To master the Spanish language, you need to build your Spanish vocabulary. That's a lot easier to do when you have a firm grasp of the fundamentals. Where did the Spanish language originate? Which Spanish phrases and words are regularly used in the English language? Are any English words regularly used in the Spanish language? It also pays to be on the lookout for false cognates, or false friends, which can throw even experienced Spanish speakers for a loop. By knowing the basics and using Babbel to learn the rest, you'll be on your way to mastering Spanish in no time.
Spanish Vocabulary Origins
Prior to the arrival of the Romans around 210 BC, those who lived on the Iberian peninsula, which would later become Spain and Portugal, spoke Paleohispanic languages such as Basque and Iberian. The new arrivals from Rome brought with them a colloquial form of Latin that was slowly but surely picked up by natives of the area. By the Ninth Century, a precursor of modern Spanish was in widespread use. The language evolved significantly after the Middle Ages and was influenced by Romance languages like Portuguese and Catalan. French, Italian and Arabic also played roles in the development of what is known as modern Spanish, and many Spanish phrases and words have roots from those and other languages.
English Vocabulary from the Spanish Language
Many popular English words were derived from Spanish. Adobe, which means brick, is commonly used to describe a specific architectural style. When used to describe a small island, the word key comes from the Spanish language. Words like macho and rodeo, which are used frequently in English, are also examples. Many people don't realize it, but words like cafeteria and barbecue also come from Spanish.
Spanish Vocabulary from the English Language
Fewer Spanish words are derived from English. Most of the ones that can be traced to English have been adopted in modern times. As a result, many of them have to do with technology. For instance, words like chat, blog and DVD are all a part of the modern Spanish vocabulary. Marketing and piercing are also examples. A few older examples of this phenomenon are futbol, or football, and sandwich.
Spanish and English share many cognates, or words that sound the same and mean essentially the same thing. There are also many false cognates, or false friends, which can be very confusing for people who are learning new Spanish phrases and words. Take the Spanish word actual for example. In that language, it doesn't mean the opposite of imaginary; it means current, or now. People are often surprised to learn that the Spanish word embarazada doesn't mean embarrassed but refers to being pregnant. Confusingly, the Spanish word exito doesn't refer to an exit but to a success; the best word to use for exit in Spanish is salida. Another very confusing word is bizarro, which actually means brave in Spanish.
Benefits of Learning Spanish Vocabulary with Babbel
Knowing these basic facts about Spanish phrases and words is very helpful. If you're serious about mastering the language, you can learn the necessary vocabulary quickly and efficiently with Babbel. With apps for iOS, Android the Windows phone, a unique social networking site, an ad-free interface and affordable prices, our program is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to learn Spanish. Babbel lets you learn Spanish at your own pace through reading, writing, listening and pronunciation exercises. It's a lot of fun too, so you can have a blast while enriching your Spanish vocabulary. You'll be amazed at how quickly you learn and understand new words and phrases with Babbel, so get started today!