So what is the purpose of the accented "u?" If the word ends with an S N or vowel you put the emphasis on the second last syllable, or wherever indicated by an accent. Is it to make the "gwee" sound?
It is not an accent to tell which syllable to stress, but to tell you to pronounce the 'u' and the 'i' as separate vowels, rather than as a dipthong. Pin-goo-eeno rather than pin-gwee-no
No, I'm afraid you are also wrong rspreng. In fact, that syllable do IS a dipthong, "güi" is just one syllable like in fui (I went) or muy (very). If it wasn't a dipthong should have an accent mark like huí (I fled), a word with two syllables. Pingüino is stressed on the penultimate syllable, it is a word llana and ended with a vowel, then, it has no accent mark. The diaeresis on the "u" is there because an "u" between "q" or "g" and a vowel "e" or "i" doesn't sound at all, like in: quiero (I want), guitarra (guitar), qué (what), or guerra (war), unless it has a diaeresis like in this case.
The diacritic symbol "¨" is called a trema in English. It is either a diaeresis or an umlaut.
To confuse matters further, the umlaut is called diéresis or crema in Spanish.
"¨" is not used much in English. I guess the most common occurrence is in naïve. I've never been sure of the rules; I've just learned when to put it in. In any case, I'm not sure there is a clear agreement as to how it should be used.
As far as I can find out:
• trema is a diacritic consisting of two dots (¨) placed over a letter, used among other things to indicate umlaut or diaeresis.
• diaeresis or dieresis (daɪˈɛrɪsɪs) is the mark ¨, in writing placed over the second of two adjacent vowels to indicate that it is to be pronounced separately rather than forming a diphthong with the first, as in some spellings of coöperate, naïve, etc
• umlaut (ˈʊmlaʊt ) is the mark (¨) placed over a vowel in some languages, such as German, indicating modification in the quality of the vowel.
By these definitions, it looks like the "¨" in pingüino is actually an umlaut.
PS I never write coöperate; I always use co-operate.
All right, then every time I said diaeresis I'm afraid I should have said umlaut. In fact I did not even know existed umlauts in English. I'm sorry and thank you Roger.
It wasn't me, Securinega. I got all that stuff from the dictionary.
In fact, although I knew the umlaut (from German) and I had heard trema before, I didn't know the word diaeresis and the rules were also new to me. So thank you for prompting me to look it up.
Incidentally, English has "borrowed" from many other languages over centuries, so we seem to have a bit of everything somewhere in the language! :-)
I see a bit of variety in the answers given, but some remarks contradict what I've read elsewhere. What I've pasted below is from Wikipedia:
Several languages use diaeresis over the letter U to show that the letter is pronounced in its regular way, without dropping out, building diphthongs with neighbours, etc.
In Spanish, it is used to distinguish between "gue"/"güe" and "gui"/"güi": nicaragüense (Nicaraguan), pingüino (penguin).
After reading through the comments, I kind of get the impression that some might think that "diaeresis" has one singular, very specific meaning that is applied across the languages that use it. However, how two dots above a letter affect pronunciation in English is somewhat different from how pronunciation is affected when two dots are above a letter in Spanish (and completely different when above a letter in German, perhaps that is why it has a separate name altogether -- the umlaut).
Speaking of pronunciation, I'm not going to rehash anything that has already been said, but this is one version of what the word sounds like:
Is penguin the only spanish word that has "ü" with the two dots at the top? And what does it mean?
The diaeresis is the rarest of the Spanish punctuation marks, but (definitely) this is not the only one case. Did you know cigüeña?
And not only birds... ;-)
- some ancient forms for combination q+u+e/i also had the diaeresis over the "u" but today it's used "c" letter instead of "q" and no diaeresis is required :
- qüestión = cuestión
Now you have job looking for translation of those words. ;-)
And the meaning... I already explained it above, please read it.
It is very simple. Without the diéresis, pinguino would be pronounced peen-gee-no (gui as in guitar, not Guido). The diéresis is required for the word to be pronounced correctly, i.e. peen-gwee-no.
On an average computer keyboard, is there a way to put accented letters in your writing?
Assuming you're using a Windows computer, if you go into "Control Panel" and look under "Clock, Language, and Region" there should be an option to "Change keyboards or other input methods" which will bring up a window with a "Change keyboards..." button, clicking that will bring up another window, clicking the "Add..." button will bring up yet another window with (probably hundreds of) language options. If you use "Spanish (Mexico)" as I do (as well as a QWERTY keyboard), ´ should be the [ key (to the right of the P) and ¨ will be the same key but with the Shift-key held. I hope that helps.
Accents are a pain with Windows. If you don't want to change the keyboard back and forth from English then try the AltGr key.
AltGr[vowel] = ÁÉÍÓÚáéíóú (try them with a bigger font or temporarily enlarge your window using Ctrl+ so you can see the accents properly). It's only acute accents though. However you can also do AltGr4 = € ; and AltGr` should be ¦
Otherwise you have to look them up using Character Map and copy-and-paste into your document.
I have a workaround which is a little easier. I have a little window of Notepad open in the corner of my screen and I have pasted several symbols onto it so I can then cut and paste the one I want from there. (At the moment I have «»¿àáâçèéêìíòóôùúûñ¡×÷ --- you can copy these ones from here if you want. And, of course, if you spot a symbol that someone else has used you can copy it to your collection.)
In fact I usually draft my messages for DL in Notepad. If I expect to need a lot of accents I just paste my little collection in first (like this «»¿àáâçèéêìíòóôùúûñ¡×÷ ) so they are handy.
My keyboard doesn't have an AltGr key, I didn't know what you were talking about at first haha. I just have my keyboard options set so that when I press Ctrl+(number) it changes the keyboard's language, then the left square bracket key becomes a dead key for ´and ¨. Though the Russian keyboard doesn't use guillemets for whatever reason so I just remember the Alt-numbers for them (174, 175).
There doesn't seem to be a fully standard keyboard. My previous (and now dead) machine was an Apple and it took me ages to get used to that layout.
Thank you for reminding me about the Alt- numbers. I haven't used them for years. I'll check them out again --- no joy; I guess I'll have to reprogramme something to get it to do that.
So if the ü is just for the right pronounciation, is the word actually written with an ü ?
The pronunciation. Without the ü, pinguino would be pronounced peen-gee-no (same g sound as in guitar). With the ü, peen-gwee-no. Since peen-gwee-no is the correct pronunciation, the correct spelling is pingüino.
Welcome to Duolingo, Ittybittyk2.
There are many dictionaries on the internet. I like http://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=penguin
Dy x t f duhg cm un hmm uhh um go Jon's hv b b u u vh cbc h h v g hhghghgghvhvhc u chcg z cfbhvhh f2f! Gdxef