Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

Calor and Calm

The Spanish for “hot”, calor, sounds nothing like the English for the same.

But it does have a surprising relationship with the English calm.

Both come from the Latin cauma, which means “the heat of the sun in the middle of the day”. (What a specific concept! We need an English word for the same!). Cauma comes from the Latin calere, “to be hot.”

Thus, the word for heat has turned into, in English, the word for tranquility: calm! The heat, indeed, does calm us down!

We can see the pattern clearly if we map the root c-l of calor to the c-l of calm. The silent “l” in calm makes this less obvious than it should be!

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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For Nerds Learning Spanish via Etymologies