Monthly Archives: November 2017

LIL: Untangling the Roots of the English Language

Languages are sort of like plants. They grow and change over time, and can branch out. Sometimes one limb will die while another thrives. Some languages have easily identifiable roots – at least to a point. We know the Romance languages all sprang from Latin, diversifying and changing based on what other languages and cultures they touched. Spanish, for instance, picked up some Arabic along the way. But then again, where did Latin come from?

The past of English is quite convoluted indeed, changing and growing with every invasion made against or by speakers of the language.

English kicked off…

LiL: Common Misconceptions About Learning a Language

 

There are a lot of myths surrounding the idea of learning a new language. Most monolinguals imagine the task like climbing Mt. Everest; it’s difficult, requires years of training, and there is only a select group of people that accomplish it. Some of this is true, but nowhere near to the extent that most people would imagine. Learning a language is difficult, but anyone that puts in the work (and puts in the right work) can do it.

With all this in mind, this week we’ll be discussing common misconceptions or attitudes that exist with regard to learning a…

LIL: Cognates – Your Best Friends and Worst Enemies

Photo from FluentU.com.

Ah, cognates! Don’t you just love them? They make many words – most with a Latin background – far more recognizable when jumping between Spanish and English. Education? Educación. Hotel? Hotel. Photography? Fotografía. Easy peasy, right? Cognates are words that share the same linguistic roots, and sometimes have the same meaning in two different languages.

Then you see embarazada, which, to someone learning Spanish as a second language, looks like “embarrassed.” So of course, you tell your friend that you are embarazada because you forgot your homework, and the odd looks commence.…

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