Buenos Aires, July 2009 in one of the first lessons of the elementary level of Spanish language always convey to my students how letters of the alphabet are pronounced. The h is silent, is written but not pronounced, I repeat in each new course. The majority of students Then if it is not pronounced, are why we have to write this letter?, I wonder. In truth, it is a rhetorical question open; reinvent the written language and proclaim never again need to write the letter h they would. You’re right, it makes no sense, but it is a standard of the language, I respond in solidarity to his intimate thoughts. When students want to know more about why they have to write the letter h, then let me tell you: 1) the h was pronounced in the old Spanish, until at least one hundred years ago; his pronunciation was like the English h from him or her words, very gently and sucked; 2 ) the some words from the old Spanish f (of up to at least a hundred years ago) was replaced by the h of the modern Spanish, for example: farina currently says and writes flour; Formosa, beautiful; fierro, iron.
In some villages in South America, the less exposed to immigration and therefore the flow of people and customs, many people use today as yesterday, the Farina words and fierro. Returning to the past, the gaucho Martin Fierro, written by Jose Hernandez and published in Argentina in 1872, is one of the most famous books of Argentine literature. On this beautiful and instructive gauchesco poem, the author explained, on one occasion, that the name Martin chose him in memory of his uncles and the surname Fierro, by the strength and courage of fierro of el gaucho in the pampas. This last meaning is used today clear that we wrote iron, instead of fierro when we say that a person has an iron health or has a will of iron.