Wordle: Cognates

Words are not always unique to one language; many words used in English appear in more than one language. Similar words across languages exist because they share common ancestors, most pertinently Latin. However, we also share words with other languages as well that don’t have Latin roots. You don’t have to be fluent in German to understand that an auto is something that speeds down the highway. You don’t need to speak Spanish to know that an artista wears a beret while a turista wears a backpack. The meanings of these words, artist and tourist, are transparent because they are cognates—words that sound or look alike from one language to the next.

In this lesson you’ll learn about different types of cognates. You’ll learn how leveraging cognate knowledge helps you figure out unfamiliar words in English. When you combine cognate know-how with your knowledge of Greek and Latin affixes, and your understanding of how to use context clues, you’ll have a powerful set of tools to help you make reasonable guesses about the meanings of unknown words.