A fun look at the meaning of "die Erfahrung" and if really has something to do with "fahren" (to drive). Also: the difference between erfahren and erleben.
die Erfahrung, erfahren (verb), erfahren (adjective), erleben, das Erlebnis
The core idea of this root was:
going beyond, going forth
And a lot of its children revolve in some way around the idea of travelling or exploring – like for instance the German fahren and führen or the English further.
It’s the origin of Latin prefixes like per-, pro-, pro- and also of the Germanic branch around for(e) and German vor, which are all about either “going forth” or a more abstract notion of going beyond a boundary.
The root is also the origin of German fahren and führen and the English fare, which all come from a sense of travelling, going into the unknown.
You can get a really good understanding of how the core idea can lead to various meanings by looking at German ver-.
The family is very big, but here’s an incomplete list of English members:
- pre- (mixed)
- pro- (mixed)
- per- (mixed)
- para- (beyond)
- to fare, far (venturing)
- for (from person A to person B)
- forward, forth, further (going ahead)