How do we say actually in Portuguese? Is it atualmente? Are you sure about that? In a restaurant, if you feel like eating beef, will order bife in Portuguese? Hum… I don’t think so! When you are watching a movie, do you normally read the subtitles? Or should we say subtítulos? Wrong again! My favourite part of the day is lunchtime. That means hora do lanche? Ups… wrong answer!
These are the kind of mistakes we make quite often. In fact, when we are speaking is very common to use words that look or sound similar, but differ significantly in meaning. False friends can cause difficulty for students learning a foreign language, particularly one that is related to their native language, because students are likely to identify the words wrongly due to linguistic interference.
|English – Portuguese||Portuguese – English|
|actually||na verdade, de facto||atualmente||currently, nowadays|
|beef||carne de vaca||bife||steak|
|lunchtime||hora do almoço||hora do lanche||snack time|
|data||dados (números, informações)||data||date|
|chef||chefe de cozinha||chefe||boss|
|costume||roupa de fantasia||costume||habit, custom|
|to pull||puxar||pular||to jump|
|to push||empurrar||puxar||to pull|
Whether the translation is English-Portuguese or Spanish-Portuguese, the number of false friends (falsos amigos) is big. Please, take some minutes and have a look to the following examples. Pay attention and be careful every time you use them!
Did you memorize all of them? Hope so! Now, it’s your turn to do some homework. What is the meaning in Portuguese of the following words?
novel, lamp, expert, fabric, legend, library, office, pork, eventually, policy.
The answers will be given in the next post.