The Royal Spanish Academy (Spanish: Real Academia Española, generally abbreviated as RAE) is Spain's official royal institution with a mission to ensure the stability of the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, and is affiliated with national language academies in 22 other Hispanophone nations through the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language. The RAE's emblem is a fiery crucible, and its motto is Limpia, fija y da esplendor ("It purifies, it fixes, and it dignifies").
Real Academia Española
|Founder||The Duke of Escalona|
|Purpose||Linguistic prescription and research|
|Hispanophone regions and populations|
|Santiago Muñoz Machado|
|Junta de Gobierno|
|Affiliations||Association of Spanish Language Academies|
The RAE dedicates itself to language planning by applying linguistic prescription aimed at promoting linguistic unity within and between various territories, to ensure a common standard. The proposed language guidelines are shown in a number of works.
The Royal Spanish Academy was founded in 1713, modeled after the Accademia della Crusca (1582), of Italy, and the Académie Française (1635), of France, with the purpose "to fix the voices and vocabularies of the Spanish language with propriety, elegance, and purity". King Philip V approved its constitution on 3 October 1714, placing it under the Crown's protection.
Its aristocratic founder, Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco, Duke of Escalona and Marquess of Villena, described its aims as "to assure that Spanish speakers will always be able to read Cervantes" – by exercising a progressive up-to-date maintenance of the formal language.
The RAE began establishing rules for the orthography of Spanish beginning in 1741 with the first edition of the Ortographía (spelled Ortografía from the second edition onwards). The proposals of the Academy became the official norm in Spain by royal decree in 1844, and they were also gradually adopted by the Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas. Several reforms were introduced in the Nuevas Normas de Prosodia y Ortografía (1959, New Norms of Prosody and Orthography). Since the establishment of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language in 1951, the Spanish academy works in close consultation with the other Spanish language academies in its various works and projects. The 1999 Orthography was the first to be edited by the twenty two academies together. The current rules and practical recommendations on spelling are presented in the latest edition of the Ortografía (2010).
The headquarters, opened in 1894, is located at Calle Felipe IV, 4, in the ward of Jerónimos, next to the Museo del Prado. The Center for the Studies of the Royal Spanish Academy, opened in 2007, is located at Calle Serrano 187–189.
According to Salvador Gutiérrez, an academic numerary of the institution, the Academy does not dictate the rules but studies the language, collects information and presents it. The rules of the language are simply the continued use of expressions, some of which are collected by the Academy. Although he also says that it is important to read and write correctly. Article 1 of the statutes of the Royal Spanish Academy, translated from Spanish, says the following:
The Academy is an institution with legal personality whose main mission is to ensure that the changes experienced by the Spanish language in its constant adaptation to the needs of its speakers do not break the essential unity it maintains throughout the Hispanic world. It must equally ensure that this evolution preserves the characteristic nature of the language, as gradually consolidated over the centuries, as well as establishing and disseminating the criteria for its proper and correct use, and contributing to its splendor.
To achieve these ends, it shall study and promote the study of the history and present of Spanish, it shall disseminate the writings, literary—especially classics—and non-literary, that it deems important for the knowledge of such matters, and will seek to keep alive the memory of those who, in Spain or in the Americas, have cultivated our language with glory.
As a member of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, it shall maintain a special relation with the corresponding and associated academies.
Members of the Academy are known as Académicos de número (English: Academic Numerary), chosen from among prestigious people within the arts and sciences, including several Spanish-language authors, known as The Immortals (Spanish: Los Inmortales), similarly to their French Academy counterparts. The numeraries (Spanish: Números) are elected for life by the other academicians. Each academician holds a seat labeled with a letter from the Spanish alphabet, although upper and lower case letters denote separate seats.
The Academy has included Latin American members from the time of Rafael María Baralt, although some Spanish-speaking countries have their own academies of the language.
|O||Pere Gimferrer Torrens||1985|
|p||Francisco Rico Manrique||1987|
|c||Víctor García de la Concha||1992|
|l||Emilio Lledó Íñigo||1994|
|C||Luis Goytisolo Gay||1995|
|L||Mario Vargas Llosa||1996|
|u||Antonio Muñoz Molina||1996|
|V||Juan Luis Cebrián Echarri||1997|
|t||Ignacio Bosque Muñoz||1997|
|ñ||Luis María Anson Oliart||1998|
|I||Luis Mateo Díez Rodríguez||2001|
|N||Guilermo Rojo Sánchez||2001|
|k||José Antonio Pascual Rodríguez||2002|
|E||Carmen Iglesias Cano||2002|
|T||Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez||2003|
|G||José Manuel Sánchez Ron||2003|
|j||Álvaro Pombo y García de los Ríos||2004|
|o||Antonio Fernández Alba||2006|
|h||José Manuel Blecua Perdices||2006|
|a||Pedro García Barreno||2006|
|S||Salvador Gutiérrez Ordóñez||2008|
|D||Darío Villanueva Prieto||2008|
|m||José María Merino||2009|
|g||Soledad Puértolas Villanueva||2010|
|P||Inés Fernández-Ordóñez Hernández||2011|
|Q||Pedro Álvarez de Miranda de la Gándara||2011|
|e||Juan Gil Fernández||2011|
|f||José B. Terceiro Lomba||2012|
|r||Santiago Muñoz Machado||2013|
|b||Miguel Sáenz Sagaseta de Ilúrdoz||2013|
|n||Carme Riera Guilera||2013|
|Z||José Luis Gómez García||2014|
|B||Aurora Egido Martínez||2014|
|F||Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón||2016|
|H||Félix de Azúa Comella||2016|
|U||Clara Janés Nadal||2016|
|s||María Paz Battaner Arias||2017|
|J||Carlos García Gual||2019|
|K||José María Bermúdez de Castro||2022|
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (October 2009)