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"False Friends"


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Hello linguaholics, after reading a few posts yesterday, I had this idea to open this new topic about "faux amis" in French but also "false cognates" which are a couple of words in different languages that sound the same or similar but have a different meaning: a classic example is: embarazada in Spanish and embarrassed in English- this is "a false friend" where as a false cognate is a word that has a common etymology but has lost the original meaning in a language like fattoria in Italian and factory in English.

I think it could be a fun and informative topic, please contribute.

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Ok, let me start with english-spanish "false friends":

1) Pan (same pronunciation in both languages)

- In english, it means "cooking instrument to fry stuff" or "mythical creature".

- In spanish, it means "bread".

2) "Carpet" (english) and "Carpeta" (spanish). Almost the same pronunciation, except in spanish it ends with "..tah".

- In english it means "floor cover made of some sort of fabric".

- In spanish, it means "folder".

3) "Avocado" (english) and "Abocado" (spanish). Almost the same pronunciation.

. In english, it means "exotic fruit"

- In spanish, it means something like "to be determined to go on a path or to approach something"

Those are the ones I can think of right now. This is fun, though! Thanks for sharing this idea.

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Thanks for joining the conversation, now that you mentioned it, you reminded me of

the italian avvocato- which is lawyer and the english avocado-the above mentioned exotic fruit.

Actually avocado(the fruit) here in Chile is called "palta".

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'False Friends' are really an interesting topic. Please note that we already have a couple of similar threads going:

http://www.linguaholic.com/french-vocabulary-69/false-friends/

http://www.linguaholic.com/english-language-general-discussion-thread/false-friends-1433/

You might want to have a look at them as well! To see if threads about any topic already exists, you can always use the search function on the top right corner of the main page (www.linguaholic.com).

Have a great weekend

Lingua

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False cognates, this was good.  I like that you chose embarazada (pregnant, or with child). I suppose the false friend would be embarrass in English.

Now, if a young lady dosn't see her friend at the end of the month, she may have reason to be embarazada.  :amazed:

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Ok, let me start with english-spanish "false friends":

1) Pan (same pronunciation in both languages)

- In english, it means "cooking instrument to fry stuff" or "mythical creature".

- In spanish, it means "bread".

In polish, "Pan" means Mr. and precedes all official titles when referring to a man.

Very enlightening!

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It actually can be fun comparing languages that way, but I'm referring to languages which are so different from one another. I used to do that with English and Hungarian, two languages that are entirely different with no link whatsoever. I used to work in a restaurant, and I was telling English native speakers (my co-workers) how bus (like bussing a table) is actually the "f word" in Hungarian. Because the languages are so far different these alike words in terms of form are in fact so different in terms of meaning.

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