Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

Playa and Plagiarism, Plain

Playa (Spanish for “beach”) comes from the Latin plaga, meaning “region to go hunting” (hunting for water animals, clearly!), which is related to the Greek plagos (“side” — the beach is just one side of your town!).

From that same root, we get the English Plagiarism — because the original Latin, in the sense of “hunting”, turned into “kidnapping”, which then turned into, “literary kidnapping.” Seriously!

The original Proto-Indo-European root, before it became Latin, for these words is *pele, meaning, “flat, spread out”. Think of the English, plain, as in, the plains of the midwest! And what is the beach if not flat land spread out? Well, most beaches, at least.

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