Real Academia Espaņola de la Lengua

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The Real Academy Espaņol de la Lengua  located on  Ruiz de Alarcon Street, just above the Prado Museum.    Every Thursday, the 46- member academy meets to decide grammar, punctuation and spelling.  They have done so ever since 1713.  Much like English, Spanish is an ever evolving language.  And much like English, Spanish is not standardized throughout the world.  For example in Spain a driver's license is called a "permiso de conducir", but in Peru and Ecuador it is called a "brevete" and elsewhere a "licensia".  The 46 members represent 22 Spanish language academies throughout the world.  Two of them  are in countries where Spanish is not the first language, the United States and the Philippines.

The Royal Academy publishes the official Spanish language dictionary.  Much like the Oxford English Dictionary (which is considered to be the major English language dictionary) they take care before adding a new word or a pronunciation to the dictionary.   In recognition that now 9 out of 10 Spanish speaking individuals do not live in Spain.  In 1992 (the last time the dictionary was published) the Academy added hundreds of localized words.  They are also in the process of revising the spelling guide (last published in 1958).  The Academy's hope is that while there may be variation in pronunciation throughout the Spanish speaking world that at the very least there will be uniform spelling of Spanish words.

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