Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Most words beginning with 'al-' are Arabic, as are most words having no clear link to Latin. Persons familiar with Italian or French will often recognize this in Spanish words unrelated to their counterparts in those languages.
An example is 'hermano' (brother) which is totally unlike 'frčre' or 'fratello'.
- Hermano < Lat. germanus < Lat. germen < P.I.E (proto Indo-European) gen- (nothing to do with the germanic peoples). Cognates: French - germain ; Portuguese - irmão ; Catalan - germā
Some words are contractions or corruptions of older compound terms. Here are two examples. 'Semana' ('week', It. 'settemana'), is short for 'siete maņanas' or 'seven mornings'. 'Como' ('how') derives from Latin 'quo modo', 'in which manner'. Many English-speaking Spanish students struggle with 'ser' and 'estar', which both translate as 'to be' but which differ greatly in Spanish meaning. Their origins give a clue to meaning. 'Ser' derives from Latin 'esse', to be or have the ESSEnce of. 'Estar' derives from 'stare', to STAnd or be in a STAte. The latter is subject to change; the former is not.
- Spanish words - Everyday a new word with sounds.
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