It does indeed!Originally Posted by cuchuflete
It does indeed!Originally Posted by cuchuflete
The British/Australian/American personality would resist strongly any kind of language "academy" and rulings on how we are to speak, I believe.I am sorry to disagree with that point of view. I don't even think there is something like a Spanish/British/American or Australian personality or that a language authority can be antithetical to American culture or to Indonesian culture. The main reason why there was no English Academy may be perhaps the political rivalry between France and England in the eighteenth century, so no institutions coming from France during that period (and even less during Napoleon's) could be well received in England.But for my 2 cents, the idea of such an authority is antithetical to American culture. How can and why should a language, which is the property of every speaker equally, be "regulated"?
This is what the RAE states:
Residente13:La institución ha ido adaptando sus funciones a los tiempos que le ha tocado vivir. Actualmente, y según lo establecido por el artículo primero de sus Estatutos, la Academia «tiene como misión principal velar porque los cambios que experimente la Lengua Española en su constante adaptación a las necesidades de sus hablantes no quiebren la esencial unidad que mantiene en todo el ámbito hispánico».
I agree with you up to a certain point. Although it may have been traditionally so, I would say "not only on what educated speakers from Central Spain talk" but "on what educated speakers from both Spain and America talk". Any way, American academics are not certainly bribed by the RAE to comply with Madrid. I was never taught how to speak Spanish and I was never taught how or when should I use the subjunctive or if "me se cae" instead of "se me cae" is correct or not depending on what the RAE said. I learned my native language because the people around me talked that way and because of the influence of the books (I mean literature, not grammar) I read. If both influences were "educated speakers from......wherever", that was just a coincidence and I'm glad of it.Basically, they base what is "correct" on what educated speakers from Central Spain talk. There are national academies in about 20 Spanish-speaking countries but they basically go along with whatever the one in Madrid says.
Languages change and Spanish will change. Does anybody know if a Mexican, an Argentinian, a Cuban and a Spaniard will be able to understand each other in 400 years from now? I won't be there to see the change which will certainly happen (may the RAE want it or not) but in the meantime I can enjoy the possibility of visiting 20 countries and being able to talk to people in 20 different countries in my own/their language and being able to read authors from those 20 different countries in their own/my native language to boot. Did the RAE have something to do with that linguistic unity? I don't think so. In the best case it may have helped a little or nothing at all but it is not the enemy of the people as non prescriptive grammarians tend to think. Neither has it been an institution ruling againt the supposed "personality" of Spaniards, Chileans or Nicaraguans if such "personalities" have ever existed
Spanish is spoken not only in Spain. Still people who live in the Spanish speaking countries cite RAE (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language) in the forum. And if they do it, I guess they consider the body to be the ultimate authority as far as the rules of the Spanish language are concerned.
German is spoken not only in Germany, but they somehow have implemented a reform setting new rules of writing. I don’t know what organization did it but I guess that the new rules are valid not only in Germany but in other German speaking countries as well.
English seems to be the only exception. My be it’s the reason for
It looks like no rules rule rules. So my question is if there is a body like the Spanish RAE where I could clear up questions like “half five”. I’m asking because for some English learners it’s more important to know if something is correct or not rather than how something will be understood by one or another native, which was the case on the thread the second quote is from.
There is no normative regulating body for the German language in the style of the RAE or the Académie Française. Most speakers still follow a more prescriptive approach to language than English speakers, though.
The 1996 spelling reform was developed by a council with representatives from the different German-speaking countries and regions. While this is often regarded as the one and only "correct" spelling standard, it is legally binding for schools and public authorities only. Anyone else is free to use whatever spelling they like both for private and commercial exchange, as has been confirmed by courts numerous times.
Before the reform, the Duden dictionary had been the de facto authoritative reference for spelling.
There are no "official" rules concerning grammar and pronunciation.
Neither the Greek language is regulated by some "Académie".
Of course there are dictionaries (currently Bambiniotis'*) and grammar (Triantafillidis') that are considered authoritative and used as reference, but no one regulates any aspect of the language.
There was a spelling reform though, the one which made the monotonic spelling the official form used by the state and in schools, but anyone is free to write in whatever system they want.
The sad/funny thing is that the users of the older polytonic orthography accept their system as the only correct (despite the clear incompatibility of it with the modern language) and they want it be the official system again. Ironically, their biggest argument is "freedom of choice".
*Even though Bambiniotis' dictionary is considered to be authoritative, it proposes many spellings that are uncommon, like τσύμα or αγώρι (and several others) in etymological grounds, but the grand majority prefers the traditional spellings τσίμα, αγόρι. In fact, the dictionary of Triantafillidis' Institution is more in touch with the actual use of the language, but Bambiniotis is the big name.
My username is pronounced /ði'mitris/, romanized Dimitris, cyrillicized Димитрис and katakanized ディミトリス.
There is a "Svenska Akademien", it was created to further the "purity, strength, and sublimity of the Swedish language" after the model of the French Academy. The Academy publishes two dictionaries, one of them is Svenska akademiens ordlista, on Swedish spelling. The Swedish Academy is perhaps most known for deciding who will get the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The last thing we need in English is its ''tamilization''. Tamil is a diglossic language of South India with two different forms: written classical Tamil used in schools, newspapers, on the radio and in formal meetings and the modern spoken form. The written form can be spoken, but the colloquial form can be written too: so you have 4 different language codes.
For example: the word for monkey
classical Tamil (H form): குரங்கு [kurangu]
colloquial Tamil (L form): கொரங்கு [korãgɨ]
The last time modernization of the H-form took place was in the 13th century. Tamils are devoted to their H-language and worship it as if it were a Hindu deity.
Thank God, there's no Academy in English who would force us to use a 13th century English for writing. No wonder more and more Tamil children prefer reading in English.
For example, Harry Potter books were not even translated in Tamil because the English original was so popular there.
So, Tamil is the language of the past (if there's no word for something in Tamil they will ''revive'' it from the old Tamil), and they're proud of it.
I prefer languages of the future, like English .
Last edited by Istriano; 31st August 2010 at 11:19 PM.
Spanish Academia is not particularly picky, it just goes with the flow, it accepted Argentinian voseo, and included it in the verbal paradigm (see the verb conjugator on their site). Spanish Academia is more tolerant to Mexicanisms and Argentinisms than Brazilian Academia is to Brazilianisms. Spanish Academia will become just like an Italian Academia, a symbolic blessing giver. This approach should be applauded, since it's more democratic than the restrictive and oppressive French academia. The latest grammar released by the Spanish Academia is descriptive and not prescriptive.
Last edited by Istriano; 2nd September 2010 at 2:52 AM.
In fairness, it's not as if most people listen to the Académie française anyway. They're a waste of space.
If you would have an Academy, they would have probably updated the writing, which is irrational and arcaic.
Do not get me wrong, I think English has some advantages over "academic" languages, but this is certainly not.
Only a Spanish speaker. If you need an exact translation, wait for better opinions.
The fact is that the English linguistic establishment doesn't believe in a standard normative grammar and the establishment of anything like the Académie Francaise would be regarded as an extremely retrograde step.
Hence the proliferation of style guides (most large institutions seem to have one) and the increasing seriousness with which "BBC English" is taken.
This situation makes life difficult for people who work with words: translators, teachers of English as a foreign language, and even literary critics. For an interesting take on this issue see
I think Outsider is right, but not because of the diversity or strength of the language.
Any lang. can have an academy, but it's totally not mandatory.
English is pretty successful without anything else but the dictionaries (each one as lexicographers, and the whole shebang, just like the RAE).
The Romance languages, particularly Spanish, is diverse enough, and also pretty strong. I guess there is a tradition that fuels the need for some higher being encompassing all regions.
I've read that the Academie francaise is more and more open towards influences from other French-speaking countries, such as Belgium, Quebec, Haiti, francophone countries in Africa, etc. However, I still don't quite understand the French system. I mean, it is clear that English is a pluricentric language with 2 visible standards: American English and the so-called Commonwealth English (the UK, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, etc.). But with French is much less clear: the Academie francaise still acts as the sole authority when it comes to "le bon usage", but I know that the Quebecois have their own authority and I'm sure most francophone Africans and Antilleans don't really care that much about it.
Portuguese is doing just fine with two spelling systems, just like English.
Any attempt at creating an academy with the power to "reform" the English language would be met with extreme resistance by all but the reformers. Here's an example of "spelling reform." It is both logical and consistent.
"Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld."
The main problem with spelling reform would be the necessity for reprinting the entire corpus of English literature in the new manner. An "authority's" decisions about such things would never be accepted. "This is something up with which we will not put."
Last edited by cyberpedant; 8th March 2011 at 4:01 PM.
Here's a link to a page about spelling reform which mentions a number of societies dedicated to the taming of English, among them:
American Philological Association
International Convention for the Amendment of English Orthography
The Spelling Reform Association