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TIP #128 - This tip was sent on the week: 18th - 24th Mar, 2007

128

English-Spanish “False friends” - Parte III

 

This tip applies to the following programs:

• ESI Professional

 

English

Means

does'nt mean

tuna

atún

“tuna” (cactus)

apology

disculpa

“apología” (defense)

arm

brazo

“arma” (gun, weapon)

balloon

globo

“balón” (ball, in sports)

billet

alojamiento militar, acuartelamiento

“billete” (banknote, bill)

brave

valiente

“bravo” (fierce, enraged)

cartoon

dibujos animados, caricatura, tira cómica

“cartón” (cardboard)

casualty

víctima mortal, herido, baja

“casualidad” (coincidence, chance)

commodity

materia prima, mercancía

“comodidad” (comfort)

confident

seguro de sí mismo

“confidente” (confidant, confidante)

dinner

cena

“dinero” (money)

finality

conclusividad, carácter terminante o terminativo

“finalidad” (aim, purpose)

fume

vapor, gas

“fumar” (smoke)

grocery

abarrotes, comestibles, abasto

“grosería” (rudeness, coarseness)

horn

cuerno

“horno” (oven, furnace)

inhabited

habitado

“inhabitado” (uninhabited)

mayor

alcalde

“mayor” (bigger, larger, greater / older)

occurrence

aparición / acontecimiento

“ocurrencia” (witty remark / absurd idea)

preservative

preservante, conservante

“preservativo” (condom)

quit

dejar, abandonar

“quitar” (snatch, remove, take off, get out, put away)

signature

firma, rúbrica

“asignatura” (subject, course)

spade

pala

“espada” (sword)

target

blanco (de flecha), objetivo, meta

“tarjeta” (card)

terrific

fenomenal, formidable

terrorífico (terrifying)

translate

traducir

“trasladar” (move, transfer)

tramp

vagabundo

“trampa” (trap, snare)

zealous

entusiasta, ferviente

“celoso” (jealous)

adept

experto

“adepto” (follower, supporter)

affluent

pudiente, acaudalado, adinerado, opulento

“afluente” (tributary of a river)

ancient

antiguo

“anciano” (elderly)

demand

exigir, requerir

“demandar” (sue)

defile

profanar

“desfilar” (parade)

grab

agarrar

“grabar” (record, save, film / carve)

grip

agarrar, sujetar

“gripe” (flu)

morose

hosco, intratable, malhumorado

“moroso” (delinquent, defaulter, deadbeat, in arrears)

resort

recurso /lugar de descanso, resort

“resorte” (coil spring)

rest

descansar, reposar

“restar” (subtract, deduct)

salvage

rescate, salvamento, recuperación

“salvaje” (savage)

toboggan

trineo

“tobogán” (chute, slide)

 

NOTE: It is necessary to take into account that some of these words are true cognates in one of their specific meanings, whereas in other meanings they are false cognates. Such is the case of prevent / prevenir. The sentence ‘The rain prevented us from playing" cannot be translated into Spanish as “La lluvia nos previno jugar” (sic), since that verb makes absolutely no sense in that specific case; the valid option here would be ‘La lluvia nos impidió jugar’.

 

On the other hand, a sentence such as ‘Le prevengo de que va a llover’, which in Spanish is grammatically correct, in English could only be expressed as ‘I warn you that it's going to rain’.

 

As for ‘Preventing pollution / fires / an epidemy’ etc., it is indeed translated as ‘Prevenir la contaminación / los incendios / una epidemia’, etc.

 

The latter contrasts with cases such as ‘inhabited – inhabitado’, which are false friends in all situations and meanings.

 

   
 

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