Last Friday, the Real Academia Española—the absolute authority on all aspects of the Spanish language—updated its online dictionary by means of 1,697 modifications, including new words, abbreviations, anglicisms and more. This update constitutes the fifth revision to the venerable dictionary since 2001.
With an average of more than 2,000,000 visits per day, the DRAE is the most frequently consulted online Spanish dictionary. Despite the dictionary’s popularity, the academy sometimes draws criticism for being overly conservative in terms of changes and additions to the DRAE. With that said, it seems that the Real Academia loosened up a bit this time around, adding new terms that reflect changes on societal, technological and economic levels as well as a number of slang words that have been in use for some time but were previously unrecognized by the RAE.
One of the most noteworthy changes came to the word “matrimonio” (marriage), which now incorporates same-sex union as one of the term’s accepted meanings. Given that both Spain and Argentina have legalized gay marriage, now both the law and the language reflect the concept of marriage equality in these countries.
Other words included in the update arose from social networking and the tech world, with terms such as “bloguero/a” (blogger), “chatear” (to chat), SMS, “tableta” (tablet computer) and USB finally gaining acceptance. Although “tuit” and “tuitear” (the word “tweet” both as a noun and verb) did not get the go-ahead this time around, the terms will likely be included in the next update.
With the global economic crisis at the forefront of many people’s minds, a number of financial and political terms entered the dictionary as well including riesgo de crédito (credit risk), riesgo país (country risk), and euroescepticismo (euroscepticism).
The dictionary’s next update to its print edition is slated for 2014; however, spokespeople for the academy note that the updating process is an ongoing one. You can consult the entire DRAE online at http://rae.es/drae.