• Edición impresa de Enero 7, 2010.

New York, NY (CapitalWirePR) December 1, 2009 – The annual conference of the American Translators Association (ATA) recently held in New York City featured an important seminar by representatives of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE) on the Spanish language in the United States and its characteristics as the second language of the country.   

The two speakers in the seminar were Leticia Molinero, a professional translator and a corresponding member of ANLE, and María Cornelio, director of the translation and interpretation program in the Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College in New York City, and a collaborator of ANLE.  

With a standing room only audience, the speakers underscored the vitality and breadth of Spanish in its many manifestations in a country with millions of Spanish-speakers from throughout the world.  The seminar began with the statement: “The time has come to move forward from Spanish in the United States to Spanish of the United States.”  The attendees gave their immediate assent to this essential distinction.  At the same time, they pointed out that, since most information in Spanish results from translations,  translators must take on the important task of defining the linguistic norms of the Spanish of the United States.

The speakers also noted that in a few decades, given the rapid growth of the Hispanic population, the United States will probably become the largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world.   One of the basic objectives of ANLE, Molinero said, is to define the linguistic standards of Spanish in the United States.  She said that the presentations in this seminar constitute one of the first contributions with that goal in mind. 

Molinero presented a macroanalysis of English-to-Spanish translation as a function of communications in the United States, and posited operational functionality as an essential tool to integrate linguistic and extra linguistic factors with the goal of assuring that the messages are effective. 

She also analyzed the characterization of the Spanish of the United States within the reference framework of the academies of the Spanish language.  The speakers lamented the lack of understanding abroad of the realities of that language in the United States.  The perception of so-called “Spanglish” has distorted these realities; so the time has come, they said, to recognize that the Spanish of the United States continues to adopt standards of usage that merit universal acceptance.   

The central themes of the seminar were the categorization of linguistic and extra-linguistic factors that define the Spanish of the United States; the importance of the recent agreement between the ANLE and the General Services Administration (GSA); and a review of new localization resources for translators.   

To complement the foregoing, María Cornelio, of Hunter College, demonstrated the application of the principle of operational funcionality to translation in the health services field in the United States.   

Both speakers cited as an example of a contribution to Spanish language norms in the United States the agreement signed early this year between ANLE and GSA.  Per the agreement,, the official website of the federal government, recognizes ANLE as the maximum authority at the national level for establishing standards and resolving doubts about Spanish language usage in the United States.  A key example of this collaboration was the recent acceptance of the terms billion-billón and trillion-trillón for domestic use.  

The seminar closed with a brief summary of the most important conclusions, as follows:

·       Spanish in the United States is one more variant of Spanish in the Americas

·       English is a unifying factor for the Spanish of the United States

·       It is necessary to recognize and legitimize United States usage of Spanish

·       Linguistic research and the development of a dictionary of Spanish of the United States are recommended.  

The seminar presentations are available upon request through    

ANLE, one of 22 academies of the Spanish language established on three continents, is a nonprofit institution founded in 1973, whose mission it is to preserve and promote correct usage of the Spanish language in the United States.

CONTACT: Frank Gómez • 917.593.8764

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