miércoles, 1 de mayo de 2013


Today, the english is one of the most important languages used in the world, but... Is it an objective language? Is it a language to translate literally? Although some do it, no, it isn´t.
The "False friends" are words which lead to confusion. They are pronounced or written similarly in different languages ​​but they have different meanings. This words usually derived from Latin, so they have a similar root, but they don´t mean the same. I think that some of this words are big curiosities.
For example:

  • "Constipated" usually give much play. We may think that it means someone has a cold., but really that´s not true. "Constipated" describes the person suffering from constipation and not one who suffers from runny nose, cough, headache or cold symptoms.
  • "Recluse" is a person who chooses to live alone and avoids contact with their partners and not a prisoner, or a prisoner in jail as many think.
  • "Squalid" is an adjective that refers to something extremely dirty and it´s used more to describe locations than people. If we label someone "squalid",his problem is solved with a hot bath and not swelling to eat.
  • "Travesty" can raises laughs and an extensive discussion, very common in class, but the meaning trick. The first thing all students suggest is, of course, refers to a person who likes to dress as a woman or man, but the English word of that is "transvestite". Our false friend is an injustice. It can be used in a context of social and political criticism.
  • And we can not forget about "Vicious". A word that is used with enormous freedom every time. When someone doesn´t know how to express that someone has a bad habit such as nail biting or smoking a lot. In English, the use of "vicious" means someone violent or with strong character, and not the previously mentioned meaning.
Knowing all these little details, we make the english a more rich language, culturally and linguistically.

Don´t forget to have caution with false friends.

María Hernández Galván.

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