Top English-German False Friends (Guest Post by bab.la)
Before we begin, let me introduce bab.la – bab.la is a language portal created by a group of language lovers. Their content is too exciting for me to summarize it within 3 sentences. But – 1. you can learn many languages there via games and quizzes. 2. They have a blog Lexophiles, and they rank top language blogs in the world annually. 3. You can get professional translation services there. Prices are calculated online.
Anyway, it’s going to be hard to stop extolling them – please check them out here.
Btw, this is the first guest post on my blog. Thanks a lot to Asia Rolewicz for the contribution! 😀
Post about English-German false friends starts here:
Whether you’re an English native speaker and learn German or a German person who learns English – it’s the tricky words that make the difference. They are called false friends because their sound or spelling suggests that they mean something similar (or the same) in the other language whereas, in fact, they don’t. This phenomenon is particularly common between English and German as they both belong to the same language family. That is why it is so important to be able to rely on a good English-German dictionary – one that not only gives you a dry translation but also provides you with additional useful information such as category, grammar, style & word formation and is also complemented by context and sample sentences. Using a good dictionary might save your face and will help you avoid making embarrassing mistakes, such as asking for “wages” (der Lohn) when you actually meant “a loan” (ein Darlehen).
Below you can find some other typical instances of most frequent English-German false friends. Clicking on a word will allow you to see all its definitions including all additional information, pronunciation and sample sentences.
aktuell: current | actual: tatsächlich Brief: letter | brief: kurz Chef: boss | chef: Koch, Köchin Direktion: top management | direction: Richtung eventuell: possible | eventually: schließlich Fabrik: factory, plant | fabric: Stoff Fahrt: journey, drive | fart: Furz Gift: poison | gift: Geschenk Handy: mobile (UK), cell (US) | handy: praktisch, nützlich Kaution: deposit, bail |
caution: Vorsicht, Warnung Lohn: wages | loan: Kredit, Darlehen, Anleihe Messe (Ausstellung): fair, exhibition | mess: Chaos, Unordnung, Durcheinander Parole: slogan, motto | parole: Bewährung Provision: commission | provision: Versorgung, Vorkehrung, Bereitstellung | Unternehmer: entrepreneur, employer | undertaker: Leichenbestatter, Bestattungsinstitut