Categories
Writing in Spanish

Spanish Writing Guidelines for Beginners

Do you want to learn how to write Spanish properly? 

Stuck with the blank screen syndrome?

Don’t worry, this small guide will tell you all you need to know about writing Spanish that gets compliments.

To write better Spanish hassle-free, you’ll need iScribo, an artificial intelligence (AI) language helper. 

Whether you need assistance with vocabulary, grammar, tone, or fluency, this tool is there to help.

The fundamentals to write Spanish properly

It doesn’t matter if you are starting from a beginner level of Spanish, an intermediate level, or an expert level and whether you are learning Spanish as a kid or an adult.

You must understand certain fundamentals to write Spanish properly.

Spelling

You can’t write if you don’t know the language’s orthography. Fortunately, Spanish has relatively consistent spelling conventions. 

Spelling out a Spanish word by sounding it out is relatively straightforward after you’ve learned the sounds for each letter. 

That being said, if you’re not sure how to spell a word, you may always ask: ¿Cómo se escribe? (How is it written?) or ¿Cómo se deletrea? (How is it spelt?).

You should be aware of the following common errors:

Is it Y or LL?

The letter “y” and the double-l (“ll”) are frequently pronounced the same way. However, it is a common mistake to confuse them in their spelling. We recommend that you memorise the spelling of these words to make them easier to use.

Is it C, Z, or S?

The letter S sounds like it does in English in European Spanish, but the letter C sounds like the “th” sound in English.” The issue is that the Z in Spain creates the same “th” sound as the Z in English. So, be cautious.

Grammar

To write properly, you must understand both your grammar and Spanish grammar. You’re halfway there if you know what a subject, verb, and complement are.

Capitalisation

The capitalisation rules differ from one language to the next. You don’t capitalise as much in Spanish as you do in English. 

Languages, for example, are not capitalised (e.g., español, inglés, italiano, francés, etc.). 

Proper nouns, country names, and so on must still be capitalised (for example, Francisco, Ana, España, Estados Unidos, Inglaterra, and so on).

Accents

There are no accents in English. As a result, native English speakers may find it difficult to adjust to Spanish accents. (e.g., tendrá, comerá, iré, etc.).

In Spanish, we use the accent, an oblique dash ‘, which appears on numerous words and is written (or not) following various syllabic norms.

To prevent blunders, you’ll need to master these guidelines.

Punctuation

Punctuation is an underappreciated aspect of the written language. 

Every language has its own set of norms and quirks. 

As a result, if you wish to write like a native, you need to be aware of this. 

Some tips to improving your Spanish writing skills

Strong writing abilities are required not just to ensure excellent written communication, but also to strengthen your spoken language. 

Although it is difficult to predict how long it will take to learn Spanish and how difficult it will be to learn this language.

By following these tips, you will undoubtedly enhance your Spanish abilities, particularly your written ones.

1. Begin by using brief sentences

Language acquisition, like everything else, is a protracted process that involves perseverance and self-acceptance. 

Trying to construct elaborate, extensive words at first will just confuse and demotivate you. 

Begin with short, basic phrases, then as you gain confidence, strive to make them longer and more complicated.

2. Look it up online

If you have any doubts, don’t be embarrassed: even native speakers have them! 

Checking the proper structure will help you memorize it so that the next time you will remember and apply it correctly right away! 

In addition to utilizing the Internet to do research, you should be aware that there are several effective online resources for learning and improving your Spanish.

3. Read it in Spanish

Reading is an excellent approach to development. You will encounter new grammatical structures and idioms, which you will be able to write down, examine, and then attempt to employ in your writing.

4. Double-check

It is critical to double-check grammar, punctuation, spelling, connectors, nouns, and verbs…

You must double-check everything, not only at the start (and not just while writing in Spanish!).

All of the tips given above may feel daunting, that’s when our tool iScribo comes in handy. So, take action NOW and start writing Spanish with confidence

Categories
Spanish as a language

Spain vs Latin America: How one language can change so much

Thought Spanish was just one language? The world’s second most widely spoken language actually has so many differences around the world. Let’s take a look.

¿De dónde sos?

¿Dónde estás?

¿Vosotros vais a la fiesta?

¿Yendo a la fiesta?

¡Qué chulo!

¡Qué padre!

¡Qué chévere!

¡Che boludo!

¡Órale, Güey!

The above are just a few examples of the different types of Spanish idioms and sayings you’ll encounter in various countries throughout the world.

Many times these differences can be subtle and will generally mean the same thing from one nation to another. Other times the differences are unique to that specific culture. Often, depending on your native language, the direct translations are downright comical.

Perhaps somebody doesn’t know a ‘potato’ about anything, or they’re happy as a worm. And if someone is straight-talking, then in Spanish they don’t have hair on their tongue.

Funny phrases aside, most of the differences you’ll find between the Spanish spoken in Spain and that of Latin America are structural in nature, with a few key differences in vocabulary. And of course, Latin America is a large place, so there are other differences from country to country.

Different cultures, one language

The answer to the question, “How many dialects of Spanish are there?” is easy: there are quite a few.

Many of the different types of Spanish involve vocabulary. There are simply different Spanish words in different countries. Take Mexico, for example. One reason you’ll encounter such a wide gulf in vocabulary has to do with that nation’s indigenous heritage.

This is particularly clear in the southern Mexican states, where the names of many places – Oaxaca, Tuxtla, Cancún, Tapachula, etc. – are based in part or entirely on native vocabulary. The state of Oaxaca is a perfect example. Its name comes from huāxyacac, a word in the Uto-Aztecan language of Nahuatl that refers to a tree common in the area.

Then there’s the Colombian capital of Bogotá. Far from being authentically Spanish in origin, the name originally derives from Bacatá. This is an indigenous word belonging to the Muisca people, who existed in the area long before the Spaniards arrived.

Travel elsewhere in South America and the indigenous influence is equally strong, if not more so. There’s Cochabamba in Bolivia, Iquique in Chile, and of course Machu Picchu in Peru.

This all contrasts sharply with Spain, where the Spanish language is actually heavily influenced by Arabic from the hundreds of years of Moorish presence on the Iberian Peninsula. Many place names have Arabic heritage, such as Andalusia, from the Moorish name for the country Al-Andalus, or even the Guadalquivir River in Seville. Other Spanish words also have Arabic roots, even words such as aceite, meaning oil, and ojalá, which means I hope and has a distinct similarity on the Arabic inshallah, meaning if Allah wills it.

Other language differences between Spain and Latin America involve different words that refer to the same object. Likewise, different verbs can refer to the same action. While you can conducir un coche (drive a car) in Spain, in Mexico you would manejar a carro. And while you might be typing away on un ordenador in Spain, in Mexico you’d be using una computadora.

It’s all about the accent

A big hurdle for many people learning a new language is pronunciation. The challenge of rebooting your brain and learning new letter combinations and how they form sounds you aren’t accustomed to is a tall order. This is particularly true with Spanish.

Each country that speaks the language pronounces it in different ways. Some of these accent differences are small while others are more distinct. Spain certainly qualifies as being distinct. Even if you’ve yet to visit this country, you might be aware of their unique accent.

The most famous example of the Spanish accent is the lisp. It’s true that in Spain people often use the “th” sound, for example, the pronunciation in words with a c followed by an i or e. In this example, the word Barcelona sounds like Bar-th-elona.

However, not all differences in Spanish pronunciation involve letter combinations. This is a country with a centuries-long history of Arabic influences, particularly in the south, which manifests itself in the way people speak. Travel to the southern region of Andalusia, say, and you’re likely to hear locals speak in more guttural tones. They also tend to drop the s and d in many words. For example they typically say “gracia” instead of “gracias” and “ciudá” instead of “ciudad” (city), with the accent on the a.

This is different from almost every country in Latin America. Be it Mexico, Peru, Venezuela or Chile, they typically speak a softer form of Spanish.

The trick to wrapping your mind around proper pronunciation in Spain is to settle in one region and immerse yourself in the language. Eventually, your ear will pick up the distinction and your mouth will do the rest.

Which Spanish is right for me?

The region where you’re based (or will be based) should be the key factor in determining which type of Spanish to learn. If you’re going to spend most of your time in the Americas, then learning the Spanish that is spoken in Venezuela and Colombia is often slower and clearly enunciated, making it great for beginners.

When travelling to other parts of Latin America you will encounter other dialects. The Argentines speak their castellano with an Italian lilt; ditto their “little brothers” in Uruguay. Chileans speak in rapid-fire bursts and pepper their sentences with so much slang it can be hard to keep up.

Back in Spain, the accent can feel more closed and they certainly speak much faster than in, say, Mexico. But once you understand it you can travel everywhere and follow the Spanish. After all, it is the root of the language.

Having said that, you’ll run into varied colloquialisms, slang, and cultural idioms in every Spanish-speaking country you visit. Therefore it’s always best to master the fundamentals of the language first, as these basics will serve you well no matter where you end up.

Because remember, in Latin America you might walk a few cuadras (blocks) to the restaurant, but in Spain that same distance is measured in manzanas (apples). Such is the topsy-turvy life of the Spanish-speaking world. It doesn’t matter the type of Spanish you speak, iScribo is here to meet your needs.

Categories
Improving language

The ultimate team to write better in Spanish

iScribo is an innovative project which seeks to fill the language gap between English and Spanish.

Technology has the power to improve our lives, that is why iScribo uses AI to offer a strong, easy to use and accurate Spanish text editor. Keep reading to learn how these professionals from different fields came together to deliver a user-friendly text editor driven by Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. 

Who is behind iScribo?

Claudia Gerhartz is co-founder and the CEO of iScribo, she is British Colombian. This may give you a clue as to why Claudia decided to embark on the project! Not only as a lawyer, but as a bilingual speaker, she knows better than anyone the problems behind having to write texts or even emails in different languages. She has worked in her profession with British clients doing business in Spain and Latin America. Due to her profession and the interaction with people from different backgrounds, she has witnessed first-hand the difficulties experienced by those doing business in countries where they are not in their first language and having to compose letters or perform presentations. 

Claudia advised companies wishing to open new markets in Latin America but lacking the necessary language skills, and also seen British families having a second home in Spain or Latin America, struggling with the Spanish language.

Timothy Straker is Non-Executive Director of iScribo. Timothy is also conscious that writing clearly, with good grammar, increases the chance of communicating better. His impressive experience counts as well when advising on elections and related matters in multiple jurisdictions around the world. He graduated from Cambridge University and has worked across many different countries and cultures.

William Shacklock, Business Development for iScribo, is the third member of the core and heart of our project. With a BA in Economics from Manchester University and decades of experience in business development and finance for international companies, William works as a corporate finance consultant in the UK and abroad. Through his own experiences, he understands the importance of smooth communication, no matter whether you are native or working in your second language.

But, who else believes in this ambitious project?

The process of creation of iScribo involved a group of computer engineering and IT experts, a team of linguists, a journalist, a UX experience adviser, a graphic designer, and marketing professionals.

As you can see, we rely on the best experts in each field in order to develop a competent tool that meets the demands of users who need to improve their Spanish grammar. One of the main values shared by all the professionals who are part of this team is that we believe that better communication is possible if we combine all the human skills with artificial intelligence, and that is how we created the magic of this text editor!

Related: [We would add the link to another article of the blog]

What an adventure!

It took a year and a half to create our platform! We’d love to say it was all plain sailing, but we all know that the best things in life take time to work out and perfect. We dealt with many ups and downs and changes to create the product we have today. 

Imagine that in order to make iScribo work, all our experts had to give their opinion and thus bring together all the advice and experience to make the platform work perfectly. We have exposed the product to the comments of professionals with the aim of improving the user experience and, we have introduced it to our family and friends. We now introduce it to you in the hope that with your comments we can make corrections and enhancements to create a better product.

iScribo is proud to be the first choice of Spanish writers and students that want to improve their Spanish language skills. Our commitment to innovation gives you the confidence that your writing won’t let you down. A good Spanish text editor will be a valuable piece of your equipment to work and study, allowing you to deal with the challenges that writing presents. Whatever the text you have in mind, iScribo is here to meet your needs.

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