First, there are several U.S. cities, particularly in the Southwest, that take Spanish names. While you may know most of them, do you know what they all actually mean?
|U.S. Cities With Spanish Names
|Los Angeles (CA)
|Los Vegas (NV)
|Las Cruces (NM)
|El Paso (TX)
Some words overlap exactly and keep the same meanings, although with a Spanish pronunciation
|Same Word, Different Pronunciation
|el hospital (silent h)
|el hotel (silent h)
|general (keeps meaning of both "usually" as well as military term)
|regular, steady, average
Some require a bit of a jump, but not very much, as you can see the jump easily enough. This is usually done through a slightly altered spelling, addition of accent marks or an -a or -o for nouns and adjectives.
|Slighty Different Spelling, Same Idea
Typically, words ending in -tion in English have a corresponding -ción or -sión ending in Spanish. And, in Spanish, they are almost always of the feminine gender as an easy way to remember that.
|"-tion" in English corresponds to "-ción" or "-sión" in Spanish
Many words in Spanish that begin with "es-" often translate over into starting with an "s" in English. Whenever you see an es- beginning, you can usually make sense of the word by mentally crossing out the e.
|"es-" in Spanish usually corresponds to "s-" in English
|to write (think of scribes)
However, you have to be careful, some words are spelled the same or almost the same but mean totally different things. Be careful, these are a few of the "false friends" in Spanish.
|Spanish False Cognates (Same Spelling, Diffrenet Meaning)
|Spanish: el red
|English: the net (both the tool and the Internet), network
|Spanish: el fin
|English: the end
|Spanish: la fábrica
|English: the factory
We hope this shows you that there is indeed power in words you already know. As we have pointed out, you'll find words beginning with -es, words that end in -sión and -ción to be very easy to pick up, as well as words that end in -al, they are typically the same. As Spanish and English continue to influence each other, we will no doubt find that there is a continued influence between the two. However, don't always assume the word will mean the same thing if you slap an el and an -o to the end of the word. But still, isn't it cool to know that you basically already knew that many words in Spanish, and you weren't even trying?
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