Spanish word list for statistical analysis

I'll copy my comment here:

For future reference: I came upon this post (and the partner post on linguistics) while searching for a good Spanish word list on the web. I want you to know that you did a disservice to more than one person and I invite other people to also indicate if they searched in vain for a good answer here. (And you can look up that I have been very active at german.SE, so you don't need to tell me that this is due to Stackexchange that you chose not to answer this question and/or make a page of ressources.)

  • 3
    In all honesty: maintaining such open-ended list questions tends to be a burden on the community, and is really a drain on resources better spent answering and asking good questions. I agree with the closure, but I will allow moderators to respond directly.
    – Aarthi
    Jan 16, 2013 at 20:38

1 Answer 1


It may be that closing that question did a disservice to one or more people. But our philosophy at SE is that it is okay to do a disservice to a few, in order that we may do a greater service to "the Internet." SE cannot be all things to all people. Instead, it is designed to be a community of (in this case) Spanish-language experts.

The question which was closed is not a good expert-level question. In fact, it's a very low-quality question, IMHO, as it is essentially a "can you google this for me?" question.

It might be that a similar question could be on-topic on Linguistics if it is reworded to not be a list-question (although, I don't follow their site, so I can't say this with any certainty). A question along the lines of "How can one derive an authoritative list of words in a given language?" I can see being possibly accepted there--and it would help lead you to your answer.

But whether the question is on-topic on Linguistics.SE, or German.SE, or anywhere else on the SE network, is only tangentially related to whether the Spanish.SE community believes it belongs here. And the fact that the question was voted closed by 5 community members, including 0 mods, tells me that the community sees the question as off-topic. The fact that there have been 0 reopen votes also confirms this decision in my mind.

And although I did not vote to close that question, I probably would have had I seen it. (Although at this point, I'm glad that no ops cast a trump vote)

That's not to say the community couldn't change their mind.

If you believe the question is a valuable addition to our community, I think you'll need to make the following case:

  1. It is a question that cannot be easily/adequately answered by a simple google search. The fact that there are multiple Spanish dictionaries available online, including RAE (which is essentially the authoritative source on all things Spanish), and multiple Spanish-word lists, used as spell-check dictionaries by various software products, will make this argument difficult.

  2. The question can be concisely answered. It cannot be the job of SE to maintain a list of all words in any language. Aside from the fact that it would exceed the size limitation on an answer, it just wouldn't be a useful thing for this site to do. This would mean we would have to link to another resource somewhere--which probably relegates the question to the realm of "google this for me" (see #1 above).

  3. Although not strictly as important, the question ought to attract Spanish-language experts. Not all of our questions do this, but a question that fails on one or more of the other criteria in our FAQ, may be given additional leeway if it is considered an expert-level question.

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