Monday, March 15, 2010

False Friends (Portuguese,English)

What are false friends?

False friends are words which have similar writing, or even identical in both distinct languages, but their meanings are different.
Take as an example the word exquisite. In portuguese it would easily be misunderstood as exquisito(weird), when it really means requintado, refinado.
The most appropriate denomination of false friends in portuguese would be 'cognatos de sentido diferente'. Cognates are words which contain the same root as another language, but as languages developed apart their meanings may differ.

Here are some of them:

English Portuguese
actual verdadeiro, real
cobra Naja(uma especie de cobra)
eventually finalmente, no final, por fim
legend lenda
library biblioteca
pretend fingir
realize perceber

There is a pocketbook you can buy to get you started:
Easy Way False Friends by José Roberto A. Igreja