True false friends

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Re: True false friends

Postby הענט » 2013-01-27, 20:54

[flag]es[/flag] suceso - event
[flag]en[/flag] success

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Re: True false friends

Postby phaed » 2013-01-27, 20:57

Mirror wrote:[flag]es[/flag] suceso - event
[flag]en[/flag] success

Even more with this root:

[flag]la[/flag] succedere — to advance, climb, follow
to (es, en, fr):
[flag]es[/flag] suceder — to happen, occur
[flag]es[/flag] suceso — event
[flag]en[/flag] succeed
[flag]en[/flag] success
[flag]fr[/flag] succès — success
Native: [flag=]en-US[/flag]
B2: [flag=]es[/flag] (2006), [flag=]fr[/flag] (2008), [flag=]de[/flag] (2012)
A1: [flag=]ro[/flag] (2013)
Admiring from a distance: [flag=]sco[/flag] [flag=]la[/flag] [flag=]el[/flag] [flag=]fa[/flag] [flag=]no[/flag] [flag=]ru[/flag]

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-27, 22:26

Itikar wrote:[flag]fr[/flag] fille: daughter, girl
[flag]it[/flag] figlia: daughter (girl is: ragazza)

In my sister's French class, they were taught to always say "jeune fille" rather than just "fille" because "fille" on its own can mean "prostitute".
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Re: True false friends

Postby Itikar » 2013-01-27, 22:28

This is useful! Thanks! :D
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Re: True false friends

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-01-28, 4:08

[flag]en[/flag] eschew
[flag]fr[/flag] échouer - to fail
N'hésite pas à corriger mes erreurs.

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Re: True false friends

Postby Marah » 2013-01-28, 17:42

In my sister's French class, they were taught to always say "jeune fille" rather than just "fille" because "fille" on its own can mean "prostitute".

I don't think I would have understood it that way. It really depends on the context. :?

[flag]en[/flag]Decade: décennie
[flag]fr[/flag] décade: ten days

Now, according to some grammarians it can also mean "décennie" but they're not that many so...
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-28, 18:00

Marah wrote:[flag]en[/flag]Decade: décennie
[flag]fr[/flag] décade: ten days

Now, according to some grammarians it can also mean "décennie" but they're not that many so...

According to Duden, [flag]de[/flag] Dekade can mean ten days or ten years--or even ten months or ten weeks. The usual word for "period of ten years", however, is native Jahrzehnt.
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Re: True false friends

Postby md0 » 2013-01-28, 18:04

Dekáda in Greek is any group of ten objects, people, or abstract concepts.
Glad to have learn about the word décennie though.
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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-28, 18:10

meidei wrote:Dekáda in Greek is any group of ten objects, people, or abstract concepts.
Glad to have learn about the word décennie though.

The only case I can think of in English where decade is used to mean "a group of ten objects" is in reference to rosary beads. But--at least in my native dialect--it has a distinct pronunciation in this sense, i.e. /'dɛkəd/ as opposed to /'dɛkeːd/.
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Re: True false friends

Postby kevin » 2013-01-28, 19:04

linguoboy wrote:According to Duden, [flag]de[/flag] Dekade can mean ten days or ten years--or even ten months or ten weeks. The usual word for "period of ten years", however, is native Jahrzehnt.

I've never heard anyone use it in a meaning different from Jahrzehnt.

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Re: True false friends

Postby ILuvEire » 2013-01-28, 19:17

linguoboy wrote:
meidei wrote:Dekáda in Greek is any group of ten objects, people, or abstract concepts.
Glad to have learn about the word décennie though.

The only case I can think of in English where decade is used to mean "a group of ten objects" is in reference to rosary beads. But--at least in my native dialect--it has a distinct pronunciation in this sense, i.e. /'dɛkəd/ as opposed to /'dɛkeːd/.
That's really interesting! You're from St. Louis, right? Any other English speaking Catholics have this phenomenon?
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Re: True false friends

Postby Sol Invictus » 2013-01-28, 21:00

So, instead of homonyms/homographs/homophones, we are doing words that are similar in some other way and are same part of speech? Otherwise I really fail to see difference

But along those lines, there are these:
[flag]en[/flag] sympathy
[flag]lv[/flag] simpātija - someone one is attracted to

[flag]en[/flag] command
[flag]lv[/flag] komanda - team

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-28, 21:39

Sol Invictus wrote:So, instead of homonyms/homographs/homophones, we are doing words that are similar in some other way and are same part of speech?

I wouldn't say they have to be the same part of speech, they just have to appear in similar enough circumstances to cause misunderstanding. Practically speaking, nouns will be easiest to confuse with nouns, adjectives with adjectives, and so forth, but there will be exceptions.

My advice: Think about times when you've actually been confused by two similar words which happened to have different meanings. I'll give another example:

I was a reading a Swedish novel and came across the line. "Kyrkoherden log" which I read as "The pastor lied", because in German log is the past tense of lügen "lie". This didn't seem to fit the context, so I went back and reread it as "The pastor laughed". This was closer, but still no cigar, because though Swedish le is a cognate of English laugh and German lachen, nowadays its chief meaning is "smile" ("laugh" being rendered by skratta or garva).

So [flag]sv[/flag] log and [flag]de[/flag] log are true false friends because they're actually liable to get mixed up. [flag]en[/flag] log, however, isn't really, since it's hard to think of any circumstance where you'd think a form of a strong verb had anything to do with a root noun (particularly in German, where nouns are capitalised). ([flag]sv[/flag] logg might qualify, however, since in Swedish it means specifically "ship's log", not a piece of timber.)

Is it starting to make sense? Because I don't know how I can explain things any more clearly.
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Re: True false friends

Postby Sol Invictus » 2013-01-28, 23:15

Well, in my opinion, if you don't add any extra constraints, this thread is pretty much the same thing (or will evolve to become such), because if words are close they are mixable for somebody anyway e.g. neither mine examples, nor the example you just mentioned really work when reading or listening, because you'd realize from the context that something is wrong, while when trying to say or write something one might use any similar word, because they know such word exists and, not knowing the actual meaning, assume it is the same as in another language (especially, if it would be plausible for cognates that are true friends to exist)

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Re: True false friends

Postby md0 » 2013-01-28, 23:49

For one, I like this thread more than the other one. I actually learnt something here. The other thread is just lists for marginal homographs with no educational value whatsoever.
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Re: True false friends

Postby phaed » 2013-01-29, 0:10

meidei wrote:For one, I like this thread more than the other one. I actually learnt something here. The other thread is just lists for marginal homographs with no educational value whatsoever.
Agreed—these (the ones relating to my L2s, at least) are actually pretty useful. They're good reminders of things I should be watching out for.
Native: [flag=]en-US[/flag]
B2: [flag=]es[/flag] (2006), [flag=]fr[/flag] (2008), [flag=]de[/flag] (2012)
A1: [flag=]ro[/flag] (2013)
Admiring from a distance: [flag=]sco[/flag] [flag=]la[/flag] [flag=]el[/flag] [flag=]fa[/flag] [flag=]no[/flag] [flag=]ru[/flag]

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Re: True false friends

Postby OldBoring » 2013-01-29, 5:19

linguoboy wrote: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".

Thanks. :) I'm glad you appreciated my false friends list.
Most of them are indeed false friends that actually led me in confusion when learning those languages.
I also listed a lot of false friends among different language varieties, e.g. Castillan Spanish vs Mexican Spanish, or European Portuguese vs Brazilian Portuguese, etc. That would also be an interesting thread.

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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-29, 16:08

Youngfun wrote:I also listed a lot of false friends among different language varieties, e.g. Castillan Spanish vs Mexican Spanish, or European Portuguese vs Brazilian Portuguese, etc. That would also be an interesting thread.

Or threads. There's a strong case there for making individual threads within each language forum, at least for languages like Spanish where the divergences are so numerous.
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Re: True false friends

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-29, 16:35

Here's one that brings up an interesting point: false friends can be very situational. You can learn a word without ever noticing that it's similar to one in another language, and then something happens--you're tired or your mind is primed by a peculiar set of circumstances--and suddenly the resemblance is plain as day.

This happened to me some while ago with the title Curso de derecho romano. I know that [flag]es[/flag] curso is a true friend of [flag]en[/flag] course, I've known that since I first started studying Spanish. But I was bleary-eyed when I came across this book and read the title as "Curse of Roman law".
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Re: True false friends

Postby Marah » 2013-01-29, 18:26

This one can be funny :mrgreen:

[flag]es[/flag]estar constipado = to have a cold
[flag]fr[/flag] constipé = constipated
[flag]en[/flag] constipated
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.


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