New words in Spanish

When writing your website content, have you ever been guessing if a word exists in Spanish? Here we talk about the RAE institution and the best place to check wheather a words exists or not in Spanish.

Spanish is a very fluid language; in fact, there are hundreds of new words each year, all of them approved and institutionalized by the Real Academia Española or RAE (Grand Spanish Academy, in English) in their official dictionary. Most of these new words are related to technology, industry, everyday life or similar topics. The usage of new words comes from the deformation of an original word in another language (for example, “cederrón” for CD-ROM) or when an important group of people from some region or culture starts to introduce a new term to refer to something that already exists (or not, in cases of new inventions, new places, new discoveries, etc.), and sometimes when an original word in Spanish is spelled or used incorrectly, but this mistaken word has such intense usage in some communities and populations that finally becomes officially approved. Also, in lesser amount, in some cases original words from other languages are added in the dictionary just like the way they are spelled in the original language (for example, “performance” from French), or translated terms when a new word is created in another language.

RAE institution has more than 300 years of existance (was founded in 1714 in Spain). It is located in Madrid, Spain, and it is famous in this country and in every other Spanish speaking place in the world, like South America and some places in Africa . There has been, so far, 23 editions of the official dictionary of the RAE. Also, the institution is dedicated to perform other kind of linguistic works, like the grammar manual. Even though the Real Academia Española is the most important Spanish linguistic organization, there are more institutions of this nature of target, like the Academia Colombiana de la Lengua, the Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua, the Academia Mexicana de la Lengua, and many others, specially in South America.

Despite of its renowned position and respectful reputation, the Real Academia Española has been critized over the years in some aspects of its performances in the Spanish language usage and understanding, with cases considered extreme, for example, when the RAE came up with the suggestion of translating the foreign last names into new words with Spanish fonetics and adding them to the dictionary.

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