The Spanish empujar (“to push”) has the same common ancestor as the English for the same, push: the Latin pulsare.
Pulsare meant, in Latin, “to beat”. A push is a sort of beat, in both senses: a punch and, a punch happening over and over again!
From the same root we also get the English, to pulse, of course. As does… impulse. Yes, an impulse is indeed a strong punch!
The sound here is a variation of the sh-to‑j pattern, where variations of the s/x/sh/soft‑g sound in Latin turned into the “j” in Spanish (via the Arabic influence) but remained the same as it transformed from Latin into educated English. Hence the “sh” sound in “push”!
One of our favorite patterns of sound change between English and Spanish is the sh/j shift: under the influence of arabic, many words that had a “s” or “sh” or “sy” or “ch” sound in Latin, started to be pronounced with the throat-clearing sound and written with a “j”. See sherry/jerez and chess/ajedrez or syrup/jarabe, for example.
Another example of this pattern is the Spanish word for “juice”, jugo. It comes from the Latin succus meaning, “juice” (particularly sap, or juice from plants).
From this Latin root succus we also get the English… suck.
Yes, if it sucks — it is juicy! Literally!
We can see the mapping in the s‑c to j‑g mapping. The “c” and “g” sounds are similar and often interchanged.
Interestingly, in Spain they do not say jugo to mean “juice”; instead, they say… suco. Suco, funnily enough, also comes from the same root of succus. It is just the variation that never underwent the arabic “j” transformation.
From the same root we also get the English succulent, although we do not get the superficially similar English juice, which comes from the Latin ius, meaning, “sauce.”
Enojar, Spanish for “to get angry”, has a fun cousin in the English, annoy.
Both of these (along with the French for “worldly boredom”, ennui) come from the Latin inodiare, meaning, “to hate”. The Latin in- adds emphasis to the odium, Latin for “hate”.
We can see the parallels in all with the open vowel, followed by the ‑n-, followed by a ‑y- sound, although in Spanish the ‑y- sounds (and its corresponding ‑x- and ‑sh- variations) often turned into the ‑j- sounds, as it did here. Thus, the a‑n-y maps to the e‑n-j.
Hatred, then, dissipates and weakens over time. In English, hatred weakens into mere annoyance. In Spanish, hatred weakens into just anger, enojo. And, best of all, hatred in French weakens into a world-weary boredom of ennui.
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.
In some of the Spanish words, they say maleta to mean “suitcase.” But in other parts, such as Argentina, they say valija.
Valija, although it sounds different from anything English, actually is quite similar to the almost-forgotten–my grandparents still use it!– English word, that also means “suitcase” , of valise.
Although they sound different, the connection becomes clear if we remember the pattern of the sh- to j- conversion: Latin words that had an sh- sound tended to turn into the j- sound in Spanish. Think of sherry/jerez.
In this case, the French valise entered English unchanged but when the French word was borrowed into Spanish, it was Spanish-ified with the s- sound turning into a j- sound. Thus, the v‑l-s maps to the v‑l-j.