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Enseñar and Sign

The Spanish for “to teach,” enseñar comes from the Latin insignare (“to mark”). From the same Latin root, we get the English to sign — signing, after all, is making your mark upon a paper!

But how did signing turn into teaching, in Spanish? Well, think about the English expression… to make a mark on someone. A great teacher truly leaves a lasting mark on you — literally.

The s-ñ of enseñar maps to the s-gn of “sign,” with the ñ turning into a gn in English, as it commonly does.

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