Lazar Taxon wrote:I don't see the difference either. In your example Spanish "lloro" and Catalan "lloro" are unrelated words that look or sound similar but have different meanings, just like the those posted in the other thread. (Catalan "lloro" is derived from Spanish "loro", itself from Cariban "roro".) False friends such as these are pairs of interlingual coincidences.
The difference to me is that the vast majority of the so-called "false friends" given in the other thread would simply never cause trouble in real life. Take a typical recent contribution:
[flag]fr[/flag] dort "he/she sleeps"
[flag]cs[/flag] dort "cake"
[flag]tr[/flag] dört "four"
How would you ever confuse these in actual use? The first is a verb, the second is a noun, and the third is a determiner, so the grammar alone makes it clear that they can't mean remotely the same thing. And they aren't even pronounced the same: respectively, they are [ˈdɔʁ], [ˈdɔrt], and [ˈdœɾt].
On the other hand, look at Youngfun's list [posted just after I created this thread]. Less than half of the pairs he gives represent exact matches either in either spelling or pronunciation, but almost all of them would actually be problematic in practice. That to me is the true definition of a "false friend".
If contributions like that equaled or outweighed the laundry lists of homonyms, I wouldn't see a need for a new thread. But they're few and far between. They're also the only ones that interest me. That's why I thought the best thing to do would be to float a new thread and see if I could attract others who feel the same. If no one does, well then, where's the harm?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons