How to instantly learn hundreds of Spanish words|
article was written by Dave Clark for
US Institute of Languages and is republished here with permission.
I want to dispel a myth about
speaking Spanish. Many English speakers mistakenly think you can
just add the letter 'o' to English words and they'll instantly
become Spanish. Although this does work once in a blue moon, more
often than not it doesn't work at all and just causes confusion. I
have heard many Americans in Latin America use this flawed technique
and suffer from a large communication gap.
Here are a few techniques you can use that
will work most of the time (keep in mind there are exceptions and these
won't always work). These techniques all involve suffixes or word endings:
-ty = -dad
university (universidad), activity (actividad), intensity (intensidad),
-tion = -ción
activation (activación), vacation (vacación), action (acción), fiction
-ssion = -sión
session (sesión), passion (pasión), depression (depresión), aggression
-ive = -ivo
active (activo), passive (pasivo), relative (relativo), intensive
Partly because of this technique, people ineffectively try to put an 'o'
on the end of any English word to turn it into Spanish.
-ly = -mente
recently (recientemente), actively (activamente), relatively
(relativamente), effectively (efectivamente)
This technique isn't as reliable in taking words from English into
Spanish but can help you better decipher the meaning of written Spanish
Moral of the Story: When you really need
to guess a Spanish word, these techniques can come in handy. They can also
be very useful in helping you decipher written messages. However, you must
remember that that are many exceptions to these techniques. Unfortunately
they aren't fool-proof.
¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)
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These are just a few of the most common spelling equivalents; to
learn many more, see
Spanish/English spelling tricks.
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