False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

A forum for discussing linguistics or just languages in general.
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Adarain
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Adarain » 03 Aug 2016 20:52

A personal favourite of mine is :deu: liegen vs :nld: liegen, both meaning "to lie"

The German one means "to be in horizontal position", the Dutch one "to tell lies".
At kveldi skal dag lęyfa,
Konu es bręnnd es,
Mæki es ręyndr es,
Męy es gefin es,
Ís es yfir kømr,
Ǫl es drukkit es.

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CMunk
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by CMunk » 03 Aug 2016 22:14

GrandPiano wrote:
opipik wrote:Idi dréngg [drəŋɡ] 'dog' - Bine* drenggo [dreŋɡo] 'dog'

*Boje-Giringarede dialect. The corresponding Kunini form is drego.
Shouldn't this go in the False cognates thread?
In any case, they are both false friends of :dan: dreng [dʁɑe̯ŋ] 'boy'
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HoskhMatriarch
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 03 Aug 2016 23:48

Adarain wrote:A personal favourite of mine is :deu: liegen vs :nld: liegen, both meaning "to lie"

The German one means "to be in horizontal position", the Dutch one "to tell lies".
Oh, that reminds me of this:

:deu: klarkommen - "to get along" and :nld: klaarkommen - "to orgasm"

I'm pretty sure it's not a good idea to try to speak Dutch from German words or vice versa. I read that some German woman was trying to say she got along with her brother in Dutch and used "klaarkommen". That's even worse than "yo soy embarazado".
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Shemtov
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » 08 Aug 2016 07:40

Some inter-Semitic false freinds:
Bib. Heb./ʔalah/ "Harsh Oath" or "Illegal Oath" and Arabic "Allah"
Heb. /barak/ "lightning" Arabic (and various languages of Islam-influenced cultures) /barak/ -A masculine name. The Arabic comes from the word for "Blessed" thus being related to the Heb. name "Boruch"
Heb. /torah/ "Torah" and Aramaic /toraʔ/ "the ox"
Heb./tsadik/ "Pious Man" and Arabic /sˤadi:q/ "Male friend"
Heb. /tsɪdaka/ "Charity" Arabic /sˤadi:qa/ "Female freind"
Heb. /kɛrɛn/"Horn" Arabic "Qu'ran"
Heb. /katavti/ "I wrote" Arabic/katabti/ "you [fem.] wrote"
Heb. /gav/ "Next to" Aramaic /gov/ "den"
Arabic "yasmaḥū" "They may become" Heb. /yismaxu/ "They will rejoice"
Bib. Heb. /mədinah/ "Province" Mdrn. Heb./mɪdina/"Nation-State" Arabic /madinah/ "City"
Heb. /lavan/"white" Arabic /laban/ "Milk"
Heb. /lɛxɛm/ "Bread" Arabic /laħm/ "meat"

And two Hebrew-Japanese ones:
Hebrew /sakana/"Danger" Japanese /sakana/ "Fish"
Heb. [iʃa] "woman" Jap. [iɕa] "Doctor"
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GrandPiano
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by GrandPiano » 13 Aug 2016 04:41

:vie: Vietnamese táo /taːw˧˥/ "apple" - :chn: Mandarin 桃 táo [tʰɑʊ̯˧˥] "peach"

(The funny thing is that :vie: táo is apparently a Chinese loanword, with the Mandarin cognate being 枣 zǎo [t͡sɑʊ̯˨˩˦] "jujube")
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y » 13 Aug 2016 05:38

GrandPiano wrote::vie: Vietnamese táo /taːw˧˥/ "apple" - :chn: Mandarin 桃 táo [tʰɑʊ̯˧˥] "peach"

(The funny thing is that :vie: táo is apparently a Chinese loanword, with the Mandarin cognate being 枣 zǎo [t͡sɑʊ̯˨˩˦] "jujube")
nice pairing you have got! (:

English sine "a trigonometric function", Standard German sein "to be(infinitive), his, its", Manchu sain "good", all of them pronunced as something similar to /sain/

another one: the abbreviation cos can mean "cosine" or "cosplay", mathematicians see cos as a trigonometric function, anime lovers see cos as an activity where one wears like anime/game characters.

moreover, there's a song from a certain Slavic-speaking place titled as "Nekega jutra, ko se zdani": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5NqmoyoYuo , and "ko se zdani" is a legitimate sentence in Lojban(although Lojban is technically a conlang).
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by HoskhMatriarch » 13 Aug 2016 05:52

k1234567890y wrote:"peach"


English sine "a trigonometric function", Standard German sein "to be(infinitive), his, its", Manchu sain "good", all of them pronunced as something similar to /sain/
Well, Standard German sein is pronounced as /zaɪ̯n/, although someone speaking Standard German with a Swabian or one of a few other southern German accents could say it with /s/ instead of /z/ (I mean just the accent, not full-on dialect). (Also, I hope "southern German" is the correct term here. I once referred to Paderborn as being in "northern Germany" and someone got offended, saying "no, it's western Germany". Like, I understand that it's not in The North™ of Germany the same way the U.S. states of Oklahoma and New Mexico are not in The South™ of the U.S., but it's still in the northern half geographically, and in German German there seems to be a few things that are different in terms of accents just by latitude, like the aforementioned /s/ vs. /z/ initially, and the accent in Paderborn definitely goes with the higher latitude accents in terms of attributes. East vs. west doesn't seem to have that kind of effect, although there's definitely differences between individual Eastern and Western regions). Also I'm just sort of used to South Germans calling everyone above Bavaria and Swabia North Germans for some reason.
k1234567890y wrote: moreover, there's a song from a certain Slavic-speaking place titled as "ko se zdani": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5NqmoyoYuo , and "ko se zdani" is a legitimate sentence of Lojban.
What does it mean though?
Last edited by HoskhMatriarch on 13 Aug 2016 05:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Khemehekis » 13 Aug 2016 05:56

k1234567890y wrote: another one: the abbreviation cos can mean "cosine" or "cosplay", mathematicians see cos as a trigonometric function, anime lovers see cos as an activity where one wears like anime/game characters.
I see cos as a kind of lettuce.
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Zythros Jubi
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Zythros Jubi » 13 Aug 2016 11:18

:bul: горелка means "gas burner", and its Ukrainian cognate горілка and :pol: gorzełka means "distilled liquor". :rus: горелка means "gas burner" and used as a synonym for vodka in Southern Russia and Ukraine. (formerly spelled горѣлка IIRC)

Another interesting coincidence is :rou: :mda: dragoste "love" and :lit: draugystė "friendship".
Last edited by Zythros Jubi on 20 Mar 2017 09:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by shimobaatar » 13 Aug 2016 15:33

HoskhMatriarch wrote: Well, Standard German sein is pronounced as /zaɪ̯n/
I think they probably know that, given that they said it was pronounced "similar to /sain/", not exactly like that.

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Zythros Jubi » 14 Aug 2016 16:46

:pol: pole field, Polska Poland
:lit: lenkė valley, Lenkija Poland

Actually lenkė also means Pole (feminine).
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Fanael
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Fanael » 14 Aug 2016 17:24

Zythros Jubi wrote::pol: pole field, Polska Poland
Not a coincidence, considering that's where the name comes from.

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Ear of the Sphinx
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Ear of the Sphinx » 14 Aug 2016 17:46

Zythros Jubi wrote::bul: горелка means "gas burner", and its Ukrainian cognate горілка (formerly spelled горѣлка IIRC) and :pol: gorzełka means "distilled liquor". :rus: горелка means "gas burner" and used as a synonym for vodka in Southern Russia and Ukraine.
A nitpick: it's :pol: gorzałka, not gorzełka. (Also, it's pronounced differently, :pol: [ɡɔˈʐawka] vs :rus: [ɡɐˈrʲelkə].)
Another interesting coincidence is :rou: :mda: dragoste "love" and :lit: draugystė "friendship".
This one is indeed interesting, given the former comes from PSl. *dorg- dear and the latter is a cognate to PSl. *drug- friend.
:deu: klarkommen - "to get along" and :nld: klaarkommen - "to orgasm"
There's a worse one.

:eng: come - "to arrive" and :eng: come - "to orgasm"

[:P]
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y » 16 Aug 2016 06:30

English fan and Standard German Föhn

has this been listed?
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y » 16 Aug 2016 22:04

HoskhMatriarch wrote:
What does it mean though?
Sorry for the late, it seems that "ko se zdani" means "when Daniel" in Slovenian and "belong to a home!" in Lojban
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.

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GrandPiano
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by GrandPiano » 17 Aug 2016 04:38

:jpn: 保母 hobo "daycare worker in a kindergarten" - :eng: hobo
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y » 17 Aug 2016 05:21

GrandPiano wrote::jpn: 保母 hobo "daycare worker in a kindergarten" - :eng: hobo
sounds nice (:

Japanese あかり(akari) "light" or "a female given name", the eastern dialect of Torres Strait Creole akari "the husband of one's wife's sister", and Ancient Greek ákari(ἄκαρι) “cheese mite, tick”

In Japanese, Akari is a female; while in the eastern dialect of Torres Strait Creole, akari is a male...

In Japanese, Akari sounds to be something graceful; while in Ancient Greek, akari sounds to be something disgraceful...
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » 17 Aug 2016 06:38

Zythros Jubi wrote::rou: :mda: dragoste
Din tei, Numa Numa ei.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Iyionaku » 17 Aug 2016 08:58

HoskhMatriarch wrote: Also I'm just sort of used to South Germans calling everyone above Bavaria and Swabia North Germans for some reason.
I would really like to tag a bunch of my friends here. I am Swabian and it's pretty much that (although Hessia and Rhineland Palatina are somewhat called "Mid Germany"). We always argue that it's even in the name of their country. If it's already NORTH rine westphalia, than countries even more northern are certainly north...

They all refer to themselves as "Middle Germany", though.

Some that have come to mind for me (don't know though if they are already listed)

English to realize and German realisieren (actually meaning "to implement", but also "to realize" due to English influence)

English antbear and German Ameisenbär (actually an anteater, antbear is "Erdferkel", literally "dirtpig", in German)
English deep-fried and German tiefgefroren (actually "frozen")
English old-timer and German Oldtimer (actually an old car)
English encrypt and German entschlüsseln (actually "decrypt" (!) )

And also very dangerous: English "10 over 3" is 3.333, while German "10 über 3" is 120!
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by gestaltist » 17 Aug 2016 09:39

Iyionaku wrote: And also very dangerous: English "10 over 3" is 3.333, while German "10 über 3" is 120!
How do these work? I've never come across either expression.

A very confusing one between English and German is:

English: to irritate (=to annoy)
German: irritieren (=to confuse)

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