Top 10 reasons whyTop 10 reasons why
spanishlinguist.us is a fanspanishlinguist.us is a fan
of theof the
Real Academia EspañolaReal Academia Española (RAE)(RAE)
More properly, theMore properly, the
Asociación de Academias de la Lengua EspañolaAsociación de Academias de la Lengua Española
The RAE is truly internationalThe RAE is truly international
19 countries19 countries where Spanish is an officialwhere Spanish is an official
language have a national Academy.language have a national Academy.
Only Equatorial Guinea doesn’t.Only Equatorial Guinea doesn’t.
The USA, Puerto Rico, and the Phillipines eachThe USA, Puerto Rico, and the Phillipines each
has its own academy as well.has its own academy as well.
Every Academy has a vote in major languageEvery Academy has a vote in major language
The main RAE dictionary includes dialectalThe main RAE dictionary includes dialectal
The RAE also publishes aThe RAE also publishes a Diccionario deDiccionario de
The RAE is charmingly old-fashionedThe RAE is charmingly old-fashioned
(some may interpret this as stuffiness)(some may interpret this as stuffiness)
AcademyAcademy membersmembers are listed asare listed as
DonDon andand Doña.Doña.
Member Academies in theMember Academies in the
internationalinternational AsociaciónAsociación are listedare listed
inin chronological orderchronological order of theirof their
founding, not alphabetical order.founding, not alphabetical order.
Each member Academy has aEach member Academy has a
quaint seal and motto. Thequaint seal and motto. The
original RAE motto isoriginal RAE motto is “Limpia, fija,
y da esplendor”; its seal is to the
The RAEThe RAE websitewebsite rocksrocks
It is one of my two go-to on-lineIt is one of my two go-to on-line
dictionaries, along withdictionaries, along with
Unlike wordreference.com, it hasUnlike wordreference.com, it has
etymologies for many words.etymologies for many words.
The RAE answers the public’sThe RAE answers the public’s
questions about Spanishquestions about Spanish
Their website has a link forTheir website has a link for
consultas lingüísticasconsultas lingüísticas..
They have answered questions for meThey have answered questions for me
the bizarrely meaninglessthe bizarrely meaningless lala oror laslas in verbalin verbal
expressions likeexpressions like dárseladársela
the bogus origin stories of the nicknamesthe bogus origin stories of the nicknames
Pepe and PacoPepe and Paco
They respond promptly and thoroughly.They respond promptly and thoroughly.
They occupyThey occupy
prime Madrid real estateprime Madrid real estate
Calle de Felipe IV, 4Calle de Felipe IV, 4 Take aTake a tourtour!!
TheThe AcademiaAcademia of the USAof the USA
is very activeis very active
Check out theirCheck out their websitewebsite..
Their headquarters is in NYC.Their headquarters is in NYC.
Some members are immigrants, others were born in the USA.Some members are immigrants, others were born in the USA.
Their mission is to support the continuance of realTheir mission is to support the continuance of real
Spanish (not Spanglish) in the USA. This includesSpanish (not Spanglish) in the USA. This includes
““Lengua viva” animations onLengua viva” animations on YahooYahoo
TV slots promoting proper Spanish on Univisión (“TV slots promoting proper Spanish on Univisión (“Dígalo bienDígalo bien”)”)
NewspaperNewspaper columnscolumns (I don’t have any links to the columns(I don’t have any links to the columns
A book,A book, Hablando bien se entiende la genteHablando bien se entiende la gente
The RAE’s books are seriously usefulThe RAE’s books are seriously useful
They publish dictionaries, grammars, andThey publish dictionaries, grammars, and
spelling guides.spelling guides.
I love their spelling guide,I love their spelling guide, Ortografía de laOrtografía de la
lengua española.lengua española.
It is the direct descendent of the RAE’sIt is the direct descendent of the RAE’s
second publication, the 1741second publication, the 1741 OrtographíaOrtographía..
It devotes 65 pages just to accent marks!It devotes 65 pages just to accent marks!
The RAE inventedThe RAE invented ¡¡ andand ¿¿
They thought it would be helpful to readersThey thought it would be helpful to readers
to know that an exclamation or questionto know that an exclamation or question
was starting.was starting.
In 1741 they proposed usingIn 1741 they proposed using !! andand ?? “as“as
They came up with the idea of invertedThey came up with the idea of inverted
marks in 1754.marks in 1754.
For more, see this post.For more, see this post.
The RAE isn’t afraid of controversyThe RAE isn’t afraid of controversy
They eliminatedThey eliminated chch andand llll as “letters” of theas “letters” of the
alphabet in 1994.alphabet in 1994.
They took flak from Spanish speakers aroundThey took flak from Spanish speakers around
the world, including Hugo Chávez (who wantedthe world, including Hugo Chávez (who wanted
to spelling his name with ato spelling his name with a cheche) but the change) but the change
was accepted anyway.was accepted anyway.
Ecuador was the only country whose AcademyEcuador was the only country whose Academy
voted against the change.voted against the change.
Nicaragua, Panama, and Uruguay abstained.Nicaragua, Panama, and Uruguay abstained.
The Academy systemThe Academy system
helps makes Spanish specialhelps makes Spanish special
French, Italian, Arabic, German, and PortugueseFrench, Italian, Arabic, German, and Portuguese
also have Academies.also have Academies.
But the Spanish academy is the mostBut the Spanish academy is the most
international and active!international and active!
In the 18In the 18thth
century, English-language notablescentury, English-language notables
including Jonathan Swift and John Adamsincluding Jonathan Swift and John Adams
proposed an Academy system for English.proposed an Academy system for English.
Samuel Johnson opposed the idea, writing:Samuel Johnson opposed the idea, writing:
“To enchain syllables, and to lash the wind, are“To enchain syllables, and to lash the wind, are
equally the undertakings of pride, unwilling toequally the undertakings of pride, unwilling to
measure its desires by its strength."measure its desires by its strength."
Johnson won!Johnson won!
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