World

Spain: Gypsy groups protest 'swindler' definition in world's benchmark Spanish dictionary

  • Members of Spain’s gypsy community throw flower petals into the Manzanares river, symbolizing the departure of their ancestors from India and their exodus across the world during an event in memory of the Roma victims of the Nazi Holocaust in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April. 8, 2015. Spanish groups representing gypsies have launched a campaign to remove a reference to them as swindlers from the world’s benchmark Spanish dictionary. Foundation spokeswoman Pilar Calon says the effort attempts to raise awareness of discrimination against gypsies, also known as Roma. Spain has about 750,000 people of Roma heritage. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

    Members of Spain’s gypsy community throw flower petals into the Manzanares river, symbolizing the departure of their ancestors from India and their exodus across the world during an event in memory of the Roma victims of the Nazi Holocaust in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April. 8, 2015. Spanish groups representing gypsies have launched a campaign to remove a reference to them as swindlers from the world’s benchmark Spanish dictionary. Foundation spokeswoman Pilar Calon says the effort attempts to raise awareness of discrimination against gypsies, also known as Roma. Spain has about 750,000 people of Roma heritage. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)  (The Associated Press)

  • Members of Spain’s gypsy community throw flower petals into the Manzanares river, symbolizing the departure of their ancestors from India and their exodus across the world during an event in memory of the Roma victims of the Nazi Holocaust in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April. 8, 2015. Spanish groups representing gypsies have launched a campaign to remove a reference to them as swindlers from the world’s benchmark Spanish dictionary. Foundation spokeswoman Pilar Calon says the effort attempts to raise awareness of discrimination against gypsies, also known as Roma. Spain has about 750,000 people of Roma heritage. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

    Members of Spain’s gypsy community throw flower petals into the Manzanares river, symbolizing the departure of their ancestors from India and their exodus across the world during an event in memory of the Roma victims of the Nazi Holocaust in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April. 8, 2015. Spanish groups representing gypsies have launched a campaign to remove a reference to them as swindlers from the world’s benchmark Spanish dictionary. Foundation spokeswoman Pilar Calon says the effort attempts to raise awareness of discrimination against gypsies, also known as Roma. Spain has about 750,000 people of Roma heritage. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)  (The Associated Press)

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 Wednesday to Spain's Royal Language Academy, which produces the definitive Spanish dictionary.

Foundation spokeswoman Pilar Calon says 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 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.