Learning a language? Don’t be a meatball – beware of “false friends” like these >

Choose the Right Words

albondigas

Have you heard of false friends when you are learning a different language?

Words that look or sound familiar and similar to words in your own language.

But be careful – these false friends DO NOT mean the same as the words you think they are.

Here are real-life examples a lawyer from the US shared with me!

A Spanish-speaking friend of his kept telling everybody she was CONSTIPATED.

Yeah, that’s usually something you keep to yourself!

She actually meant she was feeling CONGESTED in the head and the Spanish word for congested is CONSTIPADO.

Hence, you can understand her thinking the similar word in English was CONSTIPATED – and her telling everyone how CONSTIPATED she was!

English speakers often joke about people who are learning English using the wrong words.

It’s often the subject of humour – as in the jokes about Spanish-speaking Gloria from Modern…

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One thought on “Learning a language? Don’t be a meatball – beware of “false friends” like these >

  1. Pingback: Be careful not to insult people from other cultures with the words you use in business | Choose the Right Words

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