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When speaking in English about Spanish orthography, what diacritics does the word "tilde" cover? Does it only refer to the diacritic on top of "ñ", or does it also cover things like the diacritical mark in "á"? Also, are the two dots on top of "ü" also referred to by the term "tilde"?

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In English, tilde refers to the symbol ~, but not diacritics generally. ´ is technically called an acute accent, but because there is no other type of accent in modern Spanish, it's generally just called an accent. And ¨ is called a dieresis (it's the same symbol as an umlaut, but in English umlaut is generally reserved for modifications of the vowel sound, whereas dieresis can be used to indicate that a vowel should be pronounced as a separate syllable, as an exception to the usual phonetic rules). So, to sum up:

  • ~ tilde virgulilla
  • ´ accent tilde
  • ¨ dieresis diéresis
  • Guifa, please feel free to roll back some or all of my edits. // One example for each, in the bulleted list, would be a welcome addition. Another helpful thing to add to the bulleted points: the name for each, in Spanish (maybe using italics). – aparente001 May 22 '19 at 4:43
  • I generally say an accent mark, not just accent. – Lambie May 23 '19 at 19:51
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In Spanish, "tilde" refers to the mark for the accent and the wave above the n.

tilde

De tildar.

  1. f. acento (‖ signo ortográfico español). Raúl se escribe con tilde en la u. Era u. t. c. m.
  2. f. Signo en forma de rayita, a veces ondulada, que forma parte de algunas letras, como la ñ, y que antiguamente se usaba en algunas abreviaturas. Era u. t. c. m.
  3. f. Cosa mínima.
  4. f. p. us. Tacha, nota denigrativa. Era u. t. c. m.

Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

But all of the marks used in Spanish above the letters are called "virgulillas", as is shown in DRAE's definition:

virgulilla

Del dim. de vírgula.

  1. f. Signo ortográfico de forma de coma, rasguillo o trazo; p. ej., el apóstrofo, la cedilla, la tilde de la ñ, etc.
  2. f. Raya o línea corta y muy delgada.

Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

Best regards.

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