Cognate are more than 25,000 frequently used English words that are unmistakably understood by Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Catalan speakers, among others. Cognate is found not only in isolation but also forming thousands of Cognate Collocations and even fully comprehensible statements thanks to a common Subject-Verb-Object Cognate Syntax.
This site promotes the use of Cognate Lexis and Syntax as the most reasonable foundation for easier and more motivating English and Foreign Language Acquisition.
Spanish and English
If you want to learn Spanish or any language for that matter, a good tip is to identify the language’s cognates – the vocabulary you already know! Cognates are words that have common etymological origins, a.k.a. words that are spelled the same in Spanish and English or have only slight alterations.
These cognates will become your very best friends, holding your hand and building up your confidence throughout the whole language-learning process!
In this article, we will identify:
Where cognates come from
The most common Spanish and English cognates
Before we get into the Spanish words you already know from English, let’s take a look at why different languages have the same words in the first place.
Where Do Cognates Come From?
Languages are living systems that are constantly evolving. English is unique in that while it derives from the Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, it still has many words borrowed from Latin, due mostly to the Norman invasion of England in 1066 AD. The Normans spoke a language much closer to Latin than modern-day French, and the English language evolved to accommodate the lexicon of the Normans.
Listen up English speakers! This gives us a great advantage when it comes to learning other languages because while we have Germanic words, we also have an abundance of Latin words.
For example, the English word “father” comes from German vater, but we also have the word “paternal”, from Latin pater. Or take the word “speak” from the German sprechen. We also have a similar verb “narrate“, from Latin narro.
The first step to learning Spanish is realizing the similarities between the two languages – both English and Spanish are full of cognates, words derived from Latin.