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The Spanish Word of the Year 2019

There are many words that have defined the year that just ended. However, we believe there is a word that was crucial in 2019, not only in Spanish but in all languages! With that being said, the Spanish word of the year 2019 was​... "protesta" (protest)! Let's dive into the meaning and use of this word.


Why was protesta the Spanish word of the year 2019?

If you followed the news in 2019, you probably won't need an explanation. From the ongoing protests in Hong Kong to the more recent protests throughout South America, it looks like the whole world was protesting in 2019. The following are some of the headlines that dominated the news in 2019:


Continúa represión en Chile tras nueve semanas de protestas

Repression continues in Chile after nine weeks of protests

(teleSUR TV)


5 rostros que simbolizan las protestas en Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Irak y Líbano

5 faces that symbolize the protests in Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Iraq and Lebanon

(BBC Mundo)


De Chile a Hong Kong: el virus de la protesta se extiende por el mundo

From Chile to Hong Kong: the protest virus spreads throughout the world



The meaning of the word protesta

Protesta has the same meaning that the English word "protest." However, this word doesn't only refer to "a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval" (Merriam-Webster). For instance, the word protesta in Spanish also refers to the oath taken by a President during his/her inaugural ceremony. Also, generally speaking, protesta can be simply understood as a complaint or objection:


Ahí se oye un poco el... la protesta del leopardo.

There you can hear a bit the... the leopard's protest.

Caption 7, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo

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How to pronounce the word protesta

Check out the following video clips so you can practice the pronunciation of the word protesta and its plural protestas (protests).


Y es un lugar donde normalmente

And it's a place where usually

mucha gente que quiere venir a expresar sus ideas o protestas.

many people who want to come and express their ideas, their protests.

Captions 4-5, Yabla en Buenos Aires - Plaza Mayo

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Tú hazme el favor, dámele una pequeña razón a ese señor.

Do me a favor, deliver a little message to that man.

Mamá, ninguna razón, reclamo, ni protesta.

Mom, no message, complaint or protest.

Captions 77-78, X6 - 1 - La banda

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Also, check out the following clips where you can hear the pronunciation of the verb protestar (to protest).


Porque el veintiocho de diciembre lo que hacemos nosotros aquí es protestar...

Because on December twenty eighth what we do here is to protest...

Caption 30, Estado Falcón - Locos de la Vela

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Esa no es la forma de protestar.

That is not the way to protest.

Caption 27, Kikirikí - Agua

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So, there you have it. What do you think of protesta as the word of the year 2019? Can you think of any other word worth this title? What do you think of all these protests around the world, anyway? Please, send us your feedback, comments and questions. We will be happy to hear from you!



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