Kenyan Man Teaching Spanish: Shared words between Swahili & Spanish

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Kenyan Man Teaching Spanish: Shared words between Swahili & Spanish

Kenyan Man Teaching Spanish: Shared words between Swahili & SpanishA Kenyan Immigrant In US Teaching Spanish Language: In the linguistic field, it’s not uncommon to find languages borrowing words from each other. In fact, some languages have the same root origin, hence they share many characteristics. Take the example of the Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian).

These languages are referred to as Romance languages because they’re derived from Latin (contrary to popular belief, the term romance, in this case, has nothing to do with the traditional definition of the word in the sense of affection/love). In the case of the Romance languages, you’ll find an overlap of words among these languages.

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In other instances, there’ll be slight variations between words with a similar meaning. When someone is fluent in one of the languages, it becomes easier to figure out the definitions, inspite of the difference in spelling. To illustrate this point, let’s look at one specific example. In Spanish, gracias means thank you/thanks. While in Italian, the word for thank you is grazie. Pay close attention to the slight variation in spelling.

Now, let’s turn our attention to Swahili and Spanish. Without even going into much detail about the dichotomy of these two languages, anyone who’s familiar with the two will agree that they’re completely removed from each other. As someone who’s fluent in both languages, I found this relationship quite amazing. The following 3 words are found in both languages. They are spelt exactly the same, and have the same meaning.

The word FAMILIA means family in both languages. It’s also spelt exactly the same way. HISTORIA means history in both Spanish and Swahili (although the letter H is silent in Spanish – watch the video on Spanish alphabet: https://youtu.be/-_EA5-Ph1e0). Finally, MISA means mass (religious) in both languages. And yes, the spelling is the same. Surprisingly, the similarities don’t end here.

There are more shared words between these two languages, for example, Tasa and Pesa, although the definitions for these two words differ in both languages. These similarities can only be explained this way: the inter-connectedness of the human race. To borrow a well worn phrase, there are more things that connect us, than those that divide us.

By Kiongo Muigai,

For free Spanish lessons, please, subscribe to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8hCmQYP8hA_ADxZtKTQPcg). Thanks.

Kiongo Muigai is a linguist, his area of expertise/interest is Spanish and French.
[email protected]
Hoover, AL.

 

Kenyan Man Teaching Spanish: Shared words between Swahili & Spanish

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