Posted by: rbbadger | December 14, 2009

Una nueva gramática de la lengua española

In the United States, we do not have an official quasi-governmental body which is the ultimate arbiter of what is and ain’t grammatical, so to speak.  In Korea, the language is governed by the National Institute of the Korean Language.  In France, the Academie Française governs the usage of the language. 

In Spain, the Real Academia Española governs the Spanish language in cooperation with similar academies in Latin America.  In conjunction with the academies of the Spanish speaking nations, they’ve produced authoritative dictionaries and grammars.  Recently, they unveiled a new authoritative grammar.  Unlike grammars in times past, this new grammar is much more accepting of grammatical differences which exist in other Spanish speaking countries.  For instance, my aunt Stella, a native of Uruguay, uses verb constructions which while not grammatically wrong, are simply no longer used in Spain.  She lives in the USA and speaks English very well.  But when she speaks Spanish, she uses the vocabulary and grammar of her homeland.  This new Spanish grammar does not demonize these regional differences as being simply wrong, but accepts that with the passage of time, grammatical usage has diverged a bit between Spain and the rest of Latin America.  The last official grammar dates back to 1931.   

This is probably of interest to Spanish speakers only, but given the fact that my extended family on both sides has a veritable plethora of Spanish speakers, they might find it interesting.  You can read all about it here in English and here in Spanish.  And finally, teachers of both ESL to Spanish speakers and teachers of Spanish are quite thrilled about the new guidelines.  The vast majority of Spanish speakers no longer live in Spain.  Rather, most Spanish speakers are Latin American.  The new grammar recognizes this.



  1. I share your thoughts. The message of unity inclusive within, erupted in my mind from having a new guidelines in the Spanish language, that considers the varieties in the language.

    On the other hand, it is not clear if your relative is from Spain and now lives in Uruguay or, she learnt Spanish in Spain while living in Uruguay. Your sentence confuses me since the Spanish from Uruguay was never spoken in Spain. Uruguay and Argentina have a language structure of its own, very similar one to the other (if not the same).

    Now, the varieties, are the beauty of Spanish and to some language purists, the varieties are catastrophic.

    Having a guideline is definitely something positive to measure properness in the language, but shouldn’t be considered to rigidly.

    To have an English guidelines… I look forward to that one.

    • My aunt is from Uruguay and lives in the United States. I was trying to explain how the Spanish she speaks is just as a correct as that of a Spaniard.

  2. Thanks for your reply, I guess it’s confusing because of “…are simply no longer used in Spain.”

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