Although most people would say that Spanish and English don’t sound the same, there are a large number of Latin-based words in the English language, which in turn means that (on paper at least) they often look like the words in Spanish.
This is both a help and a hindrance, as language learners can often assume that just because the words sound similar, they have the same meaning.
This is often the case, but not always.
The following are some of the most common false friends that native English learners fall in love with, although in many cases the language trap can also apply to native English learners Spanish. Watch out for these!
Photo: Flequi / Flickr
This is perhaps the best known Spanish-English fake friend, as well as being one of the funniest. English and Spanish learners are sometimes wrong pregnancy (pregnancy) or pregnant (pregnant) with shame and embarrassment because they sound so similar. By the way, mixing the words could end up being a bit embarrassing in and of itself.
Photo: Woodleywonderworks / Flickr
Anyone who has taught English to Spanish children will probably be familiar with this one. It is not the Spanish equivalent of ‘the dog ate my homework’, children just assume that the English folder is carpet, like file in Spanish. Similarly, ask your Spanish interior designer friend if a file it would look nice under your living room coffee table and might give you some weird looks.
Photo: Jeffrey Beall / Flickr
Despite the fact that Spaniards are quite frank people, they do not usually talk about their blocked intestines, unless they fall in love with this false friend. TO constipated It’s a common cold in Spanish, so it makes sense that they sometimes say constipation in English. Be be constipated it is also a way of saying that you are congested.
English natives must remember constipated is the adjective in Spanish to describe problems with going to the bathroom, otherwise they will get the wrong medication from their Spanish doctor.
Photo: Special Operations / Flickr
Despite their hearts on their sleeves, Spaniards rarely cry when they find something exciting. This false friend arises from the double meaning of excited in Spanish, you can get excited and excited.
There is another fake friend that both English and Spanish speakers should be careful about here as sensible it is another way of referring to someone / something that is sensitive or emotional. Sensible does not mean responsible in Spanish as it does in English, the word for this is sensible.
Photo: wetwebwork / Flickr
That’s gotta hurt! Well, we think they mean contact lenses (contact lenses) instead of lentils (lentils).
Photo: Son of Groucho / Flickr
OMG here’s one to watch out for. Bother is teasing someone in Spanish and not sexually harassing as it is teasing in English.
Photo: osuspecialcollections / Flickr
Even if you are a forensic scientist who finds corpses particularly interesting, yelling this in public is not advisable. Chance it’s a coincidence in Spanish, although the word sounds a lot more like casualty in English.
Photo: Maxime Guilbot / Flickr
It’s always helpful to have an escape route handy, but it still sounds pretty weird to wish someone all the exits they deserve. Success is the Spanish word for success, so native English speakers need to remember to ask Where is the success? means ‘where is the success?’ when should they be saying the exit (Departure).
Photo: osuspecialcollections / Flickr
Where there is smoke there is fire, but normally the fire brigade is called in and not the air force. TO firefighter is a firefighter in Spanish, a bomber is a bombardier.
Do you have preservatives?
Photo: Jose / Flickr
There’s no denying you need chemistry in love, but we’re not quite sure where preservatives fit into the whole equation. Spanish speakers sometimes assume condom (condom) translates to English as preservative. Similarly, a native English speaker might mistakenly ask at their local vegan shop in Spain if the food they just bought contains contraceptives. The correct term to use would be preservatives.
Are you ready to make a commitment?
It may seem natural to expect your Spanish girlfriend to find you halfway on certain issues, but don’t ask her commitment unless you’re sure you’re ready to take the next step. Commitment It can mean a marital commitment or an obligation / commitment in Spanish. The words for commitment in Spanish are mutual agreement.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism