Group in Spain unveils Wikipedia-style site for fine-tuning Spanish language
around the world
Arizona | Published:
— A new Wikipedia-style online tool designed to help the world's nearly 400
million Spanish speakers consult on proper use of their language launched
officially on Thursday.
Spoken in more than 20
countries, Spanish poses a daunting and fluid challenge to academics trying
to track variations in grammar and vocabulary; there can be many ways to say
a simple word such as car or pen.
The Web site, called
Wikilengua, in testing since August, works like the online encyclopedia
Wikipedia, where Internet users can modify the entries they consult.
But Wikilengua contributors
must register in order to edit entries, and supervisors check contributions
and filter out those they deem inaccurate or inappropriate.
unveiling was at Casa de America, a cultural center that aims to symbolize
and enhance Spain's strong ties with Latin America — and their common use of
the world's third-most-spoken language, after Chinese and English.
"The first cyberspace forum
that is open and dedicated to bringing together honestly all knowledge about
the Spanish language was born today," said Alex Grijelmo, president of the
Spanish national news agency Efe, part of the foundation that created the
"Wikilengua aims to serve
as a place for reflection on language, the grand instrument of human
intelligence," Grijelmo said at the presentation.
The site gets about 1,000
visits a day, and the number is rising steadily, said Javier Bezos,
coordinator of the Web site.
It is the brainchild of
Fundeu BBVA, a foundation created by Efe and BBVA, Spain's No. 2 bank, to
monitor and offer advice on correct use of Spanish, especially in the news
The plan is to enlist the
expertise of the Spanish Royal Academy, the official watchdog of the
language, and 20-odd affiliated academies in Latin America, the United
States and the Philippines.
"What we are doing with
Wikilengua is open an immense network of highways granting access to the ...
work of the academies," said Victor Garcia de la Concha, director of the
Spanish Royal Academy. "Now we (have) a space for exchanging opinions,
studies and suggestions."