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RAE’s Latest Word Additions to the Spanish Dictionary

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Oftentimes one of the best things about conversing with others is learning and implementing all kinds of new words. Even better when done in another language. And with over 572 million Spanish speakers around the world, español is one of the most useful languages to have in your repertoire.

One of the best aids for your Spanish vocabulary learning is the official dictionary of the Spanish language, moderated by the Royal Spanish Academy (aka the RAE). Every year the RAE adds new terms to the dictionary in order to account for the ever-changing times we live in and give context to all those who will come in the future.

2021’s updated edition has delivered some unexpected, but also very essential additions. So, let’s join the millions of bilingual and multilingual people around the world and learn some of the new official Spanish terms. You’ll not only get a leg up on the competition, but you’ll also be hablando por los codos in no time.

Pandemic Era

Just as in 2020, the RAE has officially added more coronavirus-related terms to the dictionary’s lexicon. More popularly, the term “covidiota,” aka “covidiot,” has officially made it into the list.

Covidiota = “a person who refuses to comply with the health regulations issued to avoid the spread of COVID.”

Popularized in 2020 through both Spanish and Mexican news outlets, the term can now be officially used both pejoratively and sardonically while looking at the ever-increasing, and embarrassing, array of airline-fight videos on the web. (Kidding!)

Also joining other “covidioma” terms (or COVID-pandemic-related words) this year are coronaboda (pandemic wedding), nueva normalidad (indicating the “new normal” resulting from the pandemic), coronadivorcio (divorce resulting from having to quarantine together), and coronachivato (a whistleblower about others’ COVID safety measures). 2021’s additions undoubtedly prove that the COVID pandemic will continue to be a history-defining event we’ll be all talking about for decades to come.

Latinx Around the World

The Latinx diaspora reaches dozens of countries and spans most of the continents around the globe. With this migration come many special words, idioms, and traditions that are unique to all of the different geographical locations Latinx people reside in.

To account for this, the RAE has introduced a slew of new words to the official dictionary that recognizes these cultural differences across the global Latinx diaspora. Some of the new terms include:

  • chuteador (or kicker)—the term for a footballer’s boot in Chile
  • sambar (samba dance) — the verb for dancing the samba, which originated in Brazil
  • buseca — a tripe stew usually eaten in Argentina and Uruguay

The Future Is Virtual

Proving that we are truly moving into a cashless and digitized society, the RAE has continued to add some new terms related to the new technologies and Internet trends that have gained prominence over the last few years.

This year’s edition includes words such as criptomoneda (or cryptocurrency), Bitcóin (or Bitcoin), bot (bot/robot technology), ciberacoso (cyberbullying & cyber shaming), ciberdelincuencia (cybercrimes or Internet crimes), and webinarios (webinars or virtual seminars).

With even more advances in virtual reality and artificial intelligence, look for even more words like “metaverse” to be added next year. The increasing advances of the Internet and VR technology continue to have definite effects on not only how we live and what we do, but also the language we use. The future is definitely virtual and the RAE’s new 2021 technological vocabulary additions lend credence to this fact.

Identity and Sexuality

In a move that shows solidarity with and acknowledgment of the variety of identities and cultures that people belong and ascribe to, the RAE has officially added a number of new words to the 2021 version. Terms included:

  • poliamor (polyamory) — having multiple romantic or sexual relationships with the consent of everyone involved.
  • transgénero (transgender) — a person whose gender identity does not correlate with their gender at birth.
  • cisgénero (cisgender) — a person whose gender identity does correlate with their gender at birth.
  • pansexualidad (pansexuality) — a person who has no limitations in choosing a romantic partner in regards to gender or sexuality.

The addition of these words shows the growing role and impact of social change around the globe, especially concerning the way that we speak about and recognize all of our individual and cultural differences.

En un abrir y cerrar de ojos (in the blink of an eye), the world as we know it can change. Being able to converse openly and authoritatively about the current global climate is an undoubtedly important part of adapting to the changes as they come. The Spanish-speaking world stretches far and wide, and being able to know all sorts of palabras (words) will surely give you an advantage in communicating, working, making friends, and learning new experiences in our multilingual world. But if what you’re looking for is professional translation and/or interpretation services that are up-to-date on the latest lexical trends, get in touch with us at Trusted Translations.