About Spain the Spanish Language and Delicate Issues

Politics in Spain: never a dull moment. The man-to-man combats can only be taken figuratively as if you were attending a theatre; this can't be real. As in Spanish soccer, two parties dominate the political scene (on national level); PSOE and PP. This week however, the contest was predominately a gender debate.The spokesman of the PP recently expressed his opinion that the Deputy Prime Minister ought to dress like her vice presidential duty would demand, rather than disguising the way she did recently in Kenya and Mozambique.

After this "one-liner" the women from PSOE and another political party left the "parliament stage" The theatre was closed for a moment.In the same week, a commission from the Andalusian parliament request the Real Academia Espaņola (REA) - the authority on the Spanish language ? information about the gender distribution in the Spanish language, and whether; "the REA would make women invisible.".Incidents never travel alone.A famous Spanish author and.member of the same REA, replied that the REA was not something recently introduced, but product of a long cultural process that started with "Homer and Seneca, passed through Cervantes.

" (thus presenting in his argument a list of male authors). And.that the use of the masculine form is based on economic and simplification principles; "communicate with the least possible effort ? why use four words if you can do with only two.

".Neither English, not my own mother language is endowed with male and female constructions; a farmer is either a male or a female farmer, but in the Spanish language the male farmer (Campesino) or the female equivalent (Campesina) are two different words. Two different worlds.

Rather than accessing the REA, a simple query on your search engine would also do the job, please check for your self: campesino results in 4.020.000 offerings and the female equivalent campesina only returns 3.

390.000. Unequal perhaps, but not enough to make women invisible.

Both incidents however show the delicateness of this issue in Spain.

.Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. The About Spain Articles explore the cultural parallel in both business and society.

By: Hans Bool

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