How Would You Translate These Words?

False friends are words in different languages that look or sound similar but have different meanings.

If you’re not careful, they can lead to confusion or embarrassment. Or, if you’re lucky, to just a good old laugh.

Here’s a quiz with some typical false friends,

How would you translate them?

  1. backside a) Hintern b) Rückseite

  2. blackboard a) schwarzes Brett b) Schultafel

  3. undertaker a) Leichenbestatter/in b) Unternehmer/in

  4. to blame someone a) jemanden blamieren b) jemanden beschuldigen

  5. sensible a) vernünftig b) sensibel

  6. formula a) Form b) Formel

  7. gymnasium a) Gymnasium b) Turnhalle

  8. half four a) half fünf b) halb vier

  9. to be lucky a) glücklich sein b) Glück haben

  10. overhear a) mitbekommen b) überhören

And the answers

  1. a
  2. b
  3. a
  4. b
  5. a
  6. b
  7. b
  8. a
  9. b
  10. a

So how did you do?

I know false friends can be tricky. So just be careful.


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Foto Christine Sparks

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