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Huevo and Ovulate

Huevo (Spanish for “egg”) comes from the Latin ovum for the same. From that Latin root, we get the English… ovaries. The ue-v of huevo clearly maps to the o-v of ovary! The eggs are both literal and metaphorical!

From the same root we also get ovulate and even… oval An egg is oval, isn’t it?

Cambiare and Change

Cambiar and the English for the same, change, both come from the same root: cambiare, Latin, also meaning change.

Although this may not be obvious at first, we can see the mapping in the c-m-b of cambiar and the ch-n-g of change. The -m- and -n- are often interchanged; and the -g- and -b- both have that soft sound where you can hear how one can easily turn into the other, although it is a bit less common.

Why did the c- of the Latin turn into the ch- in change? Oh, easy: because it came to English via the French! And French has it own sets of patterns of course!

Palabra and Parable

The Spanish palabra (“word”) comes from the Latin parabola, meaning, “story; comparison.”

From that Latin word, we get the English… parable.

So, the word that became “word” in Spanish, became, the child’s word in English!

The p-r-b-l root is clear in both.

Interestingly, from the same root is the French word for “to talk”: parler. Je ne parle pas Francais!

But it gets more interesting: the French parler (literally, “to tell parables”) has a parallel to the Spanish hablar (which came from fabulare, literally, “to tell fables.”) As the Roman soldiers conquered Spain and France, their exaggerated words for telling stories — telling parables or fables — eventually became the words themselves for just, talking.

Trasladar and Translate

Trasladar (Spanish for, “to move”) comes from the Latin translatus (“carried over”). From that root, we get the English… translate.

After all, what is translating if not carrying over from one language to another?

We can see that t-r-s-l-d of trasladar maps to the t-r-(n)-s-d-t of translate with only a d/t sound shift, one of the most common mix-ups.

Incendio and Incendiary

Incendio (Spanish for “fire”) comes from the Latin for the same, incendium. From this same root, we get the English… incendiary. The English variation literally means the same — setting on fire — but now that definition is mostly forgotten, and we use it in a more abstract sense: causing massive problems. A fire is just a massive problem, after all.

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