The World Scrabble Championship will begin in Washington at the end of this week. So as the contestants complete their preparations and study all the nuances of difference between the American and English dictionaries (words and spellings from either language are permitted), we are pleased to offer the first comprehensive guide to world Scrabble.

The game, which was invented by Alfred Butts in 1931, is now produced in 29 languages and sold in 121 countries. But different languages, of course, have different letter frequencies, which have to be reflected in the distribution of the various letters and their point values. Giving 10 points, for example, to a Z in Polish Scrabble would be unwarranted generosity of a very high order. Here is the table of Scrabble values in as many different languages as we have room for: English, Afrikaans, Dutch, Italian, Malaysian, Portuguese, Finnish, French, German, Swedish. Note also the additional values: IJ=4 (Dutch), C=3 (Portuguese); =2, O=7 (Finnish); =6, O=8, =6 (German); =3, O=4 (Swedish).

En Af Du It Ma Po Fi Ge Sw

A 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

B 3 8 3 5 3 3 8 3 4

C 3 - 5 2 8 2 10 4 10

D 4 1 2 5 3 3 7 1 1

E 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

F 4 8 4 5 10 4 8 4 3

G 2 2 3 8 3 4 8 2 2

H 4 2 4 8 4 4 4 2 2

I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

J 8 10 4 - 5 5 4 6 7

K 5 3 3 - 1 - 2 4 2

L 1 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 1

M 3 4 3 3 1 1 3 3 2

N 1 1 1 3 1 3 1 1 1

O 1 1 1 1 4 1 2 2 2

P 3 5 3 5 4 2 4 4 4

Q 10 - 10 10 - 6 - 10 -

R 1 1 2 2 1 1 4 1 1

S 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1

T 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1

U 1 4 4 3 1 1 3 1 4

V 4 5 4 5 - 1 4 6 3

W 4 3 5 - 8 - - 3 -

X 8 - 8 - - 8 - 8 8

Y 4 4 4 - 5 - 4 10 7

Z 10 - 4 8 10 8 - 3 8

Finally, you may be interested to hear that there are 19 letter As in Malaysian Scrabble, the highest number of any single letter.

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