Today I will share a story with you that will help in learning Spanish online fast. You will also pick up some new Spanish words today. After I sent a recent email to my newsletter subscribers, I got a ton of emails from readers who completely disagreed with my statement that “the Spanish language has more words than the English language.”
One reader wrote:
“Patrick, you have to be kidding. If I include scientific words the English language has more than a million words.”
So does that mean there aren’t any scientists in Latin America or Spain?
And another reader wrote:
“Patrick, your theory that the Spanish language has more words than English is full of holes:
Patrick, you wrote in English there’s only one word for the room in the house where you sleep. And that word is bedroom. But in Spanish there are at least 6:
Patrick, you overlooked that in English we also use several different words for ‘bedroom.’ Instead of ‘cuarto’ and ‘dormitorio,’ in English we also use ‘quarters’ and ‘dorm.'”
I don’t know about anyone else but I have never referred to my “bedroom” as my “quarters” or my “dorm.”
But the majority of the emails disagreed with me because they felt that I was saying that Spanish has more words because there are so many regional words in Spanish. And in different parts of the U.S., as well as the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean any other part of the world where English is the primary language (or one of the primary languages) people know regional English words that I don’t know.
Maybe I should have said that I insist that Spanish has more commonly used everyday words. Now allow me to make myself clear…
I am not just referring to regional words. I am talking about words that all or most Spanish speakers are familiar with. Maybe all Spanish-speakers may not use the words alcoba, habitación, cuarto, récamara, and dormitorio but I am sure that most or all will understand that these words mean “bedroom.”
The same applies with these three words.
All Spanish-speakers may not use the words baúl, maletero and cajuela, but I am sure that most will understand that these words mean “trunk ” as in “the trunk of a car.”
Still not convinced that the Spanish language has more words?
I have made an interesting observation that I want to share with you. While here in Colombian, I have met MANY MANY Colombians who are learning English.
One thing that they all seem to say to me is “It is easier for us (Latinos) to learn English than it is for native English speakers to learn Spanish.” Of course, I always ask “why?”
Not one Colombian has ever told me that it is easier for them to learn English than it is for a gringo to learn Spanish because Spanish-speakers seem to speak so much faster. And not one Colombian has ever told me that it is easier for them to learn English because conjugating Spanish verbs is so complicated. Each and every one of them has told me that English is easier to learn than Spanish because Spanish has more words.
Now I am sure that I will get at least one email from a reader who says “if Gringos say that English has more words and if Latinos say that it isn’t true, that’s enough proof for me. English has more words.”