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Germany

Search for the "Most Beautiful" German Word

The Goethe Institut, the German language and culture institute, kicked off an unusual language competition on Tuesday to pick the "most beautiful German word." Goethe Institut President Jutta Limbach said in Berlin that the competition was designed to jazz up the dull image of the German language as being too dry, difficult and impossible to learn. "We want to revive the interest in the German language both within Germany and abroad. English is a must, Deutsch is a plus," Limbach said. The competition, which is on until August 1, 2004 invites entries from all over the world to find -- "the warmest, coolest, sassiest, most affectionate, most emotional and most valuable word" according to the initiators. Participants can only send in one word -- a real existing one, not an invented one -- and need to justify their choice by relying on factors such as its melody and cadence or its meaning. The jury comprises author Christian Kracht, pop singer Herbert Grönemeyer among a host of other celebrities and language experts. Winners will get a trip to Mauritius among other prizes.

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