We use cookies to improve the user experience of our website. Cookie Get More Information

Home » Language Resources » Spanish Alphabet » Letter K

The Letter K

The Letter K in Spanish

CA. A plosive velar unvoiced consonant sound used to translate words from other languages; the Royal Spanish Academy suggests using 'C' or 'QU' instead

Origen of the letter:
From the Greek kappa

Example of usage:

The K in Spanish

The letter K is the eleventh letter of the Spanish alphabet. It appears in its current form in the Roman alphabet, corresponding to the Greek letter “kappa” from which it came, which in turn stemmed from an Egyptian hieroglyphic. In the Spanish alphabet, the letter “K” was only used to translate words from other languages: words of Greek origin like kilómetro or kilowatio krausismo, words of Germanic origin like krausismo and words of Japanese origin such as kermes, kurdo and kárate.

In many cases, the Royal Spanish Academy allows the letter “K” to be written as a “C” or a “QU”. This is common in America. However, names of foreign origin such as Kant, Keppler, Okinawa or Kelvin continue to be spelt in the same way.

“K” is a velar unvoiced consonant phoneme sound that is pronounced the same in Spanish as the letter combination “QU” when placed before the letters “E” or “I”. When placed before the letters “A”, “O” or “U”, the letter “C” is also pronounced as a “QU”.

“QU” seems to be the most universal sound corresponding to the letter “K”. There is a silent “K” in English when followed by the letter “N” as in know.