True or False Cognates

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What are cognates and how do we know which ones are True or False Cognates?

A cognate is a word that comes from the same origin as a word from a different language. Quite often, cognates between languages can be a drawback or can be an advantage when learning a new language.

At Talk, we take into consideration every aspect of the language, lets tackle Cognates. Many things have been said about them when teaching a language.  According to Cognates Linguistics ,  cognates represent at least 25% of the English written words in the Romance language speakers, and vice versa, when exposed to modern language. For example, Spanish and English have many cognates because they have a similar history

It is important to be aware of these differences, and how to use them when learning a new language. Research has shown that students benefit from cognate awareness by connecting the meaning of their language of origin to understand an additional language.

Although, we need to be careful on how to use them. You can find true cognates, which are words in two languages that can have a similar meaning, spelling and even pronunciation. On the contrary, False cognates, are very tricky as they might look or sound very similar in one language, but with different meaning.

Let’s take the following examples:

False Cognate:

Library and librería (Both refer to books, but in English, library is a place you go to borrow books, while librería is a place to buy books /book store)

True Cognate:

the telephone  and el teléfono (Both have the same meaning as well as similar pronunciation, and spelling)

We invite you to check the following link to practice your cognates:

For more information check out an article from The University of the State of New York.

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