Learning Spanish terms via etymology and cognates

As I’ve been slowly learning Spanish via Duolingo, I’ve found the large number of cognates between Spanish and English very useful.

Sometimes, false cognates get in the way; the most common example I see of that is the word embarazada, which English monoglots may assume means “embarrassed,” but which instead means “pregnant.” But setting aside such “false friends,” there are plenty of Spanish words that really do have English cognates.

The Spanish Etymology site goes beyond some of the most obvious such cognates to look at Spanish terms that are slightly more distantly (but still clearly) related to English terms. A recent post, for example, describes the connection between Spanish empatar “to tie” (as with two teams that have the same score) and English pact, by way of Latin pactum. A useful resource for people like me.

Join the Conversation