A simple tool for syllabification of small amounts of text, especially for use in typesetting chant. Instructions:
  • Choose language (right now only Latin and Spanish are supported).
  • Mark the checkbox for Gabc-ready output if you like (which effectively just puts parentheses after each syllable).
  • Start entering your text into the input text area. The syllabified text is automatically entered in the output box below.
  • For more details, see below.


Format for Gabc Input: Output:

Additional Information


  • You can enter a hyphen for a manual syllable break if the word is not being correctly syllabified.

Syllabification Rules for Latin (Liturgical)

As of December 15, 2016, we are happy to offer this new and improved syllabification for Latin. Using Gregorio’s hyphen-la project, this default Latin syllabification (as indicated by selecting “Latin (Liturgical)” from the dropdown box) uses an entirely new method of syllabification, designed especially for liturgical Latin (specifically, Gregorian Chant). This is the same syllabification style used by the monks of Solesmes. If you are using the syllabification tools on marello.org for Gregorian Chant or other musical purposes, this is the preferred option for syllabification.

Syllabification Rules for Latin (Grammatical)

The second (and original) option for Latin syllabification employs the rules found in A Primer on Ecclesiastical Latin by Collins. The rules are the following: Divisions occur when:
  1. After open vowels (those not followed by a consonant) (e.g., “pi-us” and “De-us”)
  2. After vowels followed by a single consonant (e.g., “vi-ta” and “ho-ra”)
  3. After the first consonant when two or more consonants follow a vowel (e.g., “mis-sa”, “minis-ter”, and “san-ctus”).
Exceptions to syllable divisions:
  1. In compound words the consonants stay together (e.g., “de-scribo”). Note: this particular exception is not currently implemented since it requires a dictionary list of compound words.
  2. A mute consonant (b, c, d, g, p, t) or f followed by a liquid consonant (l, r) go with the succeeding vowel: “la-crima”, “pa-tris”
In addition to these rules, Wheelock’s Latin provides this sound exception:
Also counted as single consonants are qu and the aspirates ch, ph, th, which should never be separated in syllabification: architectus, ar-chi-tec-tus; loquacem, lo-qua-cem.

Syllabification Rules for Spanish

The rules this page employs for syllabification of texts in Spanish come from http://sramatic.tripod.com/silabas.html. These rules loosely translated thus (strong vowels are a, e, and o; weak vowels are i and u):
  1. Two vowels are separated if both are strong. Two vowels are not separated if one is strong and the other weak, nor if both are weak.
  2. Two consonants normally are separated: ac-ción, tam-bién, can-sa-do.
  3. Two successive consonants remain together if the second is either an l or an r: frí-o, ha-blar, pro-ble-ma.
  4. Two consonants remain together if they form ch, ll or rr.
  5. In the case of three successive consonants, the first consonant is separated from the other two: in-cre-í-ble, im-pro-vi-sar, es-drú-ju-la.
  6. If, in the case of three consonants together, the center consonant is an s, the first two consonants are separated from the last: cons-tan-te, ins-pec-tor, (ex-per-to; x is equivalent to “ks”).
  7. In the case of four consonants, they are divided in half: ex-tra-or-di-na-rio (again, x is equivalent to “ks”), ins-cri-bir.

Comments are closed.