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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Are false friends the same to all of us ?    

Are false friends the same to all of us ?



florimago
Spain

Are false friends the same to all of us ?
 
Hi , my dear friends : I īve been thinking of making a new worksheet about false friends and I have the silliest question in the world for you : Are  false friends the same to all languages ? For example, a really good one for Spanish students is "I am constipated" that they usually translate as "I have a cold" . Please , leave your comments
 
Flori

26 Feb 2013      





rhman
Egypt

hi, false friends that i know is the same pronunciation in two languages .For example the word ( feel ) is the same pronunciation of the arabic word(فيل)which means elephant in English.

26 Feb 2013     



EstherLee76
Peru

I have the same understanding of false friends as you do, Florimago.  Here are some I found English/Spanish (the hard way if you know what I mean)
 
embarassed is not embarazada (pregnant)
actually (really) is not actualmente (currently)
usually is not usualmente
"mas o menos" is not really "more or less" mostly it should be something like "sort of" or "kind of"
 
And so on and so on,
 
Esther

26 Feb 2013     



douglas
United States

No, false friends are very different, not just because of different pronunciations, but because in one language there may be multiple meanings for a single word that do not exist in the other language.
 
 

26 Feb 2013     



florimago
Spain

thatīs what I thought  . Thanks for your comments
 
Flori

26 Feb 2013     



yanogator
United States

Esther, I think you īre confused about "more or less" in English. To us it also means "kind of" or "sort of". I īm guessing that you think it is literal, meaning something like "approximately" in a measurement sense. It doesn īt. So, we could say that "mas o menos" and "more or less" are more or less the same. If we want the numerical sense, we usually say "plus or minus".
 
One funny example I learned from a Brazilian student is that the Portuguese word for "pull" is pronounced like "push" (which I think is spelled "pux" in Portuguese). It causes confusion when they come to a door here.
 
Bruce

26 Feb 2013     



MarionG
Netherlands

In Hebrew the word "pot" means vagina, so everytime we teach food/cooking we have giggles all around.......
and I had a laugh when I realized the religious teacher was actually serious when he suggested we don īt teach them the word!!!!
I explained to him that in Dutch the Hebrew word for Hilltop (pisgat) means īa hole to pee in ī so maybe we also shouldn īt mention the name of his neighborhood.....
 

26 Feb 2013     



spinney
United Kingdom

Hi Florimago!
I don īt want to blow my own trumpet but I did these with false friends in mind for Spanish students:





This is, of course, an evil plot to get more points! Evil Smile

26 Feb 2013     



ELOJOLIE274
France

when I started teaching I used the expression "a little bit" a lot until I realized that my teenaged pupils had the giggles every time I said that... because "bite" (same pronunciation) in French is slang for penis... needless to say that I īve stopped using that expression in class :)

26 Feb 2013     



florimago
Spain

Wow but whatīs happening here? I īm surprised with the fact that most of you know Spanish . Well, I īm laughing a lot with all your comments (a little bit, pot ...) . By the way, Spinney, I wonīt get angry with you and whatīs more I īm going to download your wonderful worksheets on the topic.
 
Thanks all of you for your help and I think I wonīt make a worksheet on false friends because obviously itīs not going to be useful for everybody.Cry
 
Flori

26 Feb 2013     



MoodyMoody
United States

florimago, don īt let that stop you! If it is useful to you, it is likely to be useful to someone else. One reason I don īt have a lot of points (other than being lazy and untalented graphically) is that I work with adults. Most of my worksheets are no good for a primary school teacher. We all have different needs; this is not a one-size-fits-all site.
 
As far as false friends go, I am always amused by an English gift (a present) and German Gift (poison).

26 Feb 2013     

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