Thursday, November 29, 2007

language crossovers

So I'm slowly building up some Spanish vocabulary. In class we are going over things you usually find in a hotel room. Refrigerador. Cama doble o sencilla. Stuff like that. Many things I can relate to via logic and/or French connections. Some things are totally out of this world, like funda and silla for pillowcase and chair. But some! Some bring a smile to my face because I recognise them from Malay! Yes, Malay! They came into the language most probably through the influence of the Portuguese traders who had a small foothold in Malacca in the 1500's.
Sp = M = E
toalla = tuala = towel
jabón = sabun = soap
armario = almari = cupboard

and I've always speculated about the similarity of a very common hispanic female name and a general term for women in Malay:
juanita = wanita = woman

The only word I know of in the Malay language that has made its way into other language(s) is the one word that, strangely enough, seems to indicate that we have similar fighting abilities as the Norsemen.

They went beserk.

We ran amok. :-)


  1. Muy buneo. Estas buena estudiante.

    Crap. I don't remember any Spanish. While driving home just tonight, I was thinking how I would like to relearn it!


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