Darío Villanueva, director of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, visits the Philippine Academy of the Spanish Language

The Director of Real Academia Española (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, RAE) and Chairman of the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, ASALE), Darío Villanueva, is scheduled to embark on an official visit to Manila from July 4 to 8 to meet with members of the Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española (Philippine Academy of the Spanish Language) as well as take part in several academic and cultural events.


This official trip to the Philippines forms part of the regular visits that the Director of RAE makes to the different entities making up ASALE, currently composed of 23 academies of the Spanish Language.  It is an effort to boost the exchange of information about the activities and projects of the members in order to achieve a better coordination within the said umbrella association.


During his visit to the country, Darío Villanueva, will join on July 5 a working session of the Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española and in the afternoon of that day he will hold a forum with the public at the Instituto Cervantes de Manila in which he will analyze the present and the future of the Spanish Language along with academic authorities and professors of Spanish from different learning centers.


The Director of RAE is likewise scheduled to hold a conference on July 6 at the Ateneo de Manila University and later will visit the University of the Philippines.


In view of this trip, Darío Villanueva received the Philippine Ambassador to Spain, Philippe J. Lhuiller, last June 27 at the headquarters of RAE to share with the Filipino envoy the preparations and objectives of his visit to Manila.  The honorary director of the Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española, José Rodriguez, was also present during the meeting.





The RAE was founded in 1713 in Madrid for the main purpose of drawing up a dictionary of the Spanish language, a work that has had 23 editions since then.




Photo: Real Academia Española buiding in Madrid. Courtesy of the RAE.



In the course of its more than 300 years of history, the institution has adapted its role to the demands and needs of the society during its time.  Its prevailing statutes stipulate as fundamental objective of the Academy “to be vigilant so that the Spanish language, in its continued adjustment to the needs of Spanish speakers, may retain its integral unity”.  This commitment has been reflected in the so-called pan-Hispanic language policy, shared with the 22 other institutions forming part of ASALE which was founded in 1951 in Mexico.


The RAE has currently six full-fledged members, among them the director and the rest of the members of its Governing Board, elected for temporary mandates as established in its statutes. The Plenary, the principal organ representing the corporation, is formed by all the full-fledged members and holds it weekly meetings every Thursday in the afternoon.


The Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española, which is part of the ASALE, was created on July 13, 1924 to contribute to the preservation and dissemination of Spanish in the country.  This Philippine institution has its headquarters at the Casino Español de Manila, founded in 1893 where full-fledged members meet monthly.


Its current director is Emmanuel Luis Romanillos, who was elected a year ago, and also has two honorary directors, namely,  José Rodríguez Rodríguez and Ramón Pedrosa.






Darío Villanueva is the thirtieth director of the RAE.  Elected on the 11th of December 2014, he assumed his duties in the plenary on the 18th of January 2015.  The RAE director is also the ex officio chairman of the ASALE.




Since the 30th of January 2015, being the director of RAE, he has been the chairman of Fundación del Español Urgente (Fundeu BBVA), a foundation promoting the correct use of Spanish in the mass media, and since the 12th of February, he has been a member of the State Council.







Darío Villanueva has a degree in Philology of Romance Languages from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (USC) and a doctorate in Hispanic Philology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.   He is a full professor of theory of literature and comparative literature at the USC, where he was dean of the College of Philology from 1987 and 1990.  He was dean of USC from 1994 to 2002.


He has been awarded honoris causa by eight universities in Argentina, Ecuador, Spain, USA, Peru, United Kingdom, Sweden and Nicaragua.














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