Spain launches campaign to stop English 'invasion'

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Jessica Jones - [email protected]
Spain launches campaign to stop English 'invasion'
The Royal Spanish Academy has launched a campaign against the use of English in advertising. Screen grab: Grey Spain/YouTube

The Royal Spanish Academy is fighting against the anglicization of Spanish with a new campaign.


The Spanish language has, over the past few years, been soaking up more and more anglicisms – from slang words to business vocabulary – these days many sentences in Spanish are peppered with a good dose of English… much to the distaste of the academy responsible for overseeing the Spanish language.

READ MORE: Top ten 'English' words adopted and adapted into Spanish

The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) is so disgruntled by the wave of English words being used in Spanish that it has launched a campaign to fight against this so-called "invasion".

The campaign, called 'There’s only one mother tongue', features two fake adverts, full of anglicisms, which plays on the fact that many Spaniards do not actually understand the real meaning of the English words "invading" the Spanish language.

The video promoting the campaign begins with with the line "English is invading advertising from within" before some common anglicisms flash across the screen, including the words brainstorming, toolkit, anti-age, light, eco-friendly and wireless.

One advert is for the perfume "Swine"; the sultry voiceover calls it "a touch of magic by Rebecca Robinson". The advert is shown once in its original English and then a second time with the Spanish voiceover revealing that spritzing yourself with swine "means you smell of pig".

The model in the advert is shown scrunching up her nose at the realization, while the tagline of the perfume is: "It sounds very good but smells very bad".

The second advert is for a pair of sunglasses "with blind effect". The advert reveals that the cool-sounding "with blind-effect" actually means the wearer cannot see out of the sunglasses.

The RAE has decided to "fight against anglicisms in an original and cheeky way" the academy writes in the video promoting the campaign.

"Advertising is one of the main sectors affected, and the excessive use of anglicisms in adverts shown in Spain not only affects the brands but also directly affects the public in general and how they perceive commercial messages," Enric Nel-lo, creative director of Grey Spain, which made the ad, told Spanish daily El País.

It is not the first time the RAE has criticized the invasion of English into everyday Spanish language. It was vehemently against sending a song sung entirely in English as Spain’s entry to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The director of the RAE classed Spain’s choice of song – Barei’s Say Yay! as "inferior and idiotic". 

Watch the entire campaign video below:



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