Fun with Cognates: Comercial to Alarma (S03E06)

February 17th, 2016

I recently heard a story of a French girl arguing with a Canadian guy about the meaning of “radical” for over an hour. But both their definitions were basically the same–just a little nuanced difference.


They just don’t get it.

That’s not how words work.

The different uses of “radical” should be a fun, interesting conversation.

Not a right/wrong debate or argument.

Words don’t have set definitions. They stand for general ideas. It’s context that gives them their specific meanings.

The word “radical” could be used one way in French, and another way in English.

“Radical” could be used one way in Florida, and another way in New York.

It could be used one way in one sentence, and another way in a second sentence.

In my videos, I sometimes make mistakes (okay, lots of times). And on YouTube, there’s no shortage of people willing to correct my mistakes (I really do appreciate it!)

But often, a native Spanish-speaker will INCORRECTLY correct me.

How can this be?

Easy. I’ve traveled a lot. I don’t speak Spanish from Spain or Spanish from Mexico or Spanish from Argentina.

I just speak Spanish.

Let’s say you grew up only hearing the word “soda” to describe a carbonated beverage.

Does that mean “pop” is wrong? Just because you never heard it before?

In this video, I answer one of the most common questions I’m asked: Do you teach Spanish from Spain or Latin America?

Then you’ll learn about 17 different Spanish words.

And when you’re all done with this video, you’ll know some of these words BETTER than most native Spanish-speakers!

The Word Lists and other links for this video are here: