A Hilarious False Friend from English!

A Hilarious False Friend from English!

A “False Friend” as in English means, a pair words which looks and/or sounds the same, but differ in meaning. False friends could get quiet common among European languages as they share a common origin from Latin.

These rightly named words could get some of us to some hilarious and embarrassing situations while handling languages less known. One such Hilarious and embarrassing situation happened to a pal of mine when he with great enthusiasm, tried to handle German (Deutsch). At an online forum, the poor lad went on to translate a rather complicated sentence to German. With the aid of Google translator and dozen other translation sites, he typed into the comment box “after wenigen Stunden“. The meaning, the sentence was supposed to convey was, “after a few hours” but what it went on to convey got to be a rather offensive statement. The word “After” that my pal used, got to be a false friend, as it meant “Anus” in German. For what happened next is left to the reader’s imagination, as communicating it hear wound seriously deteriorate the website’s quality.

Another not-so-hilarious example for a False Friend should be the word “Gift”, which I got to wrongly use in one of our German Letter-Writing-Activities. I got to wrongly add the word “Gift” in a German sentence, which was to mean, “I’m bringing a gift for you from Germany“. The word “Gift” in German meant poison and more interestingly, the letter was to be addressed to my fictitious girlfriend. No wonder I never managed to have a GF.

Dutch False Friend

So, for all my readers there, daring to experiment with new languages, I would seriously recommend going through the below given links:

English-French False Friends

English-German False Friends