Why Do We Make Spelling Mistakes?

Oftentimes, when we are learning Spanish (or any new language), we feel ashamed to speak or write in it due to the fear of making mistakes. However, mistakes are very common, and we should not be ashamed of them, especially given the situation we find ourselves in.

In the journey of learning a new language, spelling mistakes often accompany us like uninvited guests.


Whether we're navigating the intricacies of Spanish or grappling with any other linguistic terrain, the fear of making errors can hinder our confidence in expressing ourselves. However, rather than viewing mistakes as stumbling blocks, we should embrace them as stepping stones on the path to mastery. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind our frequent spelling slip-ups, exploring how factors like phonetics, etymology, and attention to detail influence our proficiency. By understanding the roots of our errors, we can cultivate a more forgiving attitude toward ourselves and strive for improvement in our linguistic endeavors.


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By making mistakes, we can better prepare ourselves for using the language in our daily lives. That is why I will discuss the main reasons why we often make spelling mistakes.

-Phonemes and Spellings

-The Alphabet Conflicting

-Letters and Ambiguous Usage

We make spelling mistakes because of lapses in observation or distractions. Our reading is not always attentive; we may find ourselves thinking of other things instead of focusing on what we're reading. We lack knowledge of the etymology of words, which is common when learning a new language. In the case of Spanish, it's important to note its diverse influences, such as Latin and Arabic. We fail to resolve the discrepancies between phonemes and spellings adequately.

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This is why, in our Spanish classes, we prioritize teaching the phonetics of the alphabet and how the language is pronounced, as it differs significantly from other languages. We lack sufficient understanding of word composition, derivation, and accents. Even native speakers feel no shame in making spelling mistakes, so don't feel discouraged if you make mistakes as a beginner or even as someone more experienced; mistakes are a natural part of learning.

The importance of spelling in human relationships is often underestimated. Many misunderstandings or confusion can arise due to spelling errors.


References: Barriga, M. (1986). Ortografía Esquemática.

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