from pp. 41-42
golpe hit (n.), blow (n.). golpear to hit. Although English or French coup as in coup d'état is a cognate, it is not close to these words in spelling, pronunciation, or meaning. But on all three counts, golf, which is not etymologically related to golpe, is a good mnemonic; when you play golf, you have to hit the ball.
Alemania Germany. alemán German. Of all major European countries, Germany may be the one with the most diverse names in different languages. Alamania, a name for the Germanic tribe, originally meant "all men" (al- for "all" in its original language). So simply use a mnemonic "All men in Germany".
aceite oil. Arabic origin. Use a mnemonic such as "Acetic acid is vinegar, not oil." (I wish it were, though, so the mnemonic would be perfect!)
empezar to start. The -pezar part is related to pieza ("piece"). Think of starting to work by breaking a task into pieces.
pobre poor (cognate), pauper (cognate). pobreza poverty.
coche car. Cognate with coach. Both coche and coach descended from a Hungarian word, named after a town in Hungary.
copa cup (cognate).
pintura painting (cognate).
nombre name (cognate). nombrar to name (cognate); to nominate (cognate). nombramiento appointment, nomination (cognate). Also cognate with nominal, with the root of misnomer. Note that this word does not mean "number" (which is número in Spanish), especially if you're also studying French.
propósito purpose; intention. Cognate with English proposition or propose. There is some semantic connection: you propose to do something for some purpose. Note that English proposition is proposición in Spanish, not propósito.
leche milk. Cognate with lactic, lactate. This word has nothing to do with lecherous.
tarea task; homework. Arabic origin. It does have a cognate in English, mattress, but it's not helpful by any account. Use a mnemonic such as "Doing homework makes me tired."
alcanzar to reach, to achieve. Doublet with calzar ("to wear shoes"), with interchange between l and n. If this etymology doesn't sound helpful and if you already know cansar ("to tire; to get tired"), use a mnemonic to associate them such as "It's tiring to reach the place." If not, use a mnemonic such as "Al reaches Kansas." See also calzar.
plata silver; money. Cognate with plate. Think of "silver plate". In spite of the cognation, plate in English is plato in Spanish, not plata.
vecino neighbor. Cognate with vicinity.
fe faith. Cognate with fidelity. If your imagination doesn't go beyond Fe, which happens to be the element symbol for iron in chemistry, how about "faith as strong as iron"? See also fiel ("faithful").
jornada day; a day's journey. Cognate with journal, journey. A mnemonic phrase "a day's journey" ties them all together.
ganar to gain; to win. ganador winner. ganancia gain, profit (n.). Although gain may not be a cognate, it's a perfect mnemonic.
calor heat. caliente hot. Cognate with calorie.
recién recently (cognate). reciente recent (cognate).
ritmo rhythm (cognate).
triunfo triumph (cognate).
ayuntamiento town council. The root of the word is related to junto or junta (“council”, “group of people”, “together”). This word is not related to ayuda (“help”).