Latin and Spanish: More Cool Cognates :)

(I want to start this post off with a personal note: This post is specially dedicated to my awesome Spanish teacher I had in High School. Everyone knows an enthusiastic, dedicated teacher makes all the difference and helps inspire one’s passions in life. Thank you for being an above and beyond teacher and letting your passion shine through everyday for what you do. You enthusiasm for languages was contagious and I think I caught it! Muchos gracias. ¡Esto es para ti!)

The Romance Languages were all derived from Latin. This included Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian, and Catalan. The Roman Empire stretched as far as the Iberian Peninsula where Spain and Portugal are, as well as the rest of Europe into the Middle East. The Romans owned the Mediterranean Sea at the height of their expansion! Naturally, the conquered peoples started to Romanize and started to speak Latin. However, a funny thing happened, their “Latin” started to drift a bit from the Latin spoken by the Romans. Since they were isolated from each other, they developed their own dialects of “Latin”, but believed they were speaking what the Romans spoke! It was only until Rome was long Christianized and was losing power after the Vandals raided in 476 and sacked the capital in the west. I wouldn’t call it the “Fall of Rome”, since the empire still considered themselves to be Roman, just that Rome had a big setback. Modern day historians make that distinction for their own conveniene, but the people at the time considered themselves Roman up into the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages! It was the Irish monks who knew and preserved the original Latin language that burst their bubble so to speak and broke the news that they were speaking something quite different! However, languages like Spanish and French and Italian share many cognates with Latin, a fact I found out when trying to learn a bit of Latin! Without Spanish, I would not have understood nearly as much Latin!

Spanish grammar is much more simple than German grammar, much less Latin! However, there are many cognates in verbs, adjectives and nouns that sound and sometimes even spelled similar! Here’s a chart of some parallels I’ve come across:

English Latin Spanish
I love you Te amo Te amo
Tree árbol árbol
Anger ira ira
Garden horto huerto
Sun sol sol
Alone sōlus solo
To live vivire vivir
We are sumus somos
To run curerre correr
To go Īre ir
You tu tu
You plural vōs vosotros
We nōs nosotros
When quando cuando

Obviously, there are many more, but these came to mind :) One can see the striking similarities in many nouns and verbs. This was in mind when I studied Latin. It’s funny to think that those people thought they were speaking Latin that whole time, but in many ways, the romance languages are mostly dialects of Latin. The boundaries between distinct languages are more blurred than many people realize, it is more a matter of political boundaries than linguistic differences.


About History Is Interesting

I like ancient and medieval history!
This entry was posted in Ancient History, Helping Make History More Interesting, Linguistics and History. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Latin and Spanish: More Cool Cognates :)

  1. Retrojackie says:


    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol says:

    Well done. Mr. B will be quite honored to know he inspired you.

    Liked by 1 person

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