If you ask me about something tricky when learning Spanish, I’ll definitely say that the trickiest thing when learning every language are the false friends (falsos amigos). And I think this is very important, because you may think that the other person understood you, but maybe what you just said makes no sense.
And I’m not only talking about beginners or self-learners, but also about professionals. I like reading so much, and sometimes I find sentences with no sense because of the false friends, and it drives me crazy!
So today I’m going to give you some false friends (compared to English) and explain you what word would be the correct one for every one of them.
English word: ACTUALLY -> Spanish meaning: realmente
Spanish word: ACTUALMENTE -> English meaning: nowadays
English word: ATTEND -> Spanish meaning: asistir
Spanish word: ATENDER -> English meaning: to pay attention
English word: CARPET -> Spanish meaning: alfombra
Spanish word: CARPETA -> English meaning: folder
English word: ROPE -> Spanish meaning: cuerda
Spanish word: ROPA -> English meaning: clothes
English word: EXIT -> Spanish meaning: salida
Spanish word: ÉXITO -> English meaning: success
English word: EMBARRASED -> Spanish meaning: avergonzado
Spanish word: EMBARAZADA -> English meaning: pregnant
These are some of the most frequent mistakes my students use to make. But as I told before, is not only a beginner’s matter: professionals also make mistakes.
As an anecdote, I will tell you that I was reading a very famous book in Spanish some months ago (I don’t want to say the name of the book, respect, you know) and I got shocked when reading a paragraph. There was a sentence saying “muy embarazado”. Can you find the mistake? Yes! “Embarazado” means pregnant, so you can’t be very pregnant; you are pregnant or you are not, but it isn’t something you can measure. And there’s something more: “embarazado” is a male adjective… Boys don’t (usually) get pregnant, so it was so weird for me because it doesn’t make sense!
And that’s an example of why it’s important to know the false friends.
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See you next time!