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#Acentúate - Bringing Accents to the Internet Age

Digital Trends
As an English speaker, accents, umlauts and other modifiers rarely play into any of my writing. It's something I'm glad of, since memorising all of those keyboard shortcuts is more than my overflowing brain could likely handle, I would probably end up forgetting how to tie my shoes or something. Elsewhere in the world, such as in Italy or Spain, they are a vital component of written language, one which the internet seems to have largely disregarded.

Often when words which are typically accented are used in hashtags or just general social media posts, the accent does not appear. It might seem inconsequential to us, but in Spanish the entire meaning of a word can be morphed by a missing accent. As has been pointed out, perhaps the most errant example is 'Inglés', which when carrying an accent means 'English', but remove the accent and suddenly it means 'Groin'. I would imagine that talking about finding the correct 'groin translation' is liable to confuse a lot of people, and perhaps arouse a few of the weirder ones.


A non-profit in Spain called Fundación del Español Urgente (Urgent Spanish Foundation) has decided to tackle the problem at the source with the #Acentúate (accent yourself) campaign. It's fairly basic in practise, all you have to do is tweet something under the hashtag and then write out your reasons for wanting accents to become more widely used online. Thousands of people have gotten in on the act both in and outside of Spain, including actor Antonio Banderas, who in his post talked about respecting the people who read your tweets.

It's just as beneficial for people learning Spanish and other accent-reliant languages as it is for native speakers, as in this day and age you're probably learning a great deal of the rudiments of the written language online and if you're going around saying 'if' (si), when really you want to be saying 'yes' (sí), you're going to end up looking a bit of an imbecil. Oh, sorry, that should be imbécil.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#Acentúate - Bringing Accents to the Internet Age Reviewed by Callum Davies on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Rating: 5

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