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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: 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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