Who this blog is for

* If you teach Spanish to speakers of English, you can show your students fascinating connections between the two languages that go well beyond the obvious ones. It’s one more way to provide variety in your teaching, and you aren’t likely to find this kind of information in a standard textbook.

* If you are a student of Spanish, or even a native speaker of Spanish, you can profundizar ‘deepen’ your knowledge of the language’s vocabulary, while at the same time making connections to English. Here you’ll find commonplace words as well as some rarer ones that are fun to learn about.

* If you are a Spanish-speaking student of English, you can learn a lot about the rich vocabulary of both languages—and there will always be an emphasis on connections between the two.

* If you know Latin or a Romance language other than Spanish, you’ll find plenty of connections to those languages, too, because Spanish and English have borrowed from them.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Martin Musket
    Sep 08, 2010 @ 21:29:07

    I teach Spanish 1. For the last 10 years, I give the kids a quiz/test day 1 of the course. I have NEVER had a student get a higher grade in their native English language than in the Spanish foreign language.
    The five Spanish words are: tigre, telefono, presidente, guitarra, and algebra.
    The five English words are: plethora, dearth, myriad, Brobdingnagian, and Sisyphean.
    It runs on a slide show that features pictures, animation, and sound.
    Obviously, it’s rigged as all five Spanish words are almost direct cognates, whereas the English words are atypical for high school freshmen and sophomores.
    Your site is a most interesting read.

    Muchas gracias


    • wordconnections
      Sep 08, 2010 @ 21:51:44

      Thanks for your comment.
      You’ve given me the idea for a “counterquiz” in which all the Spanish words would be what the French call faux amis, or false friends, meaning words that are similar or identical in appearance in two languages but have different meanings. For example, Spanish bizarro means ‘valiant, courageous,’ and Spanish actual means ‘at the current time.’


  2. sartenada
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 06:50:17

    I find Your site very interesting. All my life have been interested in languages, but never had time to learn them thoroughly because my work took all my time.

    In school I had bad number in English. Spanish I learned when working in Canary Islands in 1969 during four and half months. I learned to speak, but not the grammar.

    French I learned in school 50 years ago. As I earlier when talking about my English, I was bad in French too. Later I started to read French books, because my children went to French school in Helsinki from which they graduated.

    I do not encourage You to visit my multilingual page, because You’ll get grey hair when seeing my texts full of errors. Anyway, I continue my blog nevertheless and visit on Your site to learn more.

    Thank You.


  3. wordconnections
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 07:35:45

    I appreciate your comments on my site, and I say “Welcome” to a fellow lover of languages. Congratulations on maintaining a blog in three languages simultaneously!


  4. lensandpensbysally
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 22:19:05

    I’ve bookmarked your site. It’s packed with interesting tidbits. Thanks.


  5. Malteseken (@malteseken)
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 19:56:16

    I am studyiing Spanish at the Maltese-Spanish Circle and find your blog very interesting and will share it with other students and teachers.



  6. Dan Proud
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 18:28:11

    Great blog! I’m trying to learn Spanish through self guided lessons, podcasts, and reading. I have been going to Central America to do field work/research for several summers now, and I learn a little more Spanish each time. This will be another great way to improve my skills. Looking forward to following along.


  7. coastalcrone
    Jun 29, 2014 @ 15:47:04

    I have taught English as a second language as a volunteer.


  8. Yong Huang
    May 29, 2016 @ 11:13:11

    Hi Steve, I enjoy reading your blog. Most of the postings are quite interesting to me.

    I wrote a book about Spanish vocabulary study. I wonder if you would be interested in writing a review of it. Details are at

    It uses etymology as a memory aid just like you do, but supplements that with pure mnemonics.

    (You can delete my comment here if you think it’s irrelevant. It’s just my way to contact you.)


    • Steve Schwartzman
      May 29, 2016 @ 16:32:04

      Greetings. I’m glad you’re enjoying this blog. Etymological connections have intrigued me ever since I studied Latin and French in high school a long time ago.

      I appreciate your offer to review your book but I’m about to set out for summer travels and just won’t have the time to consider doing that.

      Good luck with your book. I appreciate your encouraging people to learn other languages.


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If you encounter an unfamiliar technical term in any of these postings, check the Glossary in the bar across the top of the page.

©2011–2018 Steven Schwartzman

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