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  1. a_vee's Avatar
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    #1

    What "false friends" do you know?

    I'd like to know more about which words have given students trouble due to their similarity in English. What false friends have you encountered? Which languages are they from?

    For example:

    English embarrassed -> Spanish embarazada


    • Embarrassed means humiliated




    • Embarazada means pregnant


    Thanks!

    (I hope this is an acceptable category for this message.)

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    #2

    Re: What "false friends" do you know?

    The Polish word for good luck is "fart".

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What "false friends" do you know?

    I believe that if you are constipado in Spanish it's your nose that's blocked.

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    #4

    Re: What "false friends" do you know?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, a_vee:

    1. I have noticed that Spanish speakers become very upset if you tell them that they are not "educated." For

    English speakers, that refers to your level of formal education. But I understand that for Spanish speakers, it means

    something like: you have bad manners/ you are uncultured.

    2. I think that some English speakers would be astonished to learn that "poisson" in French means a fish

    3. And this is not a false friend, but I have to tell you. I once told some Spanish speakers that I like to walk and that

    I measure the distance with a pedometer. I explained that it consisted of two parts: pedo + meter. They all laughed.

    I learned that "pedo" in Spanish slang is the involuntary release of gas.
    Last edited by TheParser; 29-May-2012 at 13:24. Reason: SoothingDave reminded me of what "poisson" actually means.

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    #5

    Re: What "false friends" do you know?

    And "pregunta" is a question.

    I thought "poisson" was "fish." Is it a custom to give fish?

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    #6

    Re: What "false friends" do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post

    I thought "poisson" was "fish." Is it a custom to give fish?

    Yes, you are completely correct. I have edited my post. (By the way, I think that in some cultures, people might be

    delighted to receive a fish. A nice big tuna, for example.)

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    #7

    Re: What "false friends" do you know?

    I have been told that ordering fish is very tricky in France. Cause "poisson" and "poison" are very close.

  3. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: What "false friends" do you know?

    Pretender in Portuguese means to intend. More than one of my students has told me that he "pretends to be a doctor."

  4. a_vee's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: What "false friends" do you know?

    English soap
    Spanish sopa

    Soap= the typical hand, clothes and dish washing product
    Sopa= hot liquid food usually made with meat and/or vegetables

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: What "false friends" do you know?

    Native speakers of English who would like the window open and translate 'I am hot' word for word into quite a few languages are suggesting that they are ready for sexual action

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