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B-I-Z-A-N-T-I-N-I-S-M-O is the winning word for the first National Spanish Spelling Bee

B-I-Z-A-N-T-I-N-I-S-M-O is the winning word for the first National Spanish Spelling Bee

We’re not talking T-A-C-O, H-O-L-A, or C-O-M-O. The first-ever National Spanish spelling bee was full of some difficult words, but that didn’t stop a seventh-grade girl from Santa Crunz, New Mexico from winning.

Evelyn Juarez, of Carlos F. Vigil Middle School, won by correctly spelling the Spanish word “bizantinismo,” and in case you didn’t know, it means excess luxury.

The runner-up German Rojero, of Los Lunas Middle School, misspelled “kanindeyuense,” someone from a Paraguayan territory.

Students came from as far away as Oregon and Texas, but most were from New Mexico which has had a state Spanish spelling be since 1994.

Juárez went about an hour toe-to-toe with Germán Rojero, also of New Mexico, dissecting the spelling of 38 Spanish words considered in the top academic levels of the language. The whole bee lasted about two hours, reported the San Antonio Express.

“Wow,” David Briseño, the bee’s chief organizer, said to the audience who gave a standing ovation at the end of the competition. “I felt like I was watching a boxing match here. What a great way to start off this tradition.”

The inaugural National Spanish Spelling Bee was organized by the New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education and the Alliance for Multilingual Multicultural Education. ESPN filmed the competition for a promotional video to attract advertisers to possibly televise it next year.

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    Jon Byington manages the editorial and business operations for DosLives.com. Jon is also on Google +