a sense of surprise/fear.
2. Exclamation and Question marks: The opening ¡ [inverted exclamation] is rarely used, the only exception being in very long sentences. ? can not be used at the opening of a sentence - only to close it. In sentences which are both questions and exclamations, it is accepted to have both symbols together, i.e.?!. Avoid the use of two closing question or closing exclamation marks, i.e.??, !!
3. Speech marks: It is most common to use double speech marks (" ... ") but all forms may be used. The usual way of writing speech marks would be: "Estic tan cansat", va dir, "me'n vaig a casa". Punctuation marks appear after the closing speech marks, unless they are part of the quoted text.
4. Short dash: The use of the short dash in sentences such as "XXX Printers - the best in the world" is incorrect. This should be a colon or full stop, i.e. "Impressores XXX. Les millors del món."
5. Long dash: The long dash separates a remark from the rest of the sentence, although it is better to use commas for this purpose. It can also be used as brackets within brackets. In the case of transcriptions of dialogue, it can be found at the beginning of each speaker's sentence, i.e. "Les impressores XXX —les millors del món— són molt de fiar".
6. Full stops: The full stop is not usually used for headings/titles/captions, etc. unless they contain more than one sentence.
Section Three - Measurements and Abbreviations
1. Measurements: Metric is the only official measurement but there are some instances of the use of inches (polzades), such as screen sizes and floppy disks.
Time: Catalan uses the 24-hour clock, i.e. 10 am = 10.00, 3 pm = 15.00
Date: Dates can be written in a number of ways: 28/8/99 or 28.8.99 or 28-8-99
Catalan uses a Decimal comma (3,7%) and a dot or a space after 999 (1.000, 1 000, 15.000, 15 000), except in years (1999).
Metre is written m and minute is written m.
N/a = n/a
A/e = e-mail address
Note: abbreviations in upper case do not always have dots or plural s, depending on the context.
Section Four – Hyphenation
Hyphenation does occur in linking different words, in splitting words over a line and is common in conjugating verbs. General English hyphenation rules apply.
Hyphenation is allowed between the consonants of the following groups: rr, ss, sc, l·l, tj, tg, tx, tl, tll (vet-llar), tm, tn, tz, mm, nn. It is not allowed between letters of the following groups (some of which contain silent vowels): gu, qu, ll, ny, ig.
Section Five – Geographic Distribution
Spanish is the most widely spoken of the Romance languages, both in terms of number of speakers and the number of countries in which it is the dominant language. Besides being spoken in Spain, it is the official language of all the South American republics except Brazil and Guyana, of the six republics of Central America, as well as of Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Additionally it is spoken in parts of Morocco and the west coast of Africa, and also in Equatorial Guinea. In the United States it is widely spoken in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California (in New Mexico it is co-official with English), in New York City by the large Puerto Rican population, and more recently in southern Florida by people who have arrived from Cuba. A variety of Spanish known as Lad mo is spoken in Turkey and Israel by descendants of Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. All told there are about 350 million speakers of Spanish.
Pronunciation and usage of Spanish naturally vary between countries, but regional differences are not so great as to make the language unintelligible to speakers from different areas. The purest form of Spanish is known as Castilian, originally one of the dialects that developed from Latin after the Roman conquest of Hispania in the 3rd century A.D. After the disintegration of the Roman Empire, Spain was overrun by the Visigoths, and in the 8th century the Arabic-speaking Moors conquered all but the northernmost part of the peninsula. In the Christian reconquest, Castile, an independent kingdom, took the initiative and by the time of the unification of Spain in the 15th century, Castilian had become the dominant dialect. In the years that followed, Castilian, now Spanish, became the language of a vast empire in the New World.
Spanish vocabulary is basically of Latin origin, though many of the words differ markedly from their counterparts in French and Italian. Many words beginning with f in the other Romance languages begin with h in Spanish (e.g., Ilijo-son, hilo-thread). The Moorish influence is seen in the many words beginning with al- (algodón-cotton, alfombra-rug, almohada-pillow, alfilerpin). As in British and American English, there are differences in vocabulary on the two sides of the ocean (also in mainland Spain).
Spanish is spoken/used in the following countries: Argentina, Aruba (Dutch), Belize (British Honduras), Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Gibraltar (U.K.), Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Morocco, Nevis, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico (U.S.), Spain, St. Kitts (& Nevis) Independent, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (U.S.).
Source: http://www.worldlanguage.com/Languages/Spanish - Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.
Section Seven – Character Set
[ ] = Alt key codes
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