On beauty

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Today whilst in the throes of a translation, I got think about the word beautiful and its equivalents in Spanish. I always find it difficult to come up with a translation I am really happy with when I am faced with the word ‘beautiful’.

precioso sounds far too flowery a lot of the time and it also sounds more like pretty
guapo is usually used only for people
hermoso and bello are  other options, but they are not used much in Spain I find, they are more common in Latin American Spanish
bonito sounds more like pretty, and in my opinion doesn’t express the intensity of beautiful
pulcro comes straight out of the latin, and is far too cultured a word to use most of the time

In fact, it may well be the wealth of words available for expressing beauty in Spanish that make it difficult to pin point one. In English, although we do have other words in the vocabulary, we tend to stick to beautiful or pretty.

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