text by J Robertson Miller 2023
In Spanish, its name is Real Academia Española, abbreviated as RAE, thus their website is www.rae.es.
This arbiter of the Spanish language was founded in 1713 by the Duke of Escalona. Its mission is to stabilize the Spanish language so Spanish speakers and readers throughout the world can communicate more easily with each other.
About 1999, the Academy changed its motto from Limpia, fija y da esplendor (“It purifies, fixes, and dignifies”) to unifica, limpia y fija (“It unifies, cleans, and stabilizes”) to better clarify its purpose.
To fulfill its mission, the organization produces authoritative dictionaries, grammar books and guides. They are widely followed although there is no legal requirement to do so.
Each time you use the inverted question mark (¿) or exclamation point (¡) at the start of a sentence, you are following an Academy prescription. The “ñ” has been used in Spanish since the 1400s, long before the Academy was created.
Because of this stability, the Spanish you learn at our Spanish Panamá Language School travels well. What you learn here is useful throughout the Spanish speaking world, in over 22 countries plus other regions where Spanish is widely spoken.
Each of these countries has its own Academy, all of which belong to the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language (ASALE). Representatives meet every 4 years, working hard to preserve the ability of Spanish speakers to easily communicate with each other.