True false friends

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linguoboy
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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-09, 14:49

Catalan oddly uses the verb calar "soak, drench". (E.g. Algú hi ha calat foc i s'ha esfrondrat el sostre. "Someone set fire to it and the ceiling caved in.") Naturally, this leads to another list of false friends:

(ca) calar soak, lower
(es) calar soak, pierce; catch on; calarse put on [clothing]
(it) calare lower; decrease, descend
(pt) calar shut up
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Re: True false friends

Postby Homine.Sardu » 2019-07-09, 15:15

linguoboy wrote:Catalan oddly uses the verb calar "soak, drench". (E.g. Algú hi ha calat foc i s'ha esfrondrat el sostre. "Someone set fire to it and the ceiling caved in.") Naturally, this leads to another list of false friends:

(ca) calar soak, lower
(es) calar soak, pierce; catch on; calarse put on [clothing]
(it) calare lower; decrease, descend
(pt) calar shut up


I think that the Portuguese "calar" it's not exactly the same verb of the others mentioned.

We find cognates of it in Spanish, Sardinian, and perhaps another similar sounding Italian verb.

(pt) calar shut up
(es) callar shut up
(sc) cagliare shut up
(it) quagliare to curdle / coaugulate / solidify

Perhaps in origin the verb was used in a metaphorical way, and to order someone to shut up they used this verb meaning something like " solidify / paralize yourself! / stand still! " and with centuries the meaning switched from coaugulate / solidify to shut up

Usually in Sardinian when we use the imperative of this verb we always pair it with the aggettive "mudu" (mute)

(singular) cagliadi mudu! - shut up (and) mute!
(plural) cagliade-bos mudos! - shut up (and) mute!

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-09, 16:10

Homine.Sardu wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Catalan oddly uses the verb calar "soak, drench". (E.g. Algú hi ha calat foc i s'ha esfrondrat el sostre. "Someone set fire to it and the ceiling caved in.") Naturally, this leads to another list of false friends:

(ca) calar soak, lower
(es) calar soak, pierce; catch on; calarse put on [clothing]
(it) calare lower; decrease, descend
(pt) calar shut up


I think that the Portuguese "calar" it's not exactly the same verb of the others mentioned.

Etymologically it is, but that's beside the point. Words don't have to be true cognates to be false friends, they just have to appear cognate.

Homine.Sardu wrote:We find cognates of it in Spanish, Sardinian, and perhaps another similar sounding Italian verb.

(pt) calar shut up
(es) callar shut up
(sc) cagliare shut up
(it) quagliare to curdle / coaugulate / solidify

You're confusing two roots here. One is Latin chalare which yielded a Vulgar Latin *callare that is the source of the Portuguese and Spanish forms. The other is Latin coagulare which yielded Vulgar Latin *coaglare, *quaglare and is the source of the Italian quagliare. The true Iberian cognates of this are Spanish cuajar, Portuguese coalhar; the Sardinian cognate is cazare. At a guess, I would ascribe Sardinian cagliare to borrowing (possibly via Catalan callar, from the same source as Spanish).

But thanks for proving my point that false cognates can still be false friends.
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Re: True false friends

Postby Homine.Sardu » 2019-07-09, 17:06

linguoboy wrote:You're confusing two roots here. One is Latin chalare which yielded a Vulgar Latin *callare that is the source of the Portuguese and Spanish forms. The other is Latin coagulare which yielded Vulgar Latin *coaglare, *quaglare and is the source of the Italian quagliare. The true Iberian cognates of this are Spanish cuajar, Portuguese coalhar; the Sardinian cognate is cazare. At a guess, I would ascribe Sardinian cagliare to borrowing (possibly via Catalan callar, from the same source as Spanish).

But thanks for proving my point that false cognates can still be false friends


The Sardinian cognate of those mentioned is "jagare" (the milk has curdled - su latte s'est jagadu)

While when speaking about blood and wounds the verb used is "cujare" (pronounce "cuyare")

the wound has healed - sa ferida s'est cujada
the blood has coaugulated - su sàmbene s'est cujadu

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Re: True false friends

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-07-09, 18:27

linguoboy wrote:
Homine.Sardu wrote:I think that the Portuguese "calar" it's not exactly the same verb of the others mentioned.

Etymologically it is, but that's beside the point. Words don't have to be true cognates to be false friends, they just have to appear cognate.

The terms ("true cognate," "false friend" etc.) are not confusing, but honestly, the threads in this forum are.
We have the thread Cognates for those words that have a true etymological connection.
We have the thread Multilingual False Friends for those words that aren't etymologically related.
And then we have this thread, True False Friends, for... what exactly? If you go back to the first page of this thread to try to figure out what it is for, the confusion over what should be in this thread has existed since the thread was created. Linguoboy created the thread but others on that first page suggested it should be for words with etymological connections: semantic divergence, cognates and loanwords. Linguoboy suggested that it should be for words that cause trouble in real life.

It would be fine to leave it at that (the narrower definitions fit within the broader one) and let people post whatever they feel fits here (and to point out which words have semantic divergence or are/aren't true cognates as they see fit, as a way of adding to the discussion), but Linguoboy, you keep trying to direct people to your own subjective definition, i.e. here, here, here, here, here, here, etc., and seem to assume that anyone who brings up etymology or cognates is misunderstanding the concept of "false friend", which I don't think is the case. (For me, it is the inclusion of the word "true" that makes it confusing, since in terms like "true cognate" the word "true" has a different meaning than the one it has here.)

The topic even as defined by Linguoboy is very subjective. Words that seem close enough to be confusing to me might not seem so to you and vice versa. I have momentarily mixed up (es) pagan "they pay" and (et) pagan "damn!" in real life but unless I posted the whole complicated context I am pretty Linguoboy would deem them too random and tell me to post them on the Multilingual False Friends thread instead of here.
Linguoboy, it seems like you thought this one shouldn't be in this thread:
linguoboy wrote:
laoshu wrote:(id) buta : blind
(ja) buta 豚 : pig

See also this thread: https://forum.unilang.org/viewtopic.php?f=133&t=21079.

But to me it doesn't seem much different from this one, which you did deem appropriate enough to post yourself:
linguoboy wrote:(es) puto man-whore, faggot, asshole
(tl) puto steamed ricecake

When you combine that kind of inherent subjectivity with one person (Linguoboy) trying to make the thread conform to his version of what should be posted, confusion is pretty much inevitable.

linguoboy wrote:But thanks for proving my point that false cognates can still be false friends.
:roll:

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-09, 18:45

Linguaphile wrote:It would be fine to leave it at that (the narrower definitions fit within the broader one) and let people post whatever they feel fits here (and to point out which words have semantic divergence or are/aren't true cognates as they see fit, as a way of adding to the discussion), but Linguoboy, you keep trying to direct people to your own subjective definition

Well, the alternative is to have this become a complete clone of the Multilingual False Friends thread, which really makes no sense at all.

Linguaphile wrote:The topic even as defined by Linguoboy is very subjective. Words that seem close enough to be confusing to me might not seem so to you and vice versa. I have momentarily mixed up (es) pagan "they pay" and (et) pagan "damn!" in real life but unless I posted the whole complicated context I am pretty Linguoboy would deem them too random and tell me to post them on the Multilingual False Friends thread instead of here.

Not if you explain it that way! That was the entire point of my urging people to post stories. Because that's what I find interesting: stories about the short circuits your brains have made. If all you want is laundry lists of words from various languages that look similar, Wiktionary has hundreds, perhaps thousands.

Of course, no one else has to find the same things interesting as I do. And since I'm not a moderator here, I have no power at all to determine what gets posted to this thread. All I can do is make the occasional suggestion. (What do your examples amount to, about one for every year this thread has been in existence?) So if you're capable of ignoring what I say (and I have every faith in you!) you can post whatever you like here according to the dictates of your conscience.
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Re: True false friends

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-07-09, 19:19

Linguaphile wrote:And then we have this thread, True False Friends, for... what exactly?


Personally, I don't find it particularly difficult to determine which words should go in which thread.
The Multilingual False Friend thread is a giant, meaningless list of chance similarities that people should probably stop posting in because, honestly, it's so easy to find these if you are combing the 6000 or so languages of the world for anything that seems at all similar. That thread probably started out with a similar intention to the current thread but ended up being what it is now.
The Congates thread is for posting etymologically related words, any that you find interesting for any reason (I started it mainly because I was fascinated by the cognates I saw between Irish and Serbian, which despite both being Indo-European are extremely different and hence my fascination with their links to one another), and this thread is for words that actually cause confusion in real life due to their similarities.
The reason your pagan example seems like it might not fit here is that it's hard to see how you could confuse those, seems like you would need a very specific context to make that mistake. "Buta" in Japanese and Indonesian are different parts of speech - what sentence could you say where "buta" could mean either "blind" or "pig" and still make sense? Linguoboy's "puto" example is at least a noun in both languages, thus you could actually have a sentence where the two meanings could be swapped out for one another, although I'll agree that it's more of a stretch than some of the other entries here.

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-09, 19:45

Ciarán12 wrote:Linguoboy's "puto" example is at least a noun in both languages, thus you could actually have a sentence where the two meanings could be swapped out for one another, although I'll agree that it's more of a stretch than some of the other entries here.

It would feel like more a stretch to me if Spanish loans weren't so common in Tagalog. The context was also one (i.e. food package) in which the language of the text wasn't immediately obvious. Plus (as anyone who's gone to Germany and seen shop windows plastered with the word "SCHMUCK" can attest) there's an impact to seeing an obscenity that can momentarily overwhelm your awareness of the larger context.
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Re: True false friends

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-07-09, 20:23

linguoboy wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:It would be fine to leave it at that (the narrower definitions fit within the broader one) and let people post whatever they feel fits here (and to point out which words have semantic divergence or are/aren't true cognates as they see fit, as a way of adding to the discussion), but Linguoboy, you keep trying to direct people to your own subjective definition

Well, the alternative is to have this become a complete clone of the Multilingual False Friends thread, which really makes no sense at all.

Actually, in that particular quote, your definition was the one I was considering the "broader" one that the narrower definition fits into (it encompasses the other definitions that were suggested at the beginning of the thread: "semantic divergence" and "cognates and loanwords").

Personally, I like to focus on true cognates with semantic divergence, so when someone here points out whether or not the words involved are true cognates (which I have done myself, and which Homine.Sardu did today), I truly appreciate that people do post that information. It's fine if they don't, but great if they do. This thread can have both "words that are confusing by chance" and "true cognates with different meanings that make them confusing". But when Homine.Sardu and I both focused on the narrower definition and added that information to the discussion, in both cases you responded by providing the definition of "false friend" as if our posting that type of information indicated a misunderstanding of linguistic terms. I could ignore that, and I'm sure I have many times, but then you even told Homine.Sardu that his comment was beside the point.

That's what bothered me. I really don't want (or want others) to discourage people from making comments like Homine.Sardu did, because it's the part I find interesting, and I don't see why it shouldn't be part of this thread. But you are discouraging it when you post things like telling Homine.Sardu that it's beside the point and again posting a definition, as if you think it's all a misunderstanding that you need to educate us about. Please don't discourage people from commenting on whether or not words are true cognates! Whether or not they're doing it due to a misunderstanding of the purpose of the thread. It doesn't hurt anything, and it's interesting info.

linguoboy wrote:And since I'm not a moderator here, I have no power at all to determine what gets posted to this thread. All I can do is make the occasional suggestion. (What do your examples amount to, about one for every year this thread has been in existence?)

The six I posted ("here, here, here, here, here, here, etc.") certainly weren't all of them. For example, here are a few more: here,, here, here, here. I just didn't see a need to look for or post all of them. As I explained above, it's not even my main concern with the subjectivity of this thread - I do understand why you don't want this thread flooded with the same chance similarities as the other thread, because there is that other thread. I just don't want people to feel so uncertain about what to post here that they feel discouraged from posting true cognates that are false friends or similar info when they're relevant, and your posts in this thread have discouraged that too.

Ciarán12 wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:And then we have this thread, True False Friends, for... what exactly?

Personally, I don't find it particularly difficult to determine which words should go in which thread.

I asked that question, but then in the following sentence I explained how I'd found the answer by looking back to the beginning of the thread. I posted Linguoboy's answer, since he was the created of this thread, but also other answers from others that I found on that first page. I wasn't really asking as a literal question. My point in posting that question rhetorically today was that there have various answers from the beginning of the thread.

Ciarán12 wrote:The reason your pagan example seems like it might not fit here is that it's hard to see how you could confuse those, seems like you would need a very specific context to make that mistake.

Trying to offer to pay for a meal in a restaurant (for the group), speaking Estonian. I attached the Estonian first person ending (-n) to the Spanish root for "pay" (paga-) and so blurted out "Damn!" when I'd meant to say "I'll pay!" (Correct would have been "Maksan." From the word "pagan!" Estonian-speakers would have heard "damn!" and Spanish-speakers would have heard "they pay", so by combining the two it's wrong - and a totally inappropriate thing to blurt out at that moment - in both languages!)
I think you need a very specific context to confuse any of the words on this thread, it's just that some of those specific contexts occur more frequently than others. :D

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Re: True false friends

Postby Naava » 2019-07-09, 20:48

Linguaphile wrote:We have the thread Cognates for those words that have a true etymological connection.
We have the thread Multilingual False Friends for those words that aren't etymologically related.
And then we have this thread, True False Friends, for... what exactly? If you go back to the first page of this thread to try to figure out what it is for, the confusion over what should be in this thread has existed since the thread was created.

This is one of the reasons why I haven't posted here. I've never understood what is meant by a "true false friend" or how this thread is different from the Multilingual False Friends, and the first post/pages don't explain it either. Only now that you're discussing it, I've started to get a feeling there is some logic there after all. :)

Whatever you guys decide to do with the thread(s), I hope you could add a short description to the first post so that everyone would know and agree on what we're doing here. (Maybe it's time to lock this one and start a new thread? Idk.)

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-09, 21:02

Linguaphile wrote: Personally, I like to focus on true cognates with semantic divergence, so when someone here points out whether or not the words involved are true cognates (which I have done myself, and which Homine.Sardu did today), I truly appreciate that people do post that information. It's fine if they don't, but great if they do. This thread can have both "words that are confusing by chance" and "true cognates with different meanings that make them confusing". But when Homine.Sardu and I both focused on the narrower definition and added that information to the discussion, in both cases you responded by providing the definition of "false friend" as if our posting that type of information indicated a misunderstanding of linguistic terms. I could ignore that, and I'm sure I have many times, but then you even told Homine.Sardu that his comment was beside the point.

From my point of view, Homine.Sardu seemed to be attempting to do exactly what you were saying you don't want to see and policing the thread by suggesting one of my examples didn't belong there because it wasn't a true cognate. That's all I was responding to.

Linguaphile wrote:That's what bothered me. I really don't want (or want others) to discourage people from making comments like Homine.Sardu did, because it's the part I find interesting, and I don't see why it shouldn't be part of this thread.

I kind of want to discourage people from commenting on what words here are and aren't cognate without first checking to see if they have the etymologies correct. Is that wrong of me?
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Re: True false friends

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-07-09, 21:58

linguoboy wrote:From my point of view, Homine.Sardu seemed to be attempting to do exactly what you were saying you don't want to see and policing the thread by suggesting one of my examples didn't belong there because it wasn't a true cognate. That's all I was responding to.

And I think you thought the same of my post a few weeks ago, too (or at least that was my impression based on the fact that you replied so quickly to my post but only referenced the one sentence in my post that said I wasn't sure it was a cognate, which, tbh, was absolutely the least interesting point in that post - plus I didn't even say it wasn't a cognate; I literally said I wasn't sure if it was, and I explained why in the post!)

Why would I (or Homine.Sardu, whose post was similar in content to the one I linked above) post so much etymological information in this thread in response to a post of yours if we thought the post didn't even belong here?

I know I can only speak for myself, but in my own post about "piocha" I was just expanding on your original post with some additional information (and additional false friends in other dialects of Spanish) that I thought were relevant and interesting. To me it seems like Homine.Sardu's post was quite similar. We were continuing a discussion. That's not the same as "policing" at all. Yes, I did initially think you had posted the "piochas" as cognates, and Homine.Sardu may have thought so too about "calar", but I had no problem with it being in this thread. I simply used it as a starting point for a discussion. To me it seemed as though that's exactly what Homine.Sardu was doing too. Neither of us ever said or implied that the post shouldn't have been posted here.

linguoboy wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:That's what bothered me. I really don't want (or want others) to discourage people from making comments like Homine.Sardu did, because it's the part I find interesting, and I don't see why it shouldn't be part of this thread.

I kind of want to discourage people from commenting on what words here are and aren't cognate without first checking to see if they have the etymologies correct. Is that wrong of me?

This is what I was referring to:
linguoboy wrote:
Homine.Sardu wrote:I think that the Portuguese "calar" it's not exactly the same verb of the others mentioned.

Etymologically it is, but that's beside the point. Words don't have to be true cognates to be false friends, they just have to appear cognate.

As for the hypothetical cognate that turned out to not be accurate, that was in a different part of his post, and he was clear about the fact that he was just making a guess about the metaphorical usage of "solidify/paralyze". He was equally clear about the fact that he was identifying quagliare as "perhaps a similar sounding Italian verb" (clearly differentiating it from the verified cognates like the Portuguese/Spanish/Sardinian words he listed):

Homine.Sardu wrote:I think that the Portuguese "calar" it's not exactly the same verb of the others mentioned.

We find cognates of it in Spanish, Sardinian, and perhaps another similar sounding Italian verb.

(pt) calar shut up
(es) callar shut up
(sc) cagliare shut up
(it) quagliare to curdle / coaugulate / solidify

Perhaps in origin the verb was used in a metaphorical way, and to order someone to shut up they used this verb meaning something like " solidify / paralize yourself! / stand still! " and with centuries the meaning switched from coaugulate / solidify to shut up


linguoboy wrote:I kind of want to discourage people from commenting on what words here are and aren't cognate without first checking to see if they have the etymologies correct. Is that wrong of me?


To answer your question, no, personally I don't have any problem with posts that include non-verified information, especially if that is made clear, as it was here. I've posted hypothetical cognates before too (in fact, in that piocha post I did, too, for the Chilean meaning of piocha, but I was likewise clear about it being hypothetical there, just like Homine.Sardu was today.) Is that what you have a problem with? I don't, personally. Sometimes an etymology can't be found, or the person posting has an idea about it but for whatever reason isn't able to look it up at that time to verify. It's still interesting to see what others are thinking and posting such a hypothesis might lead to someone else looking it up and verifying it or refuting it, which is useful no matter which way it goes. I would certainly welcome that for the Chilean use of piocha as possibly etymologically related to its synonym broche through the older form brocha; I was not able to find any direct source for its etymology. Both Homine.Sardu and I indicated that we weren't certain about some of these etymologies, and which ones those were.

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Re: True false friends

Postby Homine.Sardu » 2019-07-10, 8:43

Good morning!

Returning to the false friends, I find this quite interesting.

(en) factory - (it) fabbrica
(it ) fattoria - (en) farm

While both factory and fattoria have different meaning, they derive from the same Latin noun "factoria", derived from the verb "facere" (to make).

Another interesting thing is that the English "factory" has a cognate in the antiquated Italian "manifattura" (factory); from late Latin "manifactura or manifactoria", derived from "manu + facere" (to make by hand).
The term "manifattura" was used to indicate the factories before the industrial revolution, where everything was made by hand and not with machines.

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Re: True false friends

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-07-11, 0:57

(en) lunatic
(ru) лунатик sleepwalker

(en) brilliant
(ru) бриллиант diamond

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Re: True false friends

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-07-11, 4:47

Linguaphile wrote:(en) lunatic
(ru) лунатик sleepwalker

Spanish (es) lunático - lunatic
German (de) der Lunatiker - sleepwalker
(en) brilliant
(ru) бриллиант diamond

Just learned that brilliant in English can also mean a diamond cut in a certain way, so, in some sense, this isn't a completely false friend (still appropriate for the thread, though). :) Apparently, this is the only thing German (de) der Brillant means. The adjective brillant is similar in meaning to English brilliant, though.

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Re: True false friends

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-07-11, 5:45

(en) Mexico = (fr) Mexique
(fr) Mexico = (en) Mexico City

I had come across this pair before, but it came up in the Romain Gary biopic "La Promesse de l'aube", which I watched recently. Gary says he wants to die "à Mexico" (in Mexico City), though to an English speaker it sounds like he means the country.
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Re: True false friends

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-07-11, 6:31

Dormouse559 wrote:(en) Mexico = (fr) Mexique
(fr) Mexico = (en) Mexico City

I had come across this pair before, but it came up in the Romain Gary biopic "La Promesse de l'aube", which I watched recently. Gary says he wants to die "à Mexico" (in Mexico City), though to an English speaker it sounds like he means the country.

Even in Mexico, people sometimes mean the city (not the country) when they say México. Usually it's obvious from context, but not always! Occasionally it causes some weird misunderstandings. At least in French they are two different words. That would help. :D

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Re: True false friends

Postby Homine.Sardu » 2019-07-11, 7:14

vijayjohn wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:(en) lunatic
(ru) лунатик sleepwalker

Spanish (es) lunático - lunatic
German (de) der Lunatiker - sleepwalker
(en) brilliant
(ru) бриллиант diamond

Just learned that brilliant in English can also mean a diamond cut in a certain way, so, in some sense, this isn't a completely false friend (still appropriate for the thread, though). :) Apparently, this is the only thing German (de) der Brillant means. The adjective brillant is similar in meaning to English brilliant, though.


Also in Italian a diamond can be called "brillante". Usually a brillante is a little diamond socketed in a ring or in other jewels.

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Re: True false friends

Postby Car » 2019-07-11, 13:20

Homine.Sardu wrote:Good morning!

Returning to the false friends, I find this quite interesting.

(en) factory - (it) fabbrica
(it ) fattoria - (en) farm

While both factory and fattoria have different meaning, they derive from the same Latin noun "factoria", derived from the verb "facere" (to make).

Another interesting thing is that the English "factory" has a cognate in the antiquated Italian "manifattura" (factory); from late Latin "manifactura or manifactoria", derived from "manu + facere" (to make by hand).
The term "manifattura" was used to indicate the factories before the industrial revolution, where everything was made by hand and not with machines.

German also uses Fabrik for factory. Apparently, Faktorei was used for commercial settlements, particularly in colonies. It also comes from Latin "factoria".

German also used Manufaktur that way.

@Vijay: You're right about Brilliant. Lunatiker sounds like medical terminology to me (I have never heard it before), the general term is Schlafwandler ("sleep stroller" or something like that).
Please correct my mistakes!

kevin
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Re: True false friends

Postby kevin » 2019-07-11, 13:32

vijayjohn wrote:German (de) der Lunatiker - sleepwalker

Probably not a very common source of misunderstandings, though - I didn't even know that this was supposed to be a German word! The normal word doesn't contain any fancy Latin, but is simply "Schlafwandler".


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