False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

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Lao Kou
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lao Kou » Fri 03 Nov 2017, 14:03

:rus: :ukr: зоб (zob) goiter
:fra: zob not exactly the most genteel slang word for the penis
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Iyionaku » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 09:54

:deu: Unterschrift - signature
:swe: utskrift - receipt
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lao Kou » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 11:47

Iyionaku wrote: :deu: Unterschrift - signature
:swe: utskrift - receipt
:deu: Unterschrift - signature
:swe: underskrift - signature

:deu: Ausschrift here
:swe: utskrift - print-out

Et alors? [O.o]
Edit: Okay, guess I'm being bitchy. I speak neither of these languages competently. But if "Unterschrift" and "underskrift" have some overlapping senses of "signature", where is the false friend angle? Is one a referent from bygone days?
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Iyionaku » Fri 10 Nov 2017, 13:41

Lao Kou wrote:
Iyionaku wrote: :deu: Unterschrift - signature
:swe: utskrift - receipt
:deu: Unterschrift - signature
:swe: underskrift - signature

:deu: Ausschrift here
:swe: utskrift - print-out

Et alors? [O.o]
Edit: Okay, guess I'm being bitchy. I speak neither of these languages competently. But if "Unterschrift" and "underskrift" have some overlapping senses of "signature", where is the false friend angle? Is one a referent from bygone days?
I think my definition of a false friend is a little different from what most of the board members consider it to be. For example, I wouldn't see how metallic and метелик should cause any confusion, nor 제일 tɕ͡e.il and jail, just because the words don't bear much more resemblance except for the similar pronunciation and are from languages that are not (at least not closely) related.
Now for my example, it didn't come out of nowhere; I was on vacation in Sweden, ordered food at a monolingual terminal and although (or maybe even because) I can figure out much of written Swedish because it looks similar to German, I was really confused when the terminal said "no utskrift is printed", because I first thought I couldn't order because I couldn't sign (and I was really hungry, believe me!)

Of course, everyday me does not know that there is a word "underskrift" which I only got to know by your post (and yes, this is obvious and totally clear - if you know it!)
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by GrandPiano » Thu 30 Nov 2017, 22:16

Interesting how “lizi” can refer to three different edible things in Mandarin depending on the tone:

:chn: 梨子 lízi “pear”
:chn: 李子 lǐzi “plum”
:chn: 栗子 lìzi “chestnut”
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Alessio » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 17:35

I just realized that "food" in Russian is пища /'pʲiɕːǝ/, which, to my Italian ear, is very similar to Italian piscia /piʃːa/, meaning... well, piss. Quite vulgar of a term as well.
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Tin't inameint ca tót a sàm stê żǒv'n e un po' cajoun, mo s't'armâgn cajoun an vǒl ménga dîr t'armâgn anc żǒven...
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Pabappa » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 20:07

Ah, *now* I get it! I'd always wondered where piscina "swimming pool " comes from!
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » Thu 04 Jan 2018, 23:03

:ara: /ʕuma:n/ "Oman; Country on the Arabian Peninsula :ukr: Умань /umanʲ/ Yiddish /u:man/ "Uman; A city in Central Ukraine that is a Chassidic pilgrimage site"
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Ànradh » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 11:34

English (slang): smashing -- good
Gàidhlig: 's math sin -- that's good

For a long time I was convinced this was a borrowing, but apparently I was wrong... though being a popular folk etymology, it seems I'm not the first to have been so.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Alessio » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 13:22

Pabappa wrote:
Thu 04 Jan 2018, 20:07
Ah, *now* I get it! I'd always wondered where piscina "swimming pool " comes from!
😉
Yeah, you have no idea how many awful jokes we hear about that.
:ita: :eng: [:D] | :fra: :esp: [:)] | :rus: :nld: [:|] | :deu: :fin: :ell: [:(] | :con: Hecathver, Hajás

Tin't inameint ca tót a sàm stê żǒv'n e un po' cajoun, mo s't'armâgn cajoun an vǒl ménga dîr t'armâgn anc żǒven...
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Pabappa » Fri 05 Jan 2018, 18:42

I'm told that in Swedish, :swe: hel "whole" and vete "wheat" are not combined to make a word for whole wheat bread , because if they did the result would be identical with or resemble helvete "Hell".

Presumably, :lat: Helvetia "Switzerland " is unrelated to either of them.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lao Kou » Sat 06 Jan 2018, 09:05

Pabappa wrote:
Fri 05 Jan 2018, 18:42
I'm told that in Swedish, :swe: hel "whole" and vete "wheat" are not combined to make a word for whole wheat bread , because if they did the result would be identical with or resemble helvete "Hell".
This smacks of one of those "and on the lighter side of the news" anecdotes like Spanish speakers not buying the "Nova" car of years past because "No va" means "it doesn't go" (nyuk nyuk).

"Wholewheat bread" seems to be an Americanism, known elsewhere as "whole grain bread" or "wholemeal bread". For this, Swedish has "fullkornsbröd". And even if "hellbread" were not the greatest in brand marketing (and these stories usually revolve around alleged advertising gaffes), one assumes that in conversation, if the term "helvetebröd" ever existed (and given the above, perhaps "fullvetebröd" would sound more natural?), Swedes would be smart enough to discern whether "bread from hell" or "wholewheat bread" was intended.

Now I'm off for a refreshing can of Pocari Sweat.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Omzinesý » Sat 06 Jan 2018, 14:11

Finnish word "rauha" 'peace' "raaha" in Savo dialect.
Arabic راحة /ra:Ha/ 'rest, stillness etc.'
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Aszev » Sun 07 Jan 2018, 14:11

Lao Kou wrote:
Sat 06 Jan 2018, 09:05
Pabappa wrote:
Fri 05 Jan 2018, 18:42
I'm told that in Swedish, :swe: hel "whole" and vete "wheat" are not combined to make a word for whole wheat bread , because if they did the result would be identical with or resemble helvete "Hell".
This smacks of one of those "and on the lighter side of the news" anecdotes like Spanish speakers not buying the "Nova" car of years past because "No va" means "it doesn't go" (nyuk nyuk).

"Wholewheat bread" seems to be an Americanism, known elsewhere as "whole grain bread" or "wholemeal bread". For this, Swedish has "fullkornsbröd". And even if "hellbread" were not the greatest in brand marketing (and these stories usually revolve around alleged advertising gaffes), one assumes that in conversation, if the term "helvetebröd" ever existed (and given the above, perhaps "fullvetebröd" would sound more natural?), Swedes would be smart enough to discern whether "bread from hell" or "wholewheat bread" was intended.

Now I'm off for a refreshing can of Pocari Sweat.
helvete /²hɛlːvɛtɛ/ 'hell'
*helvete /²heːlˌveːtɛ/ 'whole-wheat'

'wholewheat breat' would be fullkornsvetebröd /²fɵlːˌkuːɳʂˌveːtɛˌbrøːd/ (full-grain-wheat-bread), although in more everyday language I think the 'wheat' part would be likely to be skipped.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Imralu » Sun 07 Jan 2018, 14:22

Omzinesý wrote:
Sat 06 Jan 2018, 14:11
Finnish word "rauha" 'peace' "raaha" in Savo dialect.
Arabic راحة /ra:Ha/ 'rest, stillness etc.'
That's one for the false cognates thread.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 02:46

:hkg: 功夫 [koŋ˥fu˥]"Kong fu" 功課 [koŋ˥fɔ˧] "Homework"
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Iyionaku » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 09:52

Shemtov wrote:
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 02:46
:hkg: 功夫 [koŋ˥fu˥]"Kong fu" 功課 [koŋ˥fɔ˧] "Homework"
Note that the auslaut (Pinyin) -ong is actually more closely pronounced as [-ʊŋ].

Speaking of Chinese, I'm still not very far with learning, but what already confusedme

买 mǎi [maɪ̯˨˩˦] - to buy vs. 卖 mài [maɪ̯˥˩] - to sell

Not only are the characters similar (which is not so unusual for phono-semantic compounds, but still very confusing for me here), is the meaning so similar that I can think of myself being exposed to it in real life and terrible confuse it all the time...
Heaven and Earth, but I feel the color of the cake when you keep the Victoria.
I had a mantra on the moss and I had to go to bed.


Oh, and there is a [ɕ] in my name!
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » Fri 12 Jan 2018, 18:52

Iyionaku wrote:
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 09:52
Shemtov wrote:
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 02:46
:hkg: 功夫 [koŋ˥fu˥]"Kong fu" 功課 [koŋ˥fɔ˧] "Homework"
Note that the auslaut (Pinyin) -ong is actually more closely pronounced as [-ʊŋ].

Um.....This is Cantonese, not Mandarin, thus the Hong Kong flag. There is no Pinyin. The Mandarin reflex of 課 is kè /kə˧˩/ not [fɔ˧]. If it was Mandarin,I would have provided Pinyin. This is only a flase friend in Cantonese.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lao Kou » Sat 13 Jan 2018, 05:26

Iyionaku wrote:
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 09:52
Speaking of Chinese, I'm still not very far with learning, but what already confused me

买 mǎi [maɪ̯˨˩˦] - to buy vs. 卖 mài [maɪ̯˥˩] - to sell

Not only are the characters similar (which is not so unusual for phono-semantic compounds, but still very confusing for me here), is the meaning so similar that I can think of myself being exposed to it in real life and terrible confuse it all the time...
I feel your pain, bra, and this is one of the more glaring moments of WTF. But tones are a real thing, not only devised as legerdemain to beguile conlangers and flummox second-language learners. As such, they are perceived as different words, and I have every faith that, if you were here (or in a Chinese-speaking community near you), you would not find it confusing at all (unless your foreigner tones really suck). And so it goes, with Mandarin, Cantonese, and Taiwanese (dialects with which I can profess a passing familiarity) -- different tones, different words. In the worst case scenario, you have context.

Now, you want to get a mind blow-out, go to Shanghainese, where 买 and 卖 are actual homophones (má). But even here, Shanghainese adds a word to help disambiguate 卖脱 for "sell". And of course, context; who's doing the talking on which side of the exchange (check out "borrow" and "lend" in conversational Chinese).
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by clawgrip » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 01:31

In Japanese, the loans are homophonous: 売買 baibai "buying and selling" though at least the normal words for buy and sell are completely different, and simplification had made the characters quite different as well, since only 売 was simplified.
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