Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Difficult english words easier for a spanish speaker?

In my adult intermediate 1 classes on Monday and Tuesday, we read about traditional american families. I came across the article on a website about living in America. It was only two paragraphs, and I thought that it would be easy enough for them to understand. I learned in class that the article was a little above their level. The teacher stopped me as I begin to tell the meanings of several words from the text.

She said, "This doesn't seem that hard to me. Do we need to translate the text, sentence by sentence? This text should be harder for a native English speaker because of all the latin words. English is a made up language."

When the teacher said that English is a "made up" language, she meant that English has a lot of loanwords. I supposed she used "made up" to keep from having to define a more accurate term. Loanwords are words borrowed from other languages. Although English is a germanic language, you may find a few celtic, scandinavian, french, latin, greek, and other different loanwords in print.

The text that I had given the students had a lot of cognates and should not have been a problem. They were a bit confused, because the words looked difficult. The words would have been more difficult to an American who hasn't been exposed to the roots education or experience.

I'm not going ramble on about the awesome history of English, and how it came to be Present-Day English. I'll let you research this yourself if you want.

I'm going to fill my stomach and get ready for class today.

Pura Vida!

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