Although encontrar, the common Spanish word for “to meet”, doesn’t sound like its English counterpart, it does have an unexpected first cousin: acquaint.
Both come from the same Latin root for the same (in contra), although the English one comes to us via the French influence: acointier.
Thus, we can see that the en-c-n-t‑r maps to a‑cqu-n‑t somewhat closely: the final -r disappeared as the French word evolved into the English word, and the opening en- (in- in Latin) became the simpler a-.
Someone you meet, after all, is indeed your acquaintance.
There is, however, another English word that is closer to encontrar although perhaps less obvious until you hear it: encounter!
The Spanish morder, “to bite”, sounds completely different than anything in English (except for obscure SAT words like mordant — which literally means, biting!).
But who would’ve thunk that it’s related to remorse.
Remorse comes from the Latin remordere, which means, “to bite back” — from the earlier re- (the prefix meaning “back” in this case) and mordere, from which we get, morder.
The remorseful do bite back indeed!
The Spanish aprovecharse (“to take advantage of,” in a good way) comes from the Latin ad- (“towards”) and profectus (“progress, success.”)
From the same root profectus, we get the English… profit.
We can see the root pr‑v of aprovecharse mapping to the pr‑f of profit. And how do you make a profit if not, taking advantage of the opportunities in front of you?
Perejil and its English version parsley sound very different. But they are, actually, etymologically the same word.
They sound different because often the ‑s- and ‑sh- sounds in Spanish turned into the letter ‑j- with the Arabic throat clearing sound as a pronunciation. Thus, the p‑r-j‑l of perejil maps exactly to the p‑r-s‑l of parsley.
The usual Spanish word for “name”, nombre, is very closely related to the English word nominal, in an interesting way. Not only does nominally mean “relating to the name”, but there is an interesting etymological pattern between the words.
Latin words with an m‑n sound usually turned the m‑n into an mbr sound as Latin evolved into Spanish. Thus, we see curious patterns like hominem becoming hombre, and famine and hambre being closely linked.
The same pattern applies here. The Latin nominalis turned into the Spanish nombre and the English nominal — thus the n‑m-n of nominal maps exactly to the n‑mbr of nombre!