The Double Vocabulary of English
English has one of the largest vocabularies of all the languages in the world. I grew up speaking English so I thought it was normal to often have two words for what is, more-or-less, the same thing. Only when I became a teacher of English did I realise how enormous and complicated the English vocabulary is.
At university I started learning Spanish and I noticed an interesting thing, when there were two words for the same thing in English often the Spanish word would be similar to one English word and not the other. For example, in English ‘decision’ and ‘choice’ have the same meaning, and the Spanish word ‘decisión’ matches the first English word but not the second.
When I researched why this happened I learnt a lot more about the history of the English language, and I understood why English has such a large vocabulary. This short video helps explain the ‘double vocabulary’ of English!