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Monday, December 11, 2006 (read 1125 times)
 

Ya se puede decir "internet" - The New "Essential Dictionary of Spanish"

by Erin

It's official! You can now officially use "internet", "rap" and "chat" in your Spanish conversations and homework. If your teacher complains, tell her or him to take it up with the academy - the Real Academia Española, the institution entrusted to determine what is and isn't a Spanish word.

The RAE has just published a new dictionary - el Diccionario esencial de la lengua española - and for the most part, it's getting rave reviews. It's an updated and more concise (only 54,000 words, while the authors explain that most Spanish speakers handle about 5000 words in their day to day lives) version of the quintessential RAE dictionary you can search at the RAE website.

The RAE calls the new reference a dictionary of commonly used, current Spanish. About 12% of the words and expressions listed are commonly used only in the Americas.

Spanish words appearing for the first time in this new essential dictionary include:

  • internet (small i, take note!)
  • salvapantallas (screensaver)
  • digitalización
  • bulímico (bulemic)
  • chat
  • zódiac
  • mulá (mullah)
  • rap
  • montenegrino
  • bungaló

The dictionary adds new definitions for several veteran Spanish words, such as hierro, which can now officially be used in Spanish to describe a type of golf club.

The authors have give their blessing to some commonly used expressions, as well, including expressions more commonly heard in the Americas, such as:

  • matar al mensajero (kill the messenger)
  • vaca sagrada (sacred cow)

On a side note, the new dictionary has inspired a bit of controversy (and a small flurry of opinion columns and letters to the editor in El Pais) about the definition published with the newly added word matrimonio (a union between a man and a woman) and the continued use of masculine words (such as chico) to describe mixed groups of people (chicos y chicas), a practice some feminists would like to see changed.

What do you think? Is using the masculine to refer to a mixed group a sexist practice that should be updated by inventing new words? Or is the RAE bravely protecting Spanish from political correctness?

I'm thinking this might be our next poll……


Keywords: vocabulary,spanish,resources,news,intermediate,expressions,dictionary,culture,books,advanced

Comments

1 » Paqui (on Tuesday, April 8, 2008) said:

Muchas gracias por dejarnos su opinión y sus comentarios.

2 » Anonymous (on Tuesday, April 1, 2008) said:

¡Poder decir, poder decir… se puede decir cualquier cosa!
¡Esa es la esencia de la comunicación!
Reconocer uno su propia lengua y usarla es más difícil.
Parece que existe en algunas personas un afán en cuanto a decir lo mismo que los demás pero "en el otro idioma": parece que "aviva el ego" y "nos muestra más al día" ante "los considerados ignorantes".

La Real Academia de la Lengua no es autora de la lengua: es observadora de la lengua, de cómo se usa y de qué se dice. Nos puede recordar las reglas establecidas en un tiempo dado. Pero dichas reglas irán cambiando con los tiempos, a medida que la lengua evoluciona.

Les estoy agradecido por haber leído mi nota.

Eugenio Palomino García
palominoeugenio@hotmail.com

3 » Robbert

For those people that struggle with the spanish property jargon, Here is a great resource.

http://www.spanishestate.com/resources/dictionary.asp

4 » Erin (on Monday, February 5, 2007) said:

Thanks, Robert. That is actually a helpful dictionary, with audio even!!

Erin

5 » Robbert

For those people that struggle with the spanish property jargon, Here is a great resource.

http://www.spanishestate.com/resources/dictionary.asp

6 » Paqui (on Tuesday, April 8, 2008) said:

Muchas gracias por dejarnos su opinión y sus comentarios.

7 » Erin (on Monday, February 5, 2007) said:

Thanks, Robert. That is actually a helpful dictionary, with audio even!!

Erin

8 » Anonymous (on Tuesday, April 1, 2008) said:

¡Poder decir, poder decir… se puede decir cualquier cosa!
¡Esa es la esencia de la comunicación!
Reconocer uno su propia lengua y usarla es más difícil.
Parece que existe en algunas personas un afán en cuanto a decir lo mismo que los demás pero "en el otro idioma": parece que "aviva el ego" y "nos muestra más al día" ante "los considerados ignorantes".

La Real Academia de la Lengua no es autora de la lengua: es observadora de la lengua, de cómo se usa y de qué se dice. Nos puede recordar las reglas establecidas en un tiempo dado. Pero dichas reglas irán cambiando con los tiempos, a medida que la lengua evoluciona.

Les estoy agradecido por haber leído mi nota.

Eugenio Palomino García
palominoeugenio@hotmail.com

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