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Gerald Erichsen

La Palabra Más Bella

By June 20, 2011

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What's the most beautiful word in the Spanish language? According to a plurality of the 33,000 people who voted in a project sponsored by the Instituto Cervantes, it's Querétaro, the name of a city and state in central Mexico.

The name may have been selected because it was proposed for the survey and then promoted by Mexican actor Gael García Bernal. The place name is reported to mean "island of blue salamanders."

Other words that ranked high in the survey were generally nouns and were more traditional choices for the honor. Among them:

Incidentally, a couple of this site's readers who have submitted reviews of immersion schools have reported that Querétaro is a good place to study Spanish.

You can learn more the beautiful-word contest in the following news articles:

Comments

June 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm
(1) aleCcowaN says:

Querétaro is not a Spanish word, nor it is going to be in any Spanish dictionary unless it acquires in the future some meaning different from the actual one.

That poll included words as concepts -involving a wide range from emotion to values- as well as words that supposedly sound nice. Few people participated and it is not clear what was done to avoid some person voting a thousand times.

June 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm
(2) hikingprem says:

Has to be “el encanto” (the charm) and its verb “encantarse.”

June 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm
(3) James says:

My favorite is “alegría”, also the name of a wonderful Cirque du Soleil show.

August 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm
(4) J.LaFranca says:

Queretaro is a name of a state; Spain has nicer state, or province name : Andalucia is nicer. JLF

August 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm
(5) J.LaFranca says:

Queretaro is a name of a state; Spain has nicer state, or province name : Andalucia is nicer. JLF

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