The English Language has borrowed many words and expressions from other languages over the centuries. If you’d like to see a funny video depicting the History of the English Language, take a look at this.

FALSE-FRIENDS-PhotoThose same words have themselves evolved over time and ended up with totally different meanings. These have in turn created what we call ‘false friends‘, words that are similar in two languages but actually have a totally different meaning that can be misunderstood

italianoingleseIn this blog post, I’d like to highlight the false friends that exist between English and Italian. I will be covering  false friends between English and French and English and Spanish in future posts. I’m not a German speaker and don’t, therefore, feel qualified to write about their differences. Perhaps some of you readers out there could help me with German?

 

ENGLISH

ITALIAN

FALSE FRIEND*

Actually

In Realtà

Attualmente

Camera

Macchina Fotografica

Camera

Comprehensive

Completo

Comprensivo

To Confront

Affrontare

Confrontare

Educated

Istruito/Colto

Educato

Library

Biblioteca

Libreria

Magazine

Rivista

Magazzino

To Pretend

Fare Finta

Pretendere

Parent

Genitore

Parente

Sensible

Ragionevole

Sensibile

Sympathetic

Comprensivo

Simpatico

Fastidious

Pignolo

Fastidioso

 

The actual meanings in English of those False Friends are highlighted here:

ITALIAN*

ENGLISH

Attualmente

Currently

Comprensivo

Understanding (Adj)

Confrontare

To Compare

Educato

Polite

Libreria

Bookshop

Magazzino

Warehouse

Parente

Relative

Pretendere

To Expect

Simpatico

Likeable

Fastidioso

Annoying

Can you think of other false friends between English and Italian? Please share them here with me.

I hope you found this post useful and if you did, please share it.

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Ciao for now.

Shanthi

Source: Cork English Teacher

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