Spanish words of Greek origin

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Olga PapadopoulouEspagnol
2 mars 2017
3767
une minute
"Tiene especialidad en Otorrinolaringología."

What?

How many Greek words are in there? One..two…three..or maybe four?

There are four, indeed! Well, actually, there are three words and a suffix, according to the definition given by the RAE: “Del gr. οὖς, ὠτός oûs, ōtós 'oído'; ῥίς, ῥινός rís, rinós 'nariz'; λάρυγξ, -υγγος lárynx, -yngos 'laringe' y –logía”.

And if this is a word that gives a hard time to both Greek and Spanish speakers, there are plenty of other words of everyday use that come from Greek as well: idea, tema, teatro, música, ritmo, teléfono, política, gramática, historia, análisis, matemáticas just to mention a few.

When it comes to teaching Spanish, knowing the etymology, or the origin of a word, helps us learn vocabulary a great deal. For instance, knowing that the suffix "–logía" designates sciences, makes it easier to understand what sociología, teología, filología, teatrología, microbiología, neurología might mean. That is, as long as we also know that "socio-" is related to society, "teo-" is God, "filo-" is a friend, "teatro-" is the theater, "microbio-" is a virus, and "neuro-" is a nerve.

We also learn in the first Spanish classes that the words ending in –a are feminine, with some exceptions that are masculine even though they end in -a. For example: el tema, el problema, el drama, el planeta, el teorema, el programa, el clima, el sistema. All these words originate from Greek and their transcription as masculine is not casual: most of these words are neutral in Greek, and, because of the lack of this gender in Spanish, they have been transcribed as masculine. Knowing the origin of words helps us learn a language better. At the same time, it makes us ponder on the proximity and continuity of languages, and therefore, people.

Indeed, there is a song written a couple of years ago, whose lyrics consist almost entirely of Spanish words of Greek origin:

  • Hay un oasis aromático, paralelo, fisiológico
  • profeta enigmático, fenómeno crónico y ortodoxo
  • sin racismos ni extremismos, sin tabúes étnicos
  • en lirica éxtasis sus praxis
  • es el melódico y fantástico antropo.*


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Hello! I’m Olga and I'm here to teach you Spanish! I have studied Spanish Language and Culture and I’ve been teaching Spanish for more than 10 years, mostly to adults. I have experience in one to one, group and online classes. What I can assure you of is that I can listen to your needs and adjust my teaching to what really interests or troubles you. Learning with Verbling is a unique experience which must fulfill the student´s needs and which takes the teacher out of his/her ordinary teaching methods. You give the pace, you tell me what you need and we get along! Note that I always use textual and/or visual material so that the lesson is well structured and you always have a source to rely on and consult when you study at home. ¡Hola! Me llamo Olga y estoy aquí para enseñarte español. He estudiado Lengua Española y Cultura y llevo más de 10 años enseñando el idioma principalmente a adultos. Tengo experiencia en clases particulares, en grupo e incluso en cursos en línea. Aprender en Verbling es una experiencia única, perfectamente adaptada a las necesidades e intereses de los alumnos. Como profesora, prometo dejar de lado los métodos convencionales y ofrecerte una experiencia animada, viva y recreadora y , claro, estoy aquí para solucionar cualquier duda. Toma nota de que siempre uso material textual y/o visual para que el curso esté bien estructurado y tú tengas siempre un recurso para estudiar en casa. For all these reasons, Por todas estas razones, Join my classes! Únete a mis cursos!
Flag
Espagnol
globe
Espagne
time
172
Espagnol
Langue maternelle
,
Grec moderne
Langue maternelle
,
Anglais
C2
,
Français
C1
,
Allemand
B1
,
Russe
A2
,
Russe
A2
Hello! I’m Olga and I'm here to teach you Spanish! I have studied Spanish Language and Culture and I’ve been teaching Spanish for more than 10 years, mostly to adults. I have experience in one to one, group and online classes. What I can assure you of is that I can listen to your needs and adjust my teaching to what really interests or troubles you. Learning with Verbling is a unique experience which must fulfill the student´s needs and which takes the teacher out of his/her ordinary teaching methods. You give the pace, you tell me what you need and we get along! Note that I always use textual and/or visual material so that the lesson is well structured and you always have a source to rely on and consult when you study at home. ¡Hola! Me llamo Olga y estoy aquí para enseñarte español. He estudiado Lengua Española y Cultura y llevo más de 10 años enseñando el idioma principalmente a adultos. Tengo experiencia en clases particulares, en grupo e incluso en cursos en línea. Aprender en Verbling es una experiencia única, perfectamente adaptada a las necesidades e intereses de los alumnos. Como profesora, prometo dejar de lado los métodos convencionales y ofrecerte una experiencia animada, viva y recreadora y , claro, estoy aquí para solucionar cualquier duda. Toma nota de que siempre uso material textual y/o visual para que el curso esté bien estructurado y tú tengas siempre un recurso para estudiar en casa. For all these reasons, Por todas estas razones, Join my classes! Únete a mis cursos!

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