Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

Sello and Seal

Sello (Spanish for “stamp”) is a cousin of the English seal — not the animal, but the, umm, stamp that is put onto official documents.

Bot come from the Latin sigillum meaning, “small, engraved picture” because a stamp or seal really was just a small, engraved picture.

The -gl- sound of the original sigillum vanished into English so that the English word seal is left with just the vowels around it (e, a) (in English) while in Spanish, the -gl- evolved into the similar -ll- sound. This is in the same class of evolutions as pl- to ll- (plenty, lleno), fl- to ll- (flare, llamar), and cl- to ll- (call, llamar) as well, although less common than those.

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:

Buy the Book!

For Nerds Learning Spanish via Etymologies