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 [email protected] or let us know! We’re here to help!


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