False Friends


What is meant by ‘False Friends’ in language terms?


I recently came back from a surprise #trip to #Paris. It was an awesome trip with lots of memories, lots of #pictures and lots of laughs. Most funny, was the fact that my boyfriend constantly got confused by our false friends. #Falsefriends, which are also known false #cognates or #faux amis (in French), are words that appear or sound the same in two or more different languages, but have very distinguishable meanings.


#Touring across Paris by foot we passed a number of items, and when my boyfriend asked, ‘who puts a #library in such a noisy and busy place,’ I had to take a moment to understand. He was looking at a #bookshop, which translates to ‘librairie’ in #French. I laughed an explained it was the name for a store that sells books. A little later we passed a place that said ‘Magasin,’ he asked, ‘so if a library is a bookshop, what’s a magazine?’ Again, I laughed and explained it was the name for a general #store, and it’s not pronounced like ‘magazine’.


These sort of words appear most often in other #European #languages so when #abroad keep an eye out for these pesky little words and see how many you can spot, it could become a fun #game.

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