BRONX, N.Y.—Dr. Gerardo Piña-Rosales (Languages and Literatures) received two awards at this year’s annual Latino/Hispanic Book Fair in New York City: a commendation from the New York State Senate and the renaming of a school auditorium in his honor.
New York State Sen. Jose Peralta and City Council Member Daniel Dromm presented Dr. Piña-Rosales with the Senate resolution, which recognized him as an “outstanding citizen, deserving of our highest esteem and respect” for his work as director of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language.
The renaming ceremony came on the fair’s final day, at the Renaissance School in Jackson Heights. Juan Tineo, the fair’s co-founder and director of the Latino/Hispanic Cultural Center of New York, along with the other fair sponsors, renamed the school auditorium after Dr. Piña-Rosales in recognition of his stature as a representative of the Spanish language in the United States.
Dr. Piña-Rosales recalled that it wasn’t easy for the North American Academy—which represents two countries where Spanish is not the official language—to become an official member of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language. “But today, our Academy represents the second largest Spanish-speaking community in the world, only surpassed by Mexico,” he said.
“The Spanish Royal Academy is well aware that the future of the Spanish language is in North America, specifically in the United States, a country that makes up 10 percent of the 450 million Spanish speakers on the planet,” said Dr. Piña-Rosales. Altogether, twenty-two academies on three continents are dedicated to promoting the proper use of the Spanish language.
During the three-day event, Dr. Piña-Rosales and other members of the Academy presented the book Hablando bien se entiende la gente (Speaking Well Makes the World Go Round), published by Santillana USA. The book is a Spanish-language reference book, with more than 300 Spanish idiomatic expressions developed by the Academy and written in a witty tone aimed at the U.S. Hispanic community.
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