Tuesday, February 23, 2010

False Friends (part 1)

Below, you have a few examples of words in English and Spanish that are often confused. They look the same but they have different meanings. That's why they are called false friends. So don't translate them literally!

1. Spanish actual vs English actual
Spanish actual means current or present, while English actual either means verdadero or efectivo.
  • El actual primer ministro inglés está en Italia en este momento. = The current British Prime Minister is in Italy at the moment.
  • This is not the actual contract. = Éste no es el contrato verdadero.
2. asistir vs assist
Asistir means attend, while assist means ayudar.
  • Los Reyes de España asistirán a la boda real. = The Spanish King and Queen will attend the royal wedding.
  • Tell me if you need me to assist you to your car . = Dime si necesitas ayuda con el coche.
3. campo vs camp
Campo means country(side), field or farm, while camp refers to campamento.
  • En este campo crece una variedad de frutas inimaginable. = An unimaginable variety of fruits grow in this field.
  • You cannot play ball games at this camp. = Usted no puede jugar a pelota en este campamento.

4. carpeta vs carpet
refers to folder. Carpet refers to una moqueta.
  • Mete en la carpeta todos los archivos finalizados. = Put all the completed files in the folder.
  • I bought this carpet in Turkey. = Compré esta moqueta en Turquía.

5. delito vs delight
Delito can mean a crime or offence, while delight refers to el placer or una delicia.
  • El ladrón cometió un delito. = The thief committed a crime.
  • It has been the delight of many children. = Ha hecho las delicias de muchos niños.
Very confusing, isn't it? And imagine, this is just a small sample of false friends!!