Thursday, February 22, 2007

As a Spanish native speaker, I find this site very useful. RAE stands for Real Academia Española. That means Royal Spanish Academy. Its main purpose is to regulate my native language.
It is based in Madrid, Spain, but there are other 21 affiliated academies through the Spanish-speaking world.
It was created in 1713 by Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco. Its purpose was "to fix the voices and vocabularies of the Castillian language with propiety, elegance, and purity". No wonder why its motto is "Limpia, fija y da esplendor" ("Cleans, fixes and makes shine"). You may think it could be dangerous to have such an institution. What about if it is too conservative or elitist? Wouldn't it be better to leave the Spanish language evolve by itself? There is some truth about this.

What I use more of this site is the DRAE (Diccionario de la Real Academia Española). But it also contains the DPD (Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas). This one guides you through some general doubts about word usage, accent mark norms, punctuation, rules for forming feminine and plurals, etc.

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