falsos amigos

The other day, I was chatting with a friend of mine about Spanish/English false friends: the words that look or sound similar but often mean very different things. Classic examples of these are constipado vs constipated and embarazada vs embarrassed. A good list of such falsos amigos is compiled by Laura K. Lawless.

Some words are written (although not pronounced) exactly the same in English and Spanish, for instance these:

Word English Spanish
actual existing in reality current, present
agenda a list of matters to be taken up diary
arena an enclosed area for the presentation of spectacular events sand
cargo freight charge; position
hay cut and dried grass there is, there are
local n a person who lives nearby location, premises, site
mama mother breast
manga a Japanese comic style sleeve
mayor the leader of a city bigger; older
media plural of medium; environment sock, stocking, pantyhose; mean, average; half
once one and only one time; as soon as eleven
pan flat vessel used in cooking bread
quince a tree, Cydonia oblonga, or its fruit fifteen
real existing in reality existing in reality; royal
red a colour network, web
sensible reasonable sensitive
sin a violation of a moral or religious law without
taller more tall workshop
tan a darkening of the skin after exposure to UV light so, as

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One Response to falsos amigos

  1. Pingback: kohmelo, pohmelo | sólo algunas palabras

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