The beginning of a new year is the perfect timing to look back and reminisce. And there is no better way to do so than by going over the words that exemplified 2019! So, every year the Real Academia Española (RAE) publishes a list of words that defined the year. But, not just any word makes it to the list —only terms that have been recognized by the RAE, and that we use often get mentioned.
Overall, 2019 was a year of conflicts but also filled with progress and positive social change. As a result, most of the words are related to trends or happenings that had an impact across the world. The list is relatively long, but below we will go over five terms that genuinely caught my eye:
• Progreso – Progress
Progress is, without a doubt, the “word of the year,” and in my opinion, the decade. As we all know, 2019 was a year of advances and notable breakthroughs in fields such as medicine, technology, and environmental sciences.
Additionally, there was an entire movement geared toward personal growth and improvement, adding to the whole progress vibe.
• Elección – Choice
The truth is 2019 was also a year where significant decisions were made in politics, economics, social, and even religious realms. For instance, the LGBT community finally had many of their rights recognized worldwide. Also, in Latin America and many other Spanish speaking countries, it was a year of presidential elections and changes.
• Feminizar – Feminize
Feminize is a word that carried so much power in 2019 as it was a very significant year for women around the world. A few events worth mentioning include:
- Great strides were made in regards to women’s rights in the Middle East.
- A woman, Ursula von der Leyen, was elected for the first time as president for the European Commission.
- The feminist movement grew stronger than ever, promoting international protests to generate awareness of gender-based violence.
• Clima – Climate
I could not end this short recap of words that defined the year without including the term “climate.” A topic that has been trending since the start of this decade given the environmental crisis we face. So, as climate change plunders the planet, we need to stop and think about what we can do to stop it. A simple change, such as not asking for a straw at a restaurant or deciding to walk instead of taking a taxi, can go a long way.
As you can see, all of these terms embody a year that, although complicated in many ways, served as a reminder that we can always do better! And of course, these are not the only words that defined the year. Thus, if interested, I invite you to read the complete list published by the RAE by clicking here.