The work of Chilean poet Nicanor Parra, the most recent winner of Spain's prestigious Cervantes Prize, was at the center of this weekend's "Dia E," a celebration of the Spanish language around the world, the Cervantes Institute said.

"Dia E," or Day of Spanish, celebrations were organized Saturday at the Cervantes Institute's centers around the world.

The celebration, now in its fourth year, featured hundreds of events at the institute's centers in 77 cities in 44 countries.

This year's celebration did not include a vote for a favorite word, but different figures from the world of culture, such as Spanish writers Lorenzo Silva and Ana Maria Matute, Hispanist Ian Gibson, of Ireland, Lebanese musician Ara Malikian and Spanish musician Luis Eduardo Aute, posted videos online.

The celebrities, who served as ambassadors for the festivities, gave their take on favorite words.

The most viewed word was the inspiring "ojala" (I hope so), proposed by plastic artist Eva Lootz, which got more than 5,000 hits on www.youtube.com/user/cvccervantes, where the videos will remain for future viewers.

Spanish is healthy and growing, with nearly 500 million speakers, making it the world's second most spoken language.

Experts expect the language to be spoken by 7.5 percent of the world's population by 2030. EFE