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Tu cita con el inglés (vol. 1) – The History of English

Tal y cómo anunciábamos ayer, os dejamos con la primera entrada de la nueva sección semanal Tu cita con el inglés, realizada con la colaboración del profesor de inglés Ronan O’Donnell.

Titulada The History of English, esta entrada está centrada en destacar algunas curiosidades históricas del idioma, así como algunas de las sorprendentes similitudes que el inglés presenta con respecto al español.

Esperamos vuestros comentarios!

The History of English

English is probably not the easiest language in the world to learn. Last week’s article on pronunciation highlighted the many inconsistencies within the language. One of the reasons for the erratic and irregular nature of English may lie in the fact that English is an amalgam of many diverse languages and influences.

The language developed from Germanic roots originally as German tribes (the Angles and the Saxons) arrived in England. It has also borrowed extensively from the Normans, Romans and Vikings among others.

The language continued to develop in the 16thcentury with Shakespeare adding dramatically to the vocabulary and the King James Bible giving us many of our modern sayings and phrases.

English continues to evolve and with the advent of the internet a new language within a language has appeared as we all upload, download, optimise and google in our online virtual worlds.

Cognates

How can this information help a second language speaker of English? Well, it may just make learning the language a little less frustrating when you realise the myriad influences and the haphazard development thus far. Knowing the origin of a word can often help us to identify and group new and unknown words when they appear.

Cognates are words of similar meaning, spelling and pronunciation which can be found in two different languages and cognate awareness is very helpful when learning a language. These words share a common root.

English and Spanish cognates

Thankfully English and Spanish share many cognates; admire: admirarpractice: practicar, splendid: esplèndido and many, many more. So you may not realise it but you know more English than you think.

A quick internet search will give you a list of Spanish/English cognates but don’t get too confident however as there are also a number of false friends. An English ‘pie’ may sound appetising but a Spanish ‘pie’ is probably less so. A bowl of ‘sopa’ may be a good way to start a meal in Spain but you will be blowing bubbles if you try a bowl of English ‘soap’.

Some of the words that English has adopted from Spanish include mosquito, mustang, vigilante and tornado. Has Spanish adopted as many words from English?

Watch this video to find out more about the origins and development of English.

You can watch the rest of the videos and download the transcript of each clip to help your understanding here.

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Ronan O'Donnell

English teacher in London. Founder of A2B English, providing English Teachers to Individuals and Businesses in London.

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2 Comentarios

  1. Curioso el vídeo, voy a echarle un ojo a los que continúan, el dibujo me ha gustado y muy interesante la sección, promete.

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