BUENOS AIRES – Who says what is right and wrong in a language? In the case of Spanish, a new international certification system alerts some Latin American writers, especially Argentines, who say it leans in favor of Castilian Spanish, which will ultimately promote the cultural and commercial interests of the country. ‘Spain.
Based in Buenos Aires Clarin reports that the new certification standards, called SIELE, have been agreed between the Universities of Buenos Aires (UBA) and Salamanca, the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Cervantes Institute, which runs Spanish courses around the world whole. SIELE exams and certificates are used to establish your level of Spanish, like the First Certificate in English – but some now ask, which Spanish?
Argentina already has a similar certification system, CELU, which one researcher says is used in 11 countries. Beyond Spain, Argentina was the only other country to have established such certification.
The new SIELE standards now seek to restore the linguistic supremacy of the country which lost its colonial and military hold in this region some 200 years ago. University of Buenos Aires spokesperson Gabriel Capitelli insists SIELE has a “pan-Hispanic profile” and takes stock of regional variations in language and vocabulary.
Argentinian translator Jorge Fondebrider said Clarin that SIELE gives “the Spaniards and the Instituto Cervantes absolute hegemony to decide what is correct”, which would strengthen its position in the world market for educational products in Spanish.