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The Real Academia Española (English: Royal Spanish Academy), generally abbreviated as RAE, is the official royal institution responsible for overseeing the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but is affiliated with national language academies in twenty-one other hispanophone (Spanish-speaking) nations through the Association of Spanish Language Academies. The RAE's emblem is a fiery crucible, and its motto is "Limpia, fija y da esplendor" ("[It] cleans, [it] fixes, and [it] casts splendour").

The RAE dedicates itself to language planning by applying linguistic prescription aimed at promoting linguistic unity within and between the various territories, to ensure a common standard in accordance with Article 1 of its founding charter: "... to ensure the changes that the Spanish language undergoes [...] do not break the essential unity it enjoys throughout the Spanish-speaking world."

The proposed language guidelines are shown in a number of works. The priorities are the Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española (Dictionary of Spanish Language of the Royal Spanish Academy or DRAE), edited periodically twenty-three times since 1780, and its grammar, last edited in October 2014. The Academy has a formal procedure for admitting words to its publications.

The headquarters, opened in 1894, is located at Calle Felipe IV, 4, in the ward of Jerónimos, next to the Museo del Prado. The Center for the Studies of the Royal Spanish Academy, opened in 2007, is located at Calle Serrano 187–189.

The Real Academia Española was founded in 1713, modelled after the Italian Accademia della Crusca (1582) and the French Académie française (1635), with the purpose "to fix the voices and vocabularies of the Castilian language with propriety, elegance, and purity". King Philip V approved its constitution on 3 October 1714, placing it under the Crown's protection.

Its aristocratic founder, Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco, Marquis of Villena and Duke of Escalona, described its aims as "to assure that Spanish speakers will always be able to read Cervantes" – by exercising a progressive up-to-date maintenance of the formal language.

The RAE began establishing rules for the orthography of Spanish beginning in 1741 with the first edition of the Ortographía (spelled Ortografía fro m the second edition onwards). The proposals of the Academy became the official norm in Spain by royal decree in 1844, and they were also gradually adopted by the Spanish-speaking countries of America. Several reforms were introduced in the Nuevas Normas de Prosodia y Ortografía (1959), and since then the rules have undergone continued adjustment, in consultation with the other national language academies. The current rules and practical recommendations are presented in the latest edition of the Ortografía (1999).

In 1994, the RAE ruled that the Spanish consonants "CH" (ché) and "LL" (elle) would hence be alphabetized under "C" and under "L", respectively, and not as separate, discrete letters, as in the past. The RAE eliminated monosyllabic accented vowels where the accent did not serve in changing the word's meaning, examples include: "dio" ("gave"), "vio" ("saw"), both had an acutely accented vowel "ó"; yet the monosyllabic word "sé" ("I know", the first person, singular, present of "saber", "to know"; and the singular imperative of "ser", "to be") retains its acutely accented vowel in order to differentiate it fro m the reflexive pronoun "se".

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The Real Academia Española (English: Royal Spanish Academy), generally abbreviated as RAE, is the official royal institution responsible for overseeing the Spanish language.

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