False Friends – Amigos Falsos

If you rent long term on the Costa del Sol, learning Spanish can make your time here a lot more enjoyable. The Spanish people are very polite, and you find they are willing to help you much more if you make an effort to speak their language rather than just asking if they speak yours.

False friends are words in one language that are similar or identical to words in another, but whose meanings are different. Here are a few every day words that fall into this category. Hope this helps misunderstandings or indeed embarrassing moments!

Spanish English English Spanish
actual present day actual real, efectivo
apología eulogy, defense apologyexcusa
asistir to attend (e.g school) assistayudar
atender to take care of, attend to attend asistir
complexión build (body), temperament complexiontez
decepción disappointment decepcion engaño
desgracia misfortune disgracevergüenza
embarazada pregnant embarrassingembarazoso
emocionante exciting, thrilling emocional emocional
éxito sucess exit salida
faltar to be lacking faultculpa
gracioso funny graciouscortés
ignorar to not know something ignoreno hacer caso de
largo long large grande
once eleven onceuna vez
ordinario common, vulgar ordinarycomún, corriente
pariente relative parents padres
quitar to remove, take away quitdejar
realizar to achieve, make real realisedarse cuenta
red net redrojo
sano healthy sanecuerdo
sentencia prison sentence sentencefrase
simpático nice, pleasant sympathetic compasivo
suceso event, happening successéxito
trampa cheat trampvagabundo

Michelle Lewis is a Spanish Teacher, Translator and Interpreter. She can help with a wide range of issues in Spanish including; NIE, residency, registering at the medical centre, medical appointments, importation of cars, problems with the Town Hall, the gestor, the police, or Telefonica. Email michellejlewis@hotmail.com or call 680 155 254 for more information.



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Learning Spanish – False Friends