How come almost every word in Spanish is the same as English

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acampar camp familia family ect.... question

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updated DIC 1, 2009
edited by nizhoni1
posted by amard92

9 Answers

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Let me bore y'all with my two bits. English is a Germanic based language in which 60% of its vocabulary ir Romance in origin. (Latin by way of French). If you like etymology and language studies it's an interesting thing.

When the Normans "conquered" England in 1066 it was simply a replacement of the ruling class of Anglo-Saxon descended people with French speaking Normans. (Who were originally of Norse Viking stock.) The new royal court spoke French for I think up to 100 years before they started speaking English like their subjects. An interesting phenomenon is the two-layered speech that developed in England. A "cow" (Germanic source) was out in the field. When it was slaughtered and prepared for the lord's table it bacame "beef" (boeuf, a French term). A "house" (Germanic "haus") was where the people lived while the "mansion" (maison) was where the ruling class lived. You get the idea.

Elizabethian English of the 1500's was closer to French construction than what English is now. That's why Appalachian "hillbilly" speech actually harks back to the old French constructions. That's why Jethro Bodine saying, "We commenced to shootin'" is actually a direct link to the French "commencer a" (begin to). Another example would be "I heard tell" comming from the French construction "J'ai entendu dire" meaning the same thing.

So, as discussed a week or so ago on this site, French and Spanish are two of the Romance languages of Southern Europe descended from Latin, with Spanish having the advantage of acquiring an added richness from 700 years of Arab rule. English in turn (in my opinion as a French Canadian descendant) has the added richness of French infusion by the Norseman. (Figure that one out!)

Sorry to prattle on but it's not often I get to communicate with folks like you all who enjoy languages.

updated DIC 1, 2009
posted by GaryT
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No, most Spanish words are different than English. However, those words that look alike are called cognates. This is because English and Spanish both originated from Indo-European languages and therefore share similar vocabulary.

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by epicfail
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Hello amard, I corrected some of your spelling and capitalization. One of the rules of this forum is to write correctly.

There are many words in Spanish and English that are the same (cognates) or are similar. If you look into the history of how languages develope you will see that there people mixed and migrated and left bits of their language, culture and thought all over the globe.The study of that is called etymology.

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by nizhoni1
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Well If they both sound the same they must have both came from the same language. That language happens to be Latin if you didn't know so already.

updated DIC 1, 2009
edited by Eddy
posted by Albertv
Not so much of the "duh" in future please. I have removed it from your post.
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The languages sound similar, although they are definitely not the same, because they both originate from latin. As does many other languages. They are also both romance languages which means that they are similar in that respect as well. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because some words sound the same that they are the same language!! smile

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by splashgirl
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Because they're just copycats.

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by jaysprout
Well, the Spanish language started before the English language (Wikipedia), so technically spaeking, we would be the copycats.
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If that´s the case you will have no problem in becoming fluent over the next few days, hehe.

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by Eddy
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Oh ye of little knowledge. ó yé úv lítel nólej LOL

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by elcielo
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Both are romance languages which have origins in Latin. English is also heavily influenced by Germanic languages.

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by hithere3387
English is not a romance language...