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40 million people speak Spanish in the U.S. as a native language. The online Spanish Dictionary registered 32 million consultations from the United States. PHOTO: PIXABAY
40 million people speak Spanish in the U.S. as a native language. The online Spanish Dictionary registered 32 million consultations from the United States. PHOTO: PIXABAY

The Royal Academy of Spanish Language is giving away luxury dictionaries

Each copy of the 50,000 printed for this 300th-anniversary commemorative issue was priced at 99 euros ($116). However, its content is updated on the Royal…

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The Royal Academy of Spanish Language (RAE by its acronym in Spanish) is giving away printed dictionaries.

A few days ago, one of its scholars admitted that thousands of copies of the special 23rd edition, published in October 2014, were left over. The publishing house even wanted to destroy them, according to the scholar.

In the past, these luxury special editions of the Dictionary had been a secure source of income for the academy, but not anymore. Each copy of the 50,000 printed for this 300th-anniversary commemorative issue was priced at 99 euros ($116). However, its content can be found on the RAE website. Their online dictionary is actually updated to 2017. While many of the printed copies remained unsold, the online consultations hit 750 million at the end of 2017, according to El Español newspaper.

It was the scholar Pedro Álvarez de Miranda who admitted the failure. He called it a “clamorous miscalculation.”

This mistake is why the RAE is giving away copies from this luxury expensive hardcover edition. To countries like the Ivory Coast, for example, they donated 2,500 copies for the 2,000 Spanish teachers that work in high schools and universities there, El País reported.

Álvarez de Miranda doubted whether the publishing house will produce such an ambitious edition in the future. “If we are wise, the paper edition could have a very small amount printing, for collectors or nostalgics,” he said.

Actually, in the future, RAE will print issues on demand.

In the same summer course from the Instituto Cervantes in which Álvarez de Miranda revealed this data, other news came out: more than 577 million people already speak Spanish on the planet, five more million Spanish-speaking people than the previous research, dated November 2017. The study will be fully published by the Instituto Cervantes in October, under the name of El español en el mundo.

Although it is in President Trump’s behavior and like-minded people to resist it, it is precisely in the United States where the Spanish language “thrives more, mainly because the demographics,” Richard Bueno, the Academic Director of the Instituto Cervantes said, as quoted by El País.

The Hispanic population in the United States is now more than 57 million, according to the last survey of the Pew Research Center. 40 million of them, the Spanish experts say, still speak their native language at home —“70% of the Latino families,” stated David Fernández Vítores, a Ph.D. in Spanish Language and Literature.

Indeed, the United States appears in the most recent search statistics of the online dictionary as one of the countries with more consultations. The U.S. is number seven, with 32 million queries, below Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Chile.

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