False Friends

Aren’t false friends wonderful? We talked about false friends very briefly in class today. However, we didn’t have nearly enough time to talk about all the false friends that exist between Spanish and English. False friends (or false cognates) are words that are similar in two different languages. Despite looking alike, they have very different meanings. Here’s another explanation of false friends from the Instituto Cervantes: http://cvc.cervantes.es/ensenanza/biblioteca_ele/diccio_ele/diccionario/falsosamigos.htm

There are loads of websites available about False Friends. However, here are a few to get you started:

http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/111

http://www.eloihr.net/falsefriends/index.php?page=listado

Here’s a handy printable list: http://www.englishcom.com.mx/downloads/FalseCognatesEC.pdf

Best of luck with your study of false friends! Sometimes “Spanglish” works. However, sometimes it can get you in trouble. For this very reason, it’s important to know what false friends and how to avoid them!

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