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To Be a Travel Agent » Travel Tutorials » Italian Language Lessons: Italian false friends. I falsi amici.

Italian Language Lessons: Italian false friends. I falsi amici.

Falsi amici (French: faux amis) also known as false friends, are pairs of words or phrases in two languages or dialects (or letters in two alphabets*) that seem to be similar but actually have completely different meanings. One example is “target” and “targhetta”; in Italian, “target” means “bersaglio”, and, in English, “targhetta” actually means “nametag”. The advanced credit class studied the concept of false friends, created their own list of examples, and then found more examples online, which they then used to teach the other credit classes about falsi amici.

The term should be distinguished from “false cognates”, which are similar words in different languages that appear to have a common historical linguistic origin (whatever their current meaning) but actually do not.

*for example the letter “P” in the russian alphabet equivals to the “R” of the Latin alphabet. The “B” equivals to “V” and so on…

Here is a list of Italian / English false friends

INGLESE ITALIANO ITALIANO INGLESE
Accident Incidente Accidenti Damn
Actually In realtà Attualmente Currently
Addiction Assuefazione Addizione Sum
Annoyed Infastidito Annoiato Bored
Argument Discussione Argomento Subject
Attend Seguire Attendere Wait
Bell Campanello,
campana
Bello Beautiful
Camera Macchina fotografica Camera Room
Car Macchina Carro Carriage
Cold Freddo Caldo Hot
Corpse Cadavere Corpo Body
Cucumber Cetriolo Cocomero Watermelon
Cute Carino Cute Skin
Delusion Illusione Delusione Disappointment
Drag Trascinare Drago Dragon
Education Istruzione Educazione Upbringing
Entitled Avente
diritto a
Intitolato Titled
Eventually Alla fine Eventualmente Possibly
Gymnasium Palestra Ginnasio High school
Ingenuity Ingegnosità Ingenuità Naivety
Lecture Conferenza Lettura Reading
Library Biblioteca Libreria Bookstore,
bookshelf
Luxury Lusso Lussuria Lust
Magazine Rivista Magazzino Warehouse
Make
sense
Avere senso / Essere corretto Fare senso To disgust
Mess Confusione Messa Mass
Morbid Morboso Morbido Soft
Noisy Rumoroso Noioso Boring
Of
course
Naturalmente Di corsa In a hurry
Pane Lastra di
vetro
Pane Bread
Parent Genitore Parente Relative
Patent Brevetto Patente Driver’s
License
Petrol Benzina Petrolio Oil
Pin Spillo Pino Pine
Policy Piano Polizia Police
Portfolio Portadocumenti Portofolio Wallet
Pretend Fingere Pretendere Assume
Process Elaborare Processare Put on trial
Rotten Marcio Rotto Broken
Rumor Pettegolezzo Rumore Noise
Sensible Assennato Sensibile Sensitive
Spill Versare Spillo Pin
Storm Temporale Stormo Flock
Stranger Sconosciuto Straniero Foreigner
Sympathetic Compassionevole Simpatico Likeable
Tap Rubinetto Tappo Cork
Tight Stretto Tight Morning coat
Tub Vasca da
bagno
Tubo Tube
Ultimate Fondamentale Ultimo Last
Vacancy Posto libero Vacanza Vacation
Verse Strofa Verso Line

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8 Responses to "Italian Language Lessons: Italian false friends. I falsi amici."

  1. Lateo says:

    Bell’articolo. Attenzione però ad alcuni errori:

    - Ellaborare (elaborare)
    - Assinato (assennato)
    - Vasca di bagno (vasca da bagno)

    1. Grazie mille! abbiamo corretto

  2. Prash says:

    Very good article. For someone who has studied entirely in English and now trying to learn Italian, these words are like a minefield. I am guilty of using most of them and have my well-meaning conversations thrown off-track

  3. Prash says:

    One example is “target” and “targhetta”; in Italian, “target” means “bersaglio”, and, in English, “targhetta” actually means “nametag”.

    potrei indicare un piccola errore qui. mi credo tu hai significato “in English ‘target’ significa ‘bersaglio’ e in Italiano ‘targhetta’ significa effetivamente ‘name tag’” invece di che hai scritto.

    cmq, è un articol eccellente

  4. [...] To Be A Travel Agent: Nico de Corato, “Italian Language Lessons: Italian false friends. I falsi amici.”: http://www.tobetravelagent.com/italian-language-lessons-course-on-line-italian-false-friends-i-falsi… [...]

  5. [...] and “here”; and that’s before we even get into inequalities in education, etymology and translation [...]

  6. Massimo says:

    novel = romanzo
    Novella (composizione breve) si dice sempre “novella” e “fiaba” è “Fairy Tale”

  7. Astorni says:

    italian gonzo = simpleton, gullible
    english gonzo = stravagante, bizzarro, pazzo

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