The Cebuano dialect of the Central and Southern Philippines is known to have at least 1,600 Hispanismos or words of Spanish origin. The Spanish linguist Antonio Quilis in his book "Hispanismos en Cebuano" published in 1976 made two separate studies to quantify the amount of Spanish words used in the Cebuano dialect. His first study which involved giving a questionnaire to three native Cebuano speakers concluded that there were 852 Spanish words commonly used in the Cebuano dialect. The second study involved an analysis of a 6,500 word Visayan Dictionary, and he was able to obtain at least 1,632 Hispanismos or words of Spanish origin. It is believed that the number of "Hispanismos" in the Cebuano dialect is underestimated due to the limited scope of Mr. Quilis' study, as well as due to the increased use of new technological terms in the Cebuano dialect borrowed from the Indo-European languages including Spanish and English specially Spanish-English "cognates" as will be illustrated shortly. Nevertheless, Don Antonio Quilis' book is a pioneering and interesting study of 'Hispanismos' in the southern Philippines. The list of Hispanismos in the Cebuano dialect as gathered by Antonio Quilis is shown below, and will eventually be shown in its entirety through regular updates as time permits:

LIST 3: Hispanismos in the Cebuano Dialect (by Antonio Quilis**) :


Abano----------------------Cigarro puro
Abito-----------------------Habito Clerical
Abogado, Abugado-------------Abogado
Abogadohan-------------------tener las qualidades de un Abogado
Abono------------------------1. Fertilizante 2. suplemento monetario
Abridor-----------------------Abridor de botellas
Abusahan----------------------el que Abusa
Adilantado--------------------Adelantarse el reloj
Adelpa------------------------Adelfa(planta y flor)

** "Hispanismos en Cebuano". Antonio Quilis. Madrid, Spain , Edition Alcala. 1976

We are also including here a list of 'Cognates' as most Filipinos are already fluent in English, and the Filipino language itself uses a lot of Spanish and English words. "Cognates" are words that have similar or identical meaning and spelling in both Spanish and English. In fact, encouraging, and spreading the use of Spanish-English cognates is very practical and advantageous in the case of the Philippines due to the following:

a.) There are at least 5,200 Spanish words or 'Hispanismos' adapted by the Filipino national language.

b.) In the Philippines, about 2,700 persons use Spanish as the mother language; 800,000 Filipinos are Chavacano or Creole-Spanish speakers; and 1,800,000 Filipinos can speak Spanish as a second or third language with 20,000 Filipino students studying Spanish every year.

c.) English is the second or third language for at least 36,000,000 Filipinos.

Disseminating and spreading the use of Spanish-English cognates among Filipinos will simultaneously help the vocabulary and fluency of Filipinos in both Spanish and English specially in light of the fact that there are at least 20,000 Spanish-English cognates! This is a huge dual Spanish-English vocabulary that should be utilized and taken advantage of specially in the Philippine language situation, if only for practical reasons.

LIST 4: Partial list of "cognates" or words that have similar or identical meaning and spelling in both Spanish and English:


Abbreviation  Abreviatura, Abreviación   
Abdication  Abdicación   
Acclamation  Aclamación   
Accumulation  Acumulación   
Administration  Administración   
Admiration  Admiración   
Adoration  Adoración   
Affirmation  Afirmación   
Agglomeration  Aglomeración   
Agitation  Agitación   
Allegation  Alegación   
Animation  Animación   
Anticipation  Anticipación  
Application  Aplicación   
Assassination  *Asesinato   
Assimilation  Asimilación   
Association  Asociación   
Authentication  Autenticación   
Authorization  Autorización   
Automation  Automatización   
Aviation  Aviación   
Celebration  Celebración   
Cessation  Cesación   
Circulation  Circulación   
Civilization  Civilización   
Classification  Clasificación   
Collaboration  Colaboración   
Combination  Combinación   
Commemoration  Conmemoración   
Commendation  Recomendación   
Communication  Comunicación   
Compensation  Compensación   
Compilation  Compilación   
Concentration  Concentración   
Condemnation  Condenación   
Condensation  Condensación   
Confirmation  Confirmación   
Confiscation  Confiscación   
Confrontation  **Enfrentamiento   
Congratulation  Feliciatión   
Congregation  Congregación   
Consideration  Consideración   
Consolation  *Consuelo   
Constellation  Constelación   
Consternation  Consternación   
Consultation  Consultación   
Contamination  Contaminación   
Contemplation  Contemplación   
Continuation  Continuación   
Conversation  Conversación   
Cooperation  Cooperación   
Coronation  Coronación   
Corporation  Corporación   
Correlation  Correlación   
Corroboration  Corroboración   
Creation  Creación   
Cultivation  Cultivo*   
Declaration  Declaración   
Degeneration  Degeneración   
Degradation  Degradación   
Delegation  Delegación   
Deliberation  Deliberación   
Delineation  Delineación   
Demonstration  Demostración Manifestación (protest)   
Deregulation  Dereglamentación   
Derivation  Derivación   
Derogation  Detracción   
Desecration  Desecration   
Desegregation  Desegregation   
Desolation  Desolación   
Destination  Destino   
Determination  Determinación   
Detestation  *Aborrecimiento   
Detonation  Detonación   
Dictation  *Dictado   
Differentiation  Differentiation   
Discrimination  Discriminación   
Disputation  *disputa   
Dissemination  Diseminación   
Documentation  Documentación   
Domestication  Domestication   
Domination  Dominación   
Donation  Donación   
Duration  Duración   
Education  Educación   
Ejaculation  Eyaculación   
Elaboration  Elaboración   
Elevation  Elevación   
Elimination  Eliminación   
Emancipation  Emancipación   
Emulation  Emulación   
Equation  Ecuación   
Evacuation  Evacuación   
Exaggeration  Exageración   
Examination  *Examen   
Exclamation  Exclamación   
Excommunication  *Excomunión   
Expectation  *Expectativa   
Experimentation  Experimentación   
Explanation  Explicación   
Exploration  Exploración   
Expostulation  Expostulation   
Extermination  Exterminio   
Exultation  Exultation   
Facilitation  Facilitación   
Fascination  Fascinación   
Federation  Confederación   
Fermentation  Fermentación   
Formation  Formación   
Formulation  Fórmulación   
Foundation  Fundación   
Generation  Generación   
Germination  Germinación   
Gratification  Gratificación   
Gravitation  Gravitación   
Hallucination  *Alucinación   
Hesitation  Vacilación   
Hibernation  Hibernación   
Humiliation  Humillación   
Identification  Identificación   
Illumination  Iluminación   
Illustration  Ilustración   
Imagination  Imaginación   
Imitation  Imitación   
Immigration  Inmigración   
Implication  Implicación   
Inclination  Inclinación   
Indentation  Indentación   
Indication  Indicación   
Indignation  Indignación   
Information  Información   
Initiation  Iniciación   
Innovation  Innovación   
Inoculation  Inoculación   
Insinuation  Insinuación   
Inspiration  Inspiración   
Installation  Instalación   
Instigation  Provocación   
Interpretation  Interpretación   
Intimation  Intimación   
Intonation  Entonación   
Inundation  Inundación   
Investigation  Investigación (research)   
Invitation  Invitación   
Invocation  Invocación   
Isolation  Aislamiento   
Justification  Justificación   
Lamentation  Lamentación   
Legislation  Legislación   
Limitation  Limitación   
Litigation  Litigación   
Location  Ubicación   
Maceration  Maceración   
Machination  Maquinación   
Manifestation  Manifestación   
Manipulation  Manipulación   
Mastication  Masticación   
Materialization  Materialización   
Meditation  Meditación  
Moderation  Moderación   
Modification  Modificación   
Mutilation  Mutilación   
Narration  Narración   
Nation  Nación   
Naturalization  Naturalización   
Obligation  Obligación   
Observation  Observación   
Occupation  Ocupación   
Operation  Operación   
Organization  Organización   
Orientation  Orientación   
Ovation  Ovación   
Overpopulation  *Superpoblación   
Participation  Participación   
Penetration  Penetración   
Perspiration  *Transpiración   
Perturbation  Perturbación   
Population  *Población   
Precipitation  Precipitación   
Predestination  Predestinación   
Premeditation  Premeditación   
Preparation  Preparación   
Presentation  Presentación   
Preservation  **Conservación   
Privation  Privación   
Proliferation  Proliferación   
Prolongation  Prolongación   
Pronunciation  Pronunciación   
Propagation  Propagación   
Provocation  Provocación   
Publication  Publicación   
Punctuation  Puntuación   
Qualification  **Cualificación   
Realization  Realización   
Recitation  Recitación   
Reconciliation  Conciliación   
Recreation  Recreación   
Rectification  Rectificación   
Registration  Inscripción   
Regulation  Regulación   
Rehabilitation  Rehabilitación   
Relation  Relación   
Renunciation  Renunciación   
Reorganization  Reorganización   
Representation  Representación   
Reprobation  Reprobation   
Reputation  Reputación   
Respiration  Respiración   
Restoration  Restauración   
Retaliation  Retaliación Represalia  
Revelation  Revelación   
Salutation  Salutación   
Salvation  Salvación   
Segregation  Segregación   
Sensation  Sensación   
Separation  Separación   
Signification  Significación   
Simulation  Simulación   
Situation  Situación   
Sophistication  Sofisticación   
Speculation  Especulación   
Stagnation  *Estancación Estancamiento   
Starvation  **Inanición   
Station  Estación   
Stipulation  Estipulación   
Temptation  *Tentación   
Toleration  Tolerancia   
Transfiguration  Transfiguración   
Transformation  Transformación   
Translation  *Traducción   
Transportation  Transportación  
Tribulation  Tribulación   
Trituration  Trituration   
Vacation  Vacación  
Vegetation  Vegetación   
Veneration  Veneración   
Ventilation  Ventilación   
Verification  Verificación  
Violation  Violación (usually means rape in Spanish)   
Vocation  Vocación

NOTE: A good book on Spanish-English Cognates is: "NTC's Dictionary of Spanish Cognates" by 
Rose Nash. NTC Publishing Group. 1997. Chicago, USA.

This Cognate Dictionary has over 20,000 Spanish-English Cognates!!!

LIST 5: Espanglés is a term coined to describe the meeting point between the Spanish (Español) and English (Inglés) languages. This systemized study of English/Spanish cognates offers the learner a potentially huge stock of Spanish vocabulary words.

The cognates fall into suffix catagories which, for clarity and convenience, have been grouped under the following terms of grammar:

   1. Nouns: Words which name things (woman, chair, city, dream etc.)

   2. Adjectives: Words which describe things (pretty, happy, yellow etc.)

   3. Verbs: Action words (kicked, smiled, goes)

   4. Adverbs: Words added to verbs to describe an action (They ran quickly )

* The apostrophe (') in the Spanish words indicates the position of the stress.


There are many Spanish nouns that are instantly recognisable to an English reader. With slight modifications (usually with some change to the word ending and pronunciation) many Spanish nouns can easily be converted into English nouns.

English nouns ending in '-or' are very often identical in Spanish:

#1. -or = -or

    * actor
    * color
    * favor
    * tutor
    * error


    * ac'tor
    * co'lor
    * fa'vor
    * tu'tor
    * e'rror

English nouns ending in '-al' are very often identical in Spanish.

#2. -al = -al


    * animal
    * capital
    * hospital
    * metal
    * moral


    * ani'mal
    * capi'tal
    * hospi'tal
    * me'tal
    * mo'ral

Many English nouns ending with '-ist', can be converted into Spanish nouns by adding an 'a' to the end of the word.

#3. -ist = -ista

    * artist
    * dentist
    * novelist
    * optimist
    * tourist

    * ar'tista
    * den'tista
    * nove'lista
    * opti'mista
    * tu'rista

#4. -ism = -ismo

    * idealism
    * sexism
    * budhism
    * tourism
    * optimism

    * idea'lismo
    * se'xismo
    * bu'dismo
    * tur'ismo
    * opti'mismo

#5. -nce = -ncia

    * assistance
    * licence
    * experience
    * distance
    * intelligence

    * asis'tencia
    * li'cencia
    * experi'encia
    * dis'tancia
    * inteli'gencia

#6. -ty = -dad

    * variety
    * society
    * electricity
    * city
    * university

    * varie'dad
    * socie'dad
    * electrici'dad
    * ciu'dad
    * universi'dad


Many Spanish adjectives can be converted into English simply by changing the word ending. Almost all Spanish adjectives are either masculine (ending in o) or feminine (ending in a). An adjective's gender is usually dictated by the gender of the noun to which it is refers.

#1. -ive= ivo

    * negative
    * expressive
    * positive
    * effective
    * offensive

    * nega'tivo
    * expre'sivo
    * posi'tivo
    * efec'tivo
    * ofen'sivo

#2. -al= -al

    * final
    * usual
    * local
    * normal
    * natural

    * fi'nal
    * us'ual
    * lo'cal
    * nor'mal
    * natu'ral

#3. -ous = -oso

    * famous
    * nervous
    * delicious
    * generous
    * ambitious


    * fa'moso
    * nervi'oso
    * delici'oso
    * gene'roso
    * ambici'oso

#4. -ic = -ico

    * romantic
    * fantastic
    * electric
    * artistic
    * automatic


    * ro'matico
    * fan'tastico
    * e'lectrico
    * ar'tistico
    * auto'matico

#5. -ble= -ble

    * horrible
    * impossible
    * terrible
    * probable
    * notable


    * ho'rrible
    * impo'sible
    * te'rrible
    * pro'bable
    * no'table

#6. -nt= -nte

    * ignorant
    * convenient
    * patient
    * important
    * excellent


    * igno'rante
    * conveni'ente
    * paci'ente
    * impor'tante
    * exce'lente

#7. -id= -ido

    * stupid
    * rapid
    * splendid
    * valid
    * solid


    * estu'pido
    * 'rápido
    * esplen'dido
    * va'lido
    * so'lido

#8. -ile= -il

    * fertile
    * hostile
    * mobile
    * juvenile
    * sterile


    * fer'til
    * hos'til
    * mov'il
    * juve'nil
    * este'ril

#9. -ary= -ario

    * secondary
    * literary
    * ordinary
    * necessary
    * voluntary


    * secun'dario
    * lite'rario
    * ordi'nario
    * nece'sario
    * volun'tario


There are many English verbs that can be converted into Spanish, usually by changing the ending of the English verb and adding 'ar', 'er' or 'ir'.

Almost every English infinitive verb ending in '-ate' (eg. celebrate) can be coverted into a Spanish infinitive by replacing the final '-ate' with '-ar' (eg. celebrar).

English Spanish
create cre'ar
calculate calcu'lar
concentrate concen'trar
demonstrate demo'strar
estimate esti'mar
exaggerate exage'rar
negotiate negoci'ar
operate ope'rar
participate partici'par
terminate termi'nar

Many English verbs (infinitive) ending in VOWEL + CONSONANT + T (eg. result) can be converted into Spanish verbs (infinitive) by adding '-ar', 'er' or 'ir' to the end of the English verb (eg. resultar).

English Spanish
insult insul'tar
consult consul'tar
present presen'tar
represent represen'tar
comment comen'tar
import impor'tar
export expor'tar
convert conver'tir
insist insis'tir

Many English infinitive verbs (of more than one syllable) ending VOWEL + CONSONANT + E (eg. examine) can be converted into Spanish infinitive verbs by dropping the final E and adding 'ar'. (eg. examinar).

English Spanish
accuse acu'sar
adore ado'rar
authorize autori'zar
complete comple'tar
converse conver'sar
escape esca'par
ignore igno'rar
invite invi'tar
imagine imagi'nar
prepare prepa'rar
organize organi'zar
utilize utili'zar

Almost every English infinitive verb ending with '-ify' (eg. signify) can be converted into a Spanish verb by replacing the final 'ify' with '-ificar' (eg. significar).

English Spanish
unify unifi'car
simplify simplifi'car
solidify solidifi'car
amplify amplifi'car
notify notifi'car
modify modifi'car
gratify gratifi'car
justify justifi'car
pacify pacifi'car
certify certifi'car


In Spanish, "mente" combines with (feminine) adjectives to form Spanish adverbs.

In English, "-ly" combines with many adjectives to form adverbs.

  Adjective:               Adverb:

English---Spanish    English----Spanish
normal nor'mal       normally normalmente
natural natu'ral     naturally natural'mente
final fi'nal         finally final'mente
probable pro'bable   probably probable'mente
absolute abso'luta   absolutely absoluta'mente
exact e'xacta        exactly exacta'mente
evident evi'dente    evidently evidente'mente
complete com'pleta   completly completa'mente

What are cognates?

The 'convertable' English to Spanish words are known as cognates, words in both languages which share the same Latin root and which are visibly and often audibly very similar. It is important to bear in mind that these cognates do not always translate from one language to another precisely. For example: "inferior" in Spanish may be used to refer to a subordinate in the work-place, without carrying any of the derogatory meaning in the English usage. In Spanish, "informal" means unreliable rather than casual. In spite of these 'false cognates', there are thousands of English words which can be converted into Spanish along with much of their English meaning (especially the literal) by following a few simple steps.


LIST 6: While there are thousands of Cognates to help make our understanding of Spanish a lot easier, there is also another group of cognates that can be confusing as shown in the following article. Fortunately, there are not too many of these false cognates.

Common False Cognates

Learning Spanish vocabulary can seem so easy: Constitutición means "constitution," nación means "nation," and decepción means "deception," right? Not quite. True, most words that end in -ción can be translated into English by changing the suffix to "-tion." And the pattern holds true for the first two words listed above. But una decepción is a disappointment, not a deception.

Spanish and English have literally thousands of cognates, words that are basically the same in both languages, having the same stymology and similar meanings. But combinations such as decepción and "deception" are false cognates — word pairs which look like they might mean the same thing but don't. They can be confusing, and if you make the mistake of using them in speech or writing you're likely to be misunderstood.

Following is a list of some of the most common false cognates — some of the ones you're mostly likely to come across when reading or listening to Spanish:

Actual: The word indicates that something is current, at the present time. Thus the day's hot topic might be referred to as un tema actual. If you wish to say something is actual (as opposed to imaginary), use real (which also can mean "royal") or verdadero.

Aplicar: Yes, this word does mean apply, as in applying an ointment or a theory. But if you're applying for a job, use solicitar. Similarly, an application for a job or something else you would apply for is a solicitud.

Asistir: Means to attend or to be present. Asisto a la oficina cada día, I go to the office daily. To say "to assist," use ayudar, to help.

Atender: Means to serve or to take care of, to attend to. If you're talking about attending a meeting or a class, use asistir.

Basamento: You won't run across this word often, but it's the base of a column, sometimes called a plinth. If you want to visit a basement, go down to el sótano.

Billón: 1,000,000,000,000. That's the same as a trillion in American English, but a billion in traditional British English. In other words, billón is a cognate in London but a false cognate in New York.

Bizarro: Somebody's who's this way is brave, not necessarily strange. The English word "bizarre" is conveyed better by extraño or estrafalario.

Campo: Means a field or the country (in the sense of living in the country, not the city). If you're going camping, you'll probably be staying at a campamiento or even a camping.

Carpeta: Although this can refer to a type of table cover, it doesn't have anything to do with carpets. It most often means a file folder (including the virtual kind) or a briefcase. "Carpet" is most often alfombra.

Complexión: This refers not to your skin, but to one's physiological build (a well-built man is un hombre de complexión fuerte). To speak of skin complexion, use tez or cutis.

Compromiso: Meaning a promise, obligation, or commitment, it does not usually convey the sense that one have given up something to reach an agreement. There is no good noun equivalent of "compromise" that would be understood that way out of context, although the verb transigir conveys the sense of giving in to, yielding to, or tolerating another person.

Constiparse, constipación: In verb form, it means to catch a cold, while una constipación is one of the words that means a cold. Someone who is constipated is estreñido.

Contestar: It's a very common verb meaning to answer. To contest something, use contender.

Corresponder: Yes, it does mean to correspond, but only in the sense of to match. If you're talking about corresponding with someone, use a form of escribir con or mantener correspondencia.

Decepción, decepcionar: Means disappointment or to deceive. To deceive someone is to engañar a alguién. Something deceptive is engañoso.

Delito: There's seldom much delightful about a crime. (Delito usually refers to a minor crime, as contrasted with a serious crime or crimen.) The feeling of delight can be a deleite, while the object that causes it an encanto or delicia (note that the latter word often has a sexual connotation).

Desgracia: In Spanish, this is little more than a mistake or misfortune. Something shameful is una vergüenza or una deshonra.

Despertar: This verb is usually used in the reflexive form, meaning to wake up (me despierto a las siete, I wake up at seven). if you're desperate, there's a true cognate you can use: desesperado.

Disgusto: Derived from the prefix dis- (meaning "not") and the root word gusto (meaning "pleasure"), this word refers simply to displeasure or misfortune. If you need to use a much stronger term akin to "disgust," use asco or repugnación.

Destituido: Someone who has been removed from office is destituido. Someone without money is indigente or desamparado.

Embarazada: refers to being pregnant or pregnancy. It might be embarrassing to be pregnant, but it isn't necessarily. Someone who feels embarrassed is tiene vergüenza or se siente avergonzado.

Emocionante: Used to decribe something that's thrilling or emotionally moving. To say "emotional," the cognate emocional will often do fine.

En absoluto: This phrase means the opposite of what you think it might, meaning not at all or absolutely not. To say "absolutely," use the true cognate totalmente or completamente.

Éxito: It's a hit or a success. If you're looking for the way out, look for una salida.

Fábrica: That's a place where the fabricate items, namely a factory. Words for "cloth" include tejido and tela.

Fútbol: Unless in a context that indicates otherwise, this means soccer. If you want to refer the the popular U.S. spectator sport, use fútbol americano.

Fútil: This refers to something trivial or insignificant. If your efforts are futile, use ineficaz, vano or inútil.

Insulación: This isn't even a word in Spanish (although you may hear it in Spanglish). If you want to say "insulation," use aislamiento.

Introducir: This isn't truly a false cognate, for it can be translated as, among other things, to introduce in the sense of to bring in, to begin, to put, or to place. For example, se introdujo la ley en 1998, the law was introduced (put in effect) in 1998. But it's not the verb to use to introduce someone. Use presentar.

Largo: When referring to size, it means long. If it's big, it's also grande.

Minorista: Means retail (adjective) or retailer. A "minority" is una minoría

Molestar: The verb doesn't have sexual connotations in Spanish, and it didn't originally in English either. It means simply to bother or to annoy. For the sexual meaning of "to molest" in English, use abusar sexualmente or some phrase that says more precisely what you mean.

Once: If you can count past ten, you know that once is the word for eleven. If something happens once, it happans una vez.

Preservativo: You might find yourself embarrassed if you go to a store and ask for one of these, because you'll end up with a condom. If you want a preservative, as for a conservante.

Pretender: The Spanish verb doesn't have anything to do with faking it, only to try. To pretend, use fingir or simular.

Rapista: This is an uncommon word for a barber (peluquero or even the cognate barbero is more common), being derived from the verb rapar, to cut close or to shave. Someone who attacks sexually is a violador.

Realizar, realizacón: The verb can be used flexibly to indicate something becoming real or becoming completed: Se realizó el rascacielos, the skyscraper was built. To realize as a mental event can be translated using darse cuenta ("to realize"), comprender ("to understand") or saber ("to know"), among other possibilities, depending on the context.

Recordar: Means to remember or to remind. The verb to use when recording something depends on what you're recording. Possibilities include anotar or tomar nota for writing something down, or grabar for making an audio or video recording.

Ropa: Clothing, not rope. Rope is cuerda or soga.

Revolver: As its form suggests, this is a verb, in this case meaning to turn over, to revolve, or otherwise to cause disorder. The Spanish word for "revolver" is close, however: revólver.

Sano: Someone who is sano is healthy. Someone who is sane is en su juicio or "in his right mind."

Sensible: Usually means sensitive or capable of feeling. A sensible person or idea can be referred to as sensato or razonable.

Sopa: Soup, not soap. Soap is jabón.

Suceso: Merely an event or happening, sometimes a crime. A success is un éxito.

Tuna: Order this at a desert restaurant and you'll get edible cactus. The fish is atún.

A final note: Especially in the United States, Spanish doesn't exist in a vacuum. In the United States, you may hear some speakers, especially those who frequently speak Spanglish, use some of these false cognates when speaking Spanish. A few of these usages may be creeping into the language elsewhere, although they would still be considered substandard.


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