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Alum­brar and Il­lu­mi­nate

The Span­ish Alum­brar means “to light up” in Eng­lish — and, in­deed, it is lit­er­al­ly the same as to il­lu­mi­nate.

The Latin m‑n sound al­most al­ways be­came a m‑b-r as Latin turned in­to Span­ish. Com­pare hominem with hom­bre, for ex­am­ple.

We see the same pat­tern here. Both alum­brar and il­lu­mi­nate come from the Latin lu­minare, mean­ing the same, “to light up” — from which we al­so get the Eng­lish lu­mi­nary.

Thus, the l‑m-n in the orig­i­nal cor­re­sponds to the ll-m‑n in the Eng­lish il­lu­mi­nate and the l‑m-b‑r in the Span­ish alum­brar.


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