Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

How It Works

When you study a foreign language – there are lots of patterns you see, and lots of patterns you don’t see. The ForNerds method for learning languages is based on the observation that: if you understand the patterns of sounds between languages, it becomes trivial to recognize and remember words.

And the way these patterns came about is via the history of the language – different words having a common ancestor. Therefore, to understand the patterns between sounds and words, you need to understand the history of the language. Therefore, ForNerds strives to help everyone learn Spanish via learning the history of Spanish – and how it connects to English.

In other words, we use etymologies as triggers to help you remember words.

All of our lessons are broken down into two types:

  • Patterns. These are sounds which consistently changed from one language to another. The Spanish –ch- sound often maps to the English –ct- sound, for example. If you know this Pattern, it becomes easy to remember that leche is “milk”, since we know the English word lactose.
  • True Etymology Stories. These are stories of the origins of words which, although not patterns per se, help you remember the word in the new language. For example, if you want to remember that lighthouse in Spanish is faro, it helps to remember the lighthouse in Alexandria, the greatest lighthouse of the ancient world – and it was known by the name of the king of Egypt: the Pharoah. Faro is just Pharaoh in Spanish—and now you will never forget that word again!

Does this method help you? Do you have any questions or do you want any more information? Just drop us an email at or let us know! We’re here to help!

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