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 we have 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, 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 will understand that these words mean “bedroom.”
How To Say Trunk In Spanish
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?
Well, before I give you my final argument I made an interesting observation that I want to share with
you. While here in Colombian, I have met lots of 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 native English speakers 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 everyone 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 some arrogant American who says “if Americans 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.”
But before anyone makes a final decision, I still have one last and final argument before I rest my case. Unfortunately, it is getting late here in Colombia so I will save my last and final argument for my next blog post.