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What is the RAE?

Founded in 1713 under the motto “Clean, fix and improve“, the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE for its sigles in Spanish -Real Academia Española-) is an autonomous institution whose objective is to watch over and care for the correct use of the Spanish language.

This prestigious institution was created under the initiative of Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco. Its objective was to establish all the words of the Spanish language, in order to establish basic criteria for their correct use. Thus ensuring their maximum “propriety, purity and elegance” over the years.

Given the magnitude and importance of this institution. The RAE attracted the full attention of King Felipe V., who a year after its creation gave his full support. Later, the Royal House donated a piece of land.  Which would become in 1894 the first headquarters of this noble institution.

Members of the RAE

This arduous and complicated work is carried out by a group of 46 academics, including writers, historians, philosophers, researchers, journalists and professionals, who have obviously demonstrated a mastery of the language in all its corresponding areas.

Each of them holds a lifetime position which is represented by the names of the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet.

 

The Association of Spanish Language Academies

When each of the Spanish Colonies won their independence. The RAE made no political or racial distinctions. It promoted the creation of academies which were represented by each of the small Spanish-speaking communities.

For the RAE, the simple fact of sharing a language would require the support to watch over and care for its preservation. Of course, all while respecting the regional differences it houses.

In its beginnings, nineteen Spanish academies of Latin America were created, later the The Philippine Academy of the Spanish Language and The North American Academy of the Spanish Language  joined the RAE.

 

Regulations for the Spanish language

The RAE, together with the other 21 Academies of the Spanish language, both in Latin America and in the Philippines, have the important task of jointly developing the regulations for the Spanish language.

All these results can be seen reflected in each and every one of the works published by the Academy. These include the Dictionary as well as grammar and spelling manuals.

For some years now, the RAE has also granted awards which bear the name “Real Academia Española”, with the aim of promoting studies and works that contribute to the improvement of the Spanish language and its literature.

As its job is to preserve the Spanish language purity, the RAE is considered a very conservative institution. However, it has managed to adapt to all the changes in the spoken language, ensuring that such changes do not break the harmony that is maintained among all Spanish speakers. 

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