Gay marriage, long legal in Spain, now in its dictionary


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Gay marriage has been legal in Spain for nearly seven years -- but only this month was it accepted in its official dictionary.

The Royal Spanish Academy, the official institution that regulates the Spanish language, added another definition for marriage to its online dictionary this month, defining it as ‘under some laws, the union of two people of the same sex.’


The added definition joined a slew of newly recognized Spanish words that reflect the changing world in Spain and beyond. Nearly 1,700 changes have been made to the dictionary in its fifth revision since 2001, undertaken in consultation with 22 language academies in Spain and abroad.

‘Blogueros’ are now officially recognized typing away on their blogs. The ‘Popemobile’ is now known en español as the ‘papamovil.’ And the mingling of English and Spanish? That’s ‘espanglish.’

Spaniards can get ‘friki’ on the dance floor, ‘chatear’ online, play ‘sudoku,’ or ‘okupar’ their cities in protest. They might identify themselves as ‘cienciologos’ -- what Californians know as Scientologists.

Perhaps most tellingly in this uneasy year for the euro, the academy has now christened ‘euroescepticismo’ -- a mouthful defined as ‘distrust for the political projects of the European Union.’

Don’t take it personally, Europhiles. The Academy ‘doesn’t promote words,’ its secretary, Dario Villanueva, told El Pais when the changes were announced. ‘It records what people use.’


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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles