Friday, November 16, 2012

German–Spanish correspondence that skips over the English middleman

An English speaker learning German will note many correspondences and cognates between the English and German languages. English is, indeed, a member of the Germanic family of languages.

Likewise, an English speaker learning Spanish will notice many cognates – mostly different ones – between English and Spanish, due mainly to the Latin roots of Spanish and the influence of Latin on English.
There are many fewer correspondences between Spanish and German, and very few that skip over English altogether, but here are three that I’ve noticed:
  1. German and Spanish use the same word for “heaven” and “sky” (Himmel and cielo, respectively), unlike English.
  2. German and Spanish use the same word for “morning” and “tomorrow” (Morgen and mañana, respectively), unlike English.
  3. This one is a little more complex to explain. A long-running popular detective show on German TV is called “Tatort,” literally “the place (Ort) of the deeds (Tat),” but the compound word translates to “scene of the crime.”  “El lugar de los hechos,” in Spanish again would literally mean “the place of the deeds/events” but the phrase, like the German compound word, has the connotation of “the scene of the crime.”

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At December 10, 2012 10:25 a.m., Anonymous EP said...

I don't know too much about Spanish, unfortunately, but I do know that it's a wonderful thing whenever you can get the middleman out of the way! Good luck.

At May 29, 2013 1:10 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scene of the crime: Escena del crimen en Espanol, if you are translating about a crime,homicide,etc. Lugar de los hechos, would be for telling the sequence of events in an specific area.This is my understanding. You really want to put the background info first. Lugar de los hechos applies to diferent things that happened in an specific place. Scene of the crime refers to an specific place where a crime occured.


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