Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

Ayudar and Young

Although ayudar (Spanish for “to help”) sounds little like the English “young”, both have the same great-grandfather.

Ayudar comes from the Latin adiutare also meaning “to help”, which in turn comes from ad- (meaning “towards”) and iuvenis, meaning “young”. To help, after all, is — at its core — what those with strength (the young) do for the elderly and those who can’t help themselves. Iuvenis is often written with the modern Latin-ish spelling of Juvenis — ahhh! Think Juvenal!

The Latin iuvenis comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *yeu-, which means “youth, strength”. From that root we get the Germanic jungas, from which we get the English young.

So youth, seemingly everywhere, is strongly tied to strength; and strength is tied to helping those who need it.

what is the etymological way to learn spanish?

Nerds love to pattern-match, to find commonalities among everything. Our approach to learning languages revolves (the same -volve- that is in “volver”, to “return”) around connecting the Spanish words to the related English words via their common etymologies – to find the linguistic patterns, because these patterns become easy triggers to remember what words mean. Want to know more? Email us and ask:

patterns to help us learn spanish:

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