Spanish for Gringos

If you can’t get these, there may be no hope for you

Here’s a sneaky way to learn a whole bunch of Spanish words: cognates! Cognates are words that look and mean the same thing in both languages, so these words are pretty easy to remember when you’re learning a new language because you’ll recognize its likeness to its English counterpart.

For example, adventure in English means the same as aventura in Spanish. Easy, right? Below is a list of common Spanish-English cognates and how to pronounce them properly, including which syllables to emphasize. (A-ven-tu-ra, with an emphasis on the third syllable, is the pronunciation for the example here)

Beware of false cognates. Nothing is going to make you sound sillier than throwing one of these tricky words into the mix at the wrong time. A false cognate is a Spanish word that looks or sounds similar to an English word, but means something entirely different.




Once: This is not something happening one time. For that, you say una vez. In Spanish, “once” means the number eleven. Pronunciation: on-ce

Ropa: This does not mean rope. Rope is soga or cuerda. “Ropa” means clothing. Pronunciation: ro-pa

Sopa: Not soap. Soap is jabon. “Sopa” means soup. Pronunciation: so-pa


We’re thinking that’s probably enough Spanish for today. And anyway, it’s all the Spanish we know.