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The Real Academia Española is the main, official language academy of the Spanish language. But there are also country-specific language academies in most Spanish-speaking countries. What do these language academies do? Are they official offices with staff working every day, or just conferences of people that meet occasionally? Do they typically have public buildings that one could visit, or are they closed organizations?

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I don't know enough to give a full answer, but I do know that i) the introduction to the DRAE indicates that they all collaborate on it (and I presume the DPD is the same); ii) they make joint decisions about things like alphabet reform; iii) the Mexican academy publishes a dictionary of Mexicanisms. – Peter Taylor Jan 2 '12 at 13:52

Argentina has its Academia Argentina de Letras that has close relation with Real Academia Española. In its homepage it describes its activities, address, regular meeting schedules and general goal. Here is its institutional page. They have a building and permanent staff as well. They also promote events and attempt to keep track of changes in the language and keep contact with Spanish academies from other countries mostly Latin American.

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But there are also country-specific language academies in most Spanish-speaking countries. What do these language academies do?

From Wikipedia:

The Association of Spanish Language Academies is the entity which regulates the Spanish language. It was created in Mexico in 1951 and represents the union of all the separate academies in the Spanish-speaking world.

The Association convenes every four years, led by a permanent commission composed of a president, secretary general, the RAE treasurer, and four board members drawn from the associated academies and which rotate annually. During the Third Congress of Academies, held in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1960, an agreement was reached whereby the governments of countries with a member in the Association would be obliged to provide financial support to their respective academies and the greater Association.

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