Spanish Cognates

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A lot of English words come from latin. So, if you are an English native speaker, you can learn a lot of Spanish vocabulary very easily thanks to “cognates”.

Real English cognates

The words below have the same etymological origin and are very similar in spelling and meaning. 

Spanish

English

el chocolate

chocolate

el color

the colour

el error

the error / the mistake

esencial

essential

global

global

ilegal

illegal

sólido

solid

el teléfono

the telephone

el tráfico

the traffic

los votos

the votes

False cognates

False cognates or false friends are spelled the same or similar but mean completely different things. 

English

Confused with

Spanish

the library

la librería

la biblioteca

embarrassed

embarazada

(= pregnant)

avergonzado/a

actually

actualmente

(currently)

en realidad

As you can see, the Spanish language has traps there waiting for you, and if you’re not aware of them you could well end up feeling embarrassed.