polish greetings

‘False Friends’- Polish-Spanish

Anyone who has studied a foreign language has probably come across a word at least once that sounds very similar or even the same as one that is familiar to us in our mother tongue. It may seem unnecessary to look up a new word in a dictionary. After all, it certainly has exactly the same meaning as the one we already know.

Although there are times when this thinking is right, it is important to stay on our toes because it can also often get us lost. Speaking of this less desirable scenario for us, I am referring to falsos amigos (eng. false friends), also known as palabras engañosas (eng. deceptive words).
If you have not read the previous article about ‘false friends’, please read the brief information below on what the expression ‘false friends’ means.

Definition of the Word ‘False Friends’

When learning a foreign language, we often come across words or phrases that sound similar or identical to those in our mother tongue. These words usually have a completely different meaning than in our mother tongue. We call such words and expressions ‘false friends’.

Is it worthwhile to get to know ‘false friends’ and learn them? Absolutely! They enrich our vocabulary and allow us to take our language skills to a higher level. Unfortunately, they can rarely be learned from available textbooks. Rather, we get to know them through conversations in everyday situations or by reading language blogs dedicated to various language curiosities.

‘False Friends’: a Common Etymology

If a group of languages has inherited a word from a common ancestor and its meaning has changed over time in at least one of them, we will be dealing with a false friend. To illustrate the above, let us take a closer look at the word przyjaciel itself in English – friend. We know what it means there and we know that the German equivalent freund has the same meaning. However, in Danish (frænde) and Swedish (frände) it means relative.

Is It a Serious Mistake to Confuse Words?

During the process of learning a language, we get confused, confuse words and make mistakes. The misuse of “false friends” can lead to hilarious misunderstandings. However, you should in no way be discouraged from continuing to learn or be ashamed of your language use. We learn through mistakes!ship along the way.

Get to Know ‘False Friends’ – Examples

‘False friend’ is a broad category of words that, in sound or spelling, remind us of expressions in Polish, and we intuitively attribute this Polish meaning to them. The real meaning? Most often it is completely different!

Here are the most commonly used, both in colloquial and formal speech, ‘false friends’:

el balón – piłka (“false friend”: el globo – balon)

el cachorro – szczeniak (“false friend”: el pato – kaczor/kaczka)

la casa – dom (“false friend”: la plata – kasa, pieniądze; la caja – kasa np. w sklepie)

la cara – twarz (“false friend”: el castigo – kara)

la carta – list (“false friend”: la tarjeta – karta)

la cena – kolacja (“false friend”: el precio – cena)

la cera – wosk (“false friend”: el cutis – skóra)

el complemento – dodatek, uzupełnienie (“false friend”: el cumplido – komplement)

el cura – ksiądz/ la cura – lekarstwo, leczenie (“false friend”: la gallina – kura)

la droga – narkotyk, lek (“false friend”: el camino – droga)

la firma – podpis (“false friend”: la empresa – firma)

la joroba – garb (“false friend”: la enfermedad – choroba)

la litera – łóżko piętrowe, prycza, kuszetka (“false friend”: la letra – litera)

la ostra – ostryga (“false friend”: picante – ostry)

la palma – dłoń (“false friend”: la palmera – palma)

el pan – chleb (“false friend”: el señor – pan)

la pensión – emerytura, renta (“false friend”: el salario – pensja)

los pies – stopy (“false friend”: el perro – pies)

la rana – żaba (“false friend”: la herida – rana)

la rosa – róża (“false friend”: el rocío – rosa)

sensible – wrażliwy (“false friend”: razonable – sensowny)

ser – być (“false friend”: el queso – ser)

el suceso – wydarzenie, zdarzenie (“false friend”: el éxito – sukces)

I invite you to visit this website and read the article to learn more about the ‘False friends’ in Polish-Spanish.

If you want to learn Polish language, I invite you to visit our website and get more information.

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