The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) replied to the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillofor defending the use of inclusive language and calling primary school students “rebel” against Spain. “The words we use are not going to be explained to us,” were the words of the Buenos Aires president.
In radio statements, the philologist Dario Villanueva Prietoformer director of the number cultural and academic institution since 2007, considered “inconsistent” and “anachronistic” the position of the economist and expressed special concern about the context in which he expressed it. “It seems to me an inconsistent statement and, on the other hand, anachronistic, because Spanish is the language that it is today not because of the colony, but because of independence. When independence occurred after 1810, linguists have proven that in America there were only 20% of citizens who spoke Spanish, so that the republics were the ones that made the decision that the official language of the nascent republican institution, that was the Nation, it had to be this language”, he completed in dialogue with miter radio.
After that, he added: “From there comes a process of consolidating a language that is fundamentally very unitary, where we Spaniards represent only 8% of the speakers and all the linguistic policy that is carried out is pan-Hispanic. In other words, the grammar published in 2009, which is monumental, is markedly pan-Hispanic: establishes a Spaniard from all over the world, not a Spaniard from the Iberian Peninsula and the islands of our archipelagos. In short, I am very sorry for these types of statements by a person who has a great political responsibility and above all speaking with young people.
With almost 50 years of experience as a university professor, Villanueva Prieto considered that transmitting “false currency” to students is “problematic.” However, he was optimistic when considering that “young people have an open brain, very fertile and very fruitful, and have their own criteria.” “There is nothing that helps young people do what they really want more than someone telling them what to do”, he evaluated.
Next, the RAE academic was promptly asked about the extension of the use of inclusive language worldwide. So, he analyzed that this is a debate that not only concerns Argentina and Spain, but also occurs “everywhere” and encompasses different languages. “It all started, for example, in the 80s of the last century in the United States, where they began to discuss that you couldn’t say woman (woman) because it has the syllable ‘man’, which means man”, he commented.
Likewise, he considered that “these are pretensions that do not succeed, because it reminds me of ‘Cambalache’, by [Enrique] Santos Discépolo (…) These are things that are truly bizarre and that threaten something that is linguistic common sense. All of us who speak a language feel that we are the owners of it with every right and therefore they should not touch it, they should not play with us with things as serious as the language we learn in our family and it is the one that helps us to establish ourselves as people and as citizens.
The controversy was unleashed this Wednesday during an act of pledge of allegiance to the Argentine flag. In this framework, Kicillof differed from the City on the use of inclusive language and called on a hundred fourth grade students to rebel: “Today, so long after the May Revolution, from Spain they are not going to explain to us the words we use”.
Without specifically mentioning the use of the e, the x and the @, the governor maintained days after the Buenos Aires government announced the regulation of inclusive language in the classrooms: “We don’t like, boys and girls, to ban. We like that they can express themselves, say what they feel, be free”.
Prior to that, the official had spoken to the students about the rebellion that characterized Manuel Belgrano when he decided to create the national flag despite the fact that he did not have all the support. “Because rebellion for me is not doing what everyone is sung for. The [por Belgrano] He didn’t do it to find fame, he did it to reach others”, he affirmed then and finished: “And here, in the Province, to rebel is also to speak as one wants, as one wants, to express what one feels”.