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Recent RAE Changes for Spanish Translation

June 8, 2017 by InterChez in InterChez, Tips To Ship By

RAE, also known as “La Real Academia Española,” is the official institution that monitors and makes changes to the Spanish language in terms of grammar and orthography, and it also published a Spanish language dictionary. The RAE dictionary has been edited 23 times since 1780, and Spanish grammar was last edited in 2014. Contrary to popular belief, language is not stagnant; it is always changing and evolving through time. Here are just a few official changes that have just been made:


  • The letter “y” is now called “ye” instead of “y griega”
  • Double letters no longer exist, such as “ch”, “ll”, and “rr” bringing the alphabet to 27 letters instead of 30
  • The letter “w” is now called “uve doble” instead of “doble ve”


  • Accent marks are omitted on aún/aun; más/mas in updated texts
  • Accent marks are omitted on “o” [or] (ó o)
  • Accent marks are omitted on “este, ese, and aquel” [this (here), that (there), and that (over there)]


  • Words used in other languages are adapted in Spanish (ex: piercing à pirsin)


  • Parts of proper nouns shall be kept in lowercase (golfo de México [Gulf of Mexico], islas Galápagos [Galapagos Islands], etc.)
  • The first letter of titles is kept in lowercase (don, doña, fray, santo, san, señoría, etc.)
  • Common names for fiction characters are always capitalized now (Harry Potter, el Gato con Botes [Puss in Boots], etc.)

Overall, these changes will not affect meaning in any way; however, clients and native Spanish speakers may be unaware of these changes and prefer to use the previous rules. Keeping these changes in mind, your dedicated team at InterChez always makes sure to provide you with the latest news about language and how it may affect your past and future translation projects.

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