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The Nerdy Way To Learn: Spanish » Patterns » CT to CH »

Dere­cho and Di­rect

Derecho direct spanish english

The law and the good, in Eu­ro­pean lan­guages, are as­so­ci­at­ed with straight lines; the bad with the crooked. Think about the word crooked it­self, lit­er­al­ly! Or about right/rec­tan­gle, or the Greek or­tho- for straight, hence, or­tho­dox as well as or­tho­don­tics.

This is why it makes sense that Dere­choSpan­ish for straight and al­so for law — comes from the same Latin root that gives us di­rect.

The “ct” in the orig­i­nal di­rect turned in­to a “ch” in Span­ish, in the usu­al pat­tern of “ct” turn­ing in­to “ch” as Latin grew in­to Span­ish.

Pe­cho and Pec­toral Gir­dle

The Span­ish for “chest”, pe­cho, sounds com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent than the Eng­lish chest.

But it is re­lat­ed to the Eng­lish word for the chest bones: the Pec­toral Gir­dle.

The re­la­tion­ship is the Latin ‑ct- words trans­form­ing in­to ‑ch- as Latin turned in­to Span­ish. Thus, the pect- maps to pech- ex­act­ly. The Eng­lish word, on the oth­er hand, is tak­en — un­changed — di­rect­ly from the Latin.

Al­so from the same root, in Span­ish, es pechuga — the com­mon word for the com­mon food, “chick­en breast”!

The same pat­tern we see in noche/nocturnal, leche/lactose, etc.

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