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Hablar and Fa­ble

hablar spanish talk
The Span­ish “hablar” (“to talk”) comes from the vul­gar Latin “fab­u­lari”, al­so mean­ing, “to talk” — hence the Eng­lish, “fa­ble”.

This gets very in­ter­est­ing very quick­ly, so note:

  • This is an ex­am­ple of the “f” to “h” con­ver­sion, in which the ini­tial “f” sound was lost as Latin turned in­to Span­ish
  • There was a fas­ci­nat­ing par­al­lel process as vul­gar Latin, a bit to the north, turned in­to French: an­oth­er Latin word for “talk­ing”, “parabo­lari” turned in­to the French for the same, “par­lere”, so “par­ler” (as in, “par­lez-vous fran­cias?”) is re­lat­ed to the Eng­lish word “para­bles”
  • And is­n’t there a con­cep­tu­al sim­i­lar­i­ty be­tween “para­ble” and “fa­ble”? Both meant, “to tell sto­ries”: so, in both lan­guages, an ex­ag­ger­at­ed form of talk­ing, sto­ry-telling, over time turned in­to the com­mon word for talk­ing.

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