Every language has its quirks. It’s part of what makes linguistics such a fascinating area of study. Many languages also share a great deal of commonality, having descended from the same linguistic family tree.
The language family tree
The Romance languages, for example, include Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Catalan and Romanian. All descended from Latin, these languages share many similarities.
English also has a great many Latin influences in its words and grammar, but is actually a West Germanic language. This is why, despite many words in English having similar counterparts in the Romance languages, there are numerous English words that considered to be the odd ones out when compared with other languages that are used in geographically close locations.
Here are a few great examples of why English is the odd one out.
In many of these examples, the English word has far more in common with German, Dutch and Danish than it does with the languages of closer countries. For those living in England, this creates a linguistic divide between England and its nearest European neighbours. The same is true for those living in the US, where the majority of inhabitants in Central and South America speak Romance languages.
Such linguistic differences are part of the attraction of learning a new language. Discovering and understanding them, as well as uncovering unexpected similarities is an exciting and fascinating journey.
Which are your favourite English words that vary wildly from those in the Romance languages? Let us know in the comments.