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Gypsy 'swindler' definition protest

Published 08/04/2015

Spain's Royal Language Academy produces the definitive Spanish dictionary
Spain's Royal Language Academy produces the definitive Spanish dictionary

Spanish groups representing gypsies have launched a campaign to remove a reference to them as swindlers from the world's benchmark Spanish dictionary.

The country's Gypsy Secretariat Foundation and others delivered a protest letter to Spain's Royal Language Academy, which produces the definitive Spanish dictionary.

Foundation spokeswoman Pilar Calon said the effort attempts to raise awareness of discrimination against gypsies, also known as Roma.

The dictionary's most recent 2014 edition lists swindler (trapacero) as one of its definitions for gypsy (gitano).

The foundation does not deem other academy dictionary definitions for gypsy as discriminatory.

The academy declined to comment but has said dictionary definitions reflect actual use and are not meant to be derogatory.

Spain has about 750,000 people of Roma heritage.

The protest was delivered on International Roma Day.

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