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Linguaholic

The mystery of the letter H in Romanic Languages


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Did you ever wonder why a italian tourist is looking for his "Otel"?

The story of the letter H is indeed a fascinatimg one as it changed role throughout the centuries and languages.In Romanic languages, the sound of the letter H became silent in Late Latin and was omitted in Old French and Italian, but it was restored in Middle English spelling in words borrowed from French, and often later in pronunciation, too. Thus Modern English has words ultimately from Latin with missing -h- (as in able, from Latin habile); with a silent -h- (as in heir, hour); with a formerly silent -h- now often vocalized (as in humble, humor, herb); and even a few with an excrescent -h- fitted in confusion to words that never had one (as in hostage, hermit).

What are your experiences with this letter in language learning?

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