(Italian) Borrowings: a way to learn languages faster
It's good to start with the words that you might actually know, no matter if they are lexical borrowings or loanwords or cognates.
Even if the language is quite distant to your mother tongue or the ones that you actually know, it is highly unlikely that they do not have words borrowed from one another.
Thanks to that approach you can actually be very surprised that the vocabulary of the language you are only planning to learn is quite ample. It might be because of historical paths crossed at some point, others borrow concepts or inventions together with vocabulary assigned to them.
To prove my theory, today I will present a few Italian borrowings into English (if you are planning to learn Italian, it will be much easier if you just browse through them, you don't have to learn them, because you already know them!! :)
With some like pizza or spaghetti, it's rather obvious, but with some not so much, or even surprising (you might not have thought that they are borrowings at all), so we can focus on them today. Some are not direct borrowings, sometimes Latin or French was intermediary, nevertheless if you check the word's background so-to-speak you will remember it quicker.
balcony (from IT balcone)
novel (from IT novella)
orange (via French orange from IT arancia)
salami (from IT salami)
umbrella (from IT ombrello – ombre shadow)
America (from IT discoverer Amerigo Vespucci)
bank (from IT banca – bench where transactions were made)
money (via French, IT moneta)
management (from IT mano for hand, maneggiamento for handing, managing)
discrimination (via Latin, IT discriminazione)
credit (via French from IT credito)
bankrupt (from IT bancarotta – lit. a broken bank)
volcano (from IT vulcano)
lottery (from IT lotteria)
inferno (from IT inferno)
I did not go into too much detail, like Etymological Dictionaries do, since it's not about analysing the so-called route of the word through languages and identifying cognates. It's not supposed to be too academic, and thus too complicated for people who are not so passionate about languages and etymology as myslef, but rather simple and straightforward with the sole and only reason: learn vocabulary faster thanks to similarities between the words, regardless of the word's etymological complexity.
Enjoy learning languages!
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What do you think?