False friends in foreign languages

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Friday, February 15th, 2013 In Blog, Translation By Kenna Lee

Best friends or worst enemies?

Beware of false friends!  Surely you have been advised more than once to be careful when making new friends.  Well, anybody learning a foreign language will tell you that in any new language you learn, you will encounter more than one ‘false friend’.  False friends refers to words in foreign languages that sound or are spelt very similarly to a word in your native language and appear to be the same but mean something entirely different. For example, the Italian (now almost universal) word ‘pasta’ means ‘cake’ in Turkish and Greek and the English word ‘gift’ means ‘poison’ in German.  If you rely on these false friends, your waiter will end up serving you a scrumptious Turkish dessert and your German sentence will acquire an unintended twist, especially when you mean to say you gave your business partner a gift! For your translations, don’t fall for false friends; contact a panther that will be your true friend!  Our panthers will guard you against false friends and keep you safe throughout your translating process!

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