Monday, April 07, 2014

False Friends

For my 90th post, let's talk false friends. I know that sounds all juicy like we are delving into frenemy territory, but it refers to words in two different languages that look similar but have different meanings. Which is kind of like frenemies as the foreign words are pretending to be all familiar so that you trust them but they are really laughing at you behind your back.

 For instance, if I want to take a picture, I use my camera. But in Italian camera is a room.

A bar is where you get coffee, not booze.

Firma isn't firm so much as it is a signature.

A magazzino is a warehouse, not a magazine.

Crudo isn't crude, just raw (as in meat). Which could be another word for crude. Hmm.

Books aren't free at the libreria because it is a bookstore.

Rumoroso isn't rumors, it's noisy. Noioso is boring.

A pane of glass is transparent in America, but pane is bread in Italy.

Morbido isn't morbid, it's tender. Which still sounds yucky.

A fattoria isn't a factory, it's a farm.

If you order ananas, you will get pineapples, not bananas. Similarly, if you order a latte, you aren't ordering a type of coffee drink, you are ordering milk.

I am a straniero, not because I am a stranger, but because I am a foreigner.

And lastly, long before guido was an ethnic slur celebrated by D-list reality shows, it was the first person present tense of the verb to drive (guidare).

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