The Spanish sentir (“to feel”) doesn’t bear an obvious relation to the same English word. But looks can be deceiving:
Sentir comes from the Latin for the same, sentire, which in turn comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *sent, meaning, “to go” — feels are thus, definitionally, fleeting, things that come and go.
From the Latin sentire, we get a bunch of similar words in English, including:
And a few others, including assent, consent, dissent and, most obviously, sentiment.
From the original Proto-Indo-European root *sent, meaning “to go” — via German, that turned into some simpler English words that we can now consider distant cousins of Sentir: send. Feelings do come and go!
Gratis (Spanish for “free,” in the sense of “free beer”, not “free speech”) is a close cousin of the English gratify and gratuitous (and its cousin gratuity).
Upon realizing this, it suddenly becomes obvious: all share the gr‑t root, plus vaguely related meanings. All come from the Latin gratus, meaning, “pleasing.”
It parallel becomes more obvious when we think of the connection of the English words to the original meaning of “pleasing”: that which is gratifying is pleasing, and you leave a gratuity when you are pleased. And gratis, free, is a reward to those who want to please others!
Saber (Spanish for “to know”, in the sense of “knowing a fact”–not “knowing a person”) comes from the Latin sapere, meaning “to taste.” I guess you can taste a fact more easily than a person!
From the same Latin root, we get (via French) the English word… sage. Sagacity is a form of wisdom — which is a form of knowledge.
The s‑b to s‑g mapping is clear, and the ‑b- and ‑g- have similar soft sounds.
Afinar, meaning “to tune” — as in, you tune your guitar — comes from the Latin finis, meaning, “border”: tuning a guitar is really finding the exact border between this note and the other one.
From the same Latin root finis, we get English words such as fine, refine (remember the re- prefix is just an intensifier), as well as the English finish.
Tuning your guitar, in other words, as really an act of refining the souds.
The f‑n root is clearly visible in all.
Asunto (Spanish for “subject,” in the sense of, “theme”) come from the Latin for the same, assumptus (“taken”) — from which we get the almost identical English, assume.
Interestingly, assumption originally had a fully religious connotation, something we often forget or I sometimes vaguely remember today: you’re received into heaven. An assumption, in its modern sense, is really just a religious belief actually!
The Latin root assumptus itself comes from ad- (“up, to”) and sumere (“to take”) — so when you assume, you’re really “taking it up”!
The a‑s-t of asunto maps clearly to the a‑ss-(m)-t of assumption.
Nacer comes from the Latin for the same, nascere: “to be born.”
From the Latin nascere, with an added prefix of re- meaning “again”, we get the Renaissance — literally, “the rebirth”!
Thus, Nacer and Renaissance are close cousins, and we can see that the n‑c of nacer maps to the ®-n‑s of renaissance.
The Spanish for “obstacle”, traba, comes from the Latin trabis, meaning… “wood”.
The same Latin room, trabis, evolved in Latin to mean “timber or a beam of wood” and from there, over time, evolved into the English (via French) tavern. What is a tavern if not an old wooden house?
So next time you’re drinking in a tavern, remember that the tavern is an obstacle to your productivity! But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Izar (Spanish for “hoist” — as in, you hoist the flag) comes from the French hisser for the same, which itself comes from the old German words for the same, hissen. And from that German root, we get the English hoist itself. The i‑z root of izar clearly maps to the hoi‑s root of hoist.
The Spanish for “to pray” is rezar. Although not obvious at first, it is from the Latin recitare, from which we get the English — surprise, surprise — recite. The “cit” grouping was conflated into a “z” sound, so the English (and Latin) r‑cit‑r maps to the Spanish r‑z-r.
Etapa (Spanish for “stage, level”) comes from old Dutch word (remember, the whole Spanish-Netherlands 80 years war? They did influence each other a lot!) stapel meaning, “deposit; store.”
The English staple comes from the Old German stapulaz (“pillar”) — from which we also get the Dutch stapel and then the Spanish etapa!
But how did a word meaning “pillar” become “stage” or “staple”? Well, a pillar holds up the next level — the next stage! (Think of floors in a building as being stages of development. Ultimately we reach the penthouse!). Or think about the pillar — that which holds everything else up so it doesn’t fall — is the staple of the building, the most basic building block, to ensure it doesn’t collapse!
We can see the t‑p root in both the English and Spanish words.