Fun Facts from the Past

Student sitting in classroom thinking

For some, history can be a dense and boring subject with an overwhelming number of influential and fascinating people alongside significant events and statistics. While the past can an elusive and powerful entity, it bears lessons to keep in mind while moving toward a better future. Even more exciting is finding ways to connect history with cognates if you’re trying to figure out an easy way to learn Spanish fast.

Spanish Cognates: approve-aprobar Only a quarter century ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was approvedaprobado by Mexico, United States and Canada—which is most likely why the end of small car production in the US can be smoothly accomplished and transferred to Mexico. Relatively in the same period, the longest standing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher abdicatedabdicó from office. Going back to half a century ago, the Cuban Missile Crisis was terminatedterminado.

Spanish Cognates: exclaim-exclamar In a similar vein of things ending, the Inca Empire was once the largest in the world extending from Ecuador to Chile. Sickness by way of European settlers had a detrimental effect on its sustainability but the legacy of sites like Machu Picchu are irreplaceable. This is much like the impact that Rosa Parks had when she was arrested more than half a century ago. Her refusal to give into racial injustice sparked a wave of change and helped individuals of every age exclaimexclamar the power of equality. Equally significant are the contributions in educationeducación of Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz who was not only a scholar but a prominent women’s rights activist in Mexico during colonial times.

Spanish Cognates: illustrate-ilustrarFor the love of all things scholarly, like learning Spanish fast and easy, let’s see how you fare with some trivia.

  • Which scientific literature was publishedpublicado more than 150 years ago? Hint: This study of biology and evolution of species instigated waves of curiosity among scientific, political, economic and religious circles.
  • Who brought life to Eastern European folk tales with her beautiful capacity to illustrateilustrar? Hint: This American illustrator was born during the Great Depression and grew to publish popular stories like The Little Red Hen.
  • Who immigratedinmigró from Scotland and became one of the most innovative entrepreneurs and philanthropists of the 19th and 20th centuries? Hint: Although his formal education was minimal, he was marvelously hardworking and quite a steal for the railroad business.
  • November is dedicateddedicado to fans of which food item? Hint: It can go in sandwiches or on pastries and it’s loved by humans and animals alike.

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