Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

Sombra and Sombrero

Every English speaker knows the Spanish word for the big Mexican hats, sombrero. This word makes it easy to remember the word from whence it came: sombra, the Spanish word meaning… shade. The s-mb-r root is clear in both words!

For those of us, including me, who love less common words, another cousin word is the English penumbra, for something that’s partially covered by a shadow. The umbra is from the Latin for “shadow”, from which we also got sombra in Spanish, with the sub– prefix.

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