False but amusing friends

By Etaoin Shrdlu, in 'Other Languages', Jun 14, 2015.

  1. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    We all know about false friends. Many an anglophone has stared at a German sign saying Notausgang, believing it is not an Ausgang. A Pole in the UK would do well not to expect a hot dog from a stall selling hot pies.

    But some of them are fun, at least if you're childish. Swedish fart is 'speed', opening up endless possibilities of juvenile fun. Farthinder = 'speed bump'. Slut means 'end', and 'final' in compounds, so you can have a perfectly innocent slutspurt if you're a retail outlet. Also in Danish.

    German Fahrt, 'journey', isn't quite as good, but will do at a pinch, given all the Ausfahrt signs you'll see on motorways.

    Dutch slagroom is 'cream'. Well, what did you think it meant?

    Over to you...
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    In French "bite" (the "e" is mute) = "dick"

    Then there's Latin "cum" and English "cum", which sometimes causes problems to tattooists who want a translation of a phrase which requires "cum"...

    Latin "urinari" meaning "to dive", whence "urinator", "diver".

    The neuter plural of Greek "kakos" meaning "bad", "kaka", sounds the same as French "caca" meaning "poo".
  3. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    There's a trend emerging.

    (I was going to say T'habites à Milan? Bon anniversaire! but Uncle Googly tells me there are dozens of this sort of thing.)
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Also Latin "petere" and French "péter", "to fart". Perhaps I should be ashamed here, but it happened to me to smile inwardly and picture a strange spectacle when reading Cicero saying "etiam atque etiam peto".
    Discens Discipulus and Callaina like this.
  5. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Lange Voorhout is a street in den Haag. Now Dutch hout (wood) is cognate with German Holz and not with Haut (skin), but no amount of knowledge can prevent a German from reading that as lange Vorhaut, or 'long foreskin'.
    Ignis Umbra and Pacis puella like this.
  6. Tomer Active Member

    Location:
    Iudaea Capta
    German Sein sounds almost identical to Hebrew for "dick". Although, whilst in Germany, I stopped noticing it quite immediately, it is still some of the stuff of crispy juvenile legends among the young voyeurs, salivating at European legs.
    Hadassah Branch likes this.
  7. Ignis Umbra Ignis Aeternus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    USA
    In Italian, there's the exclamatory Dai!, which means "Come on!" in an urgent way. It's pronounced like "die" in English. I was taken aback when I first heard Italians shouting this at each other. :p
    malleolus likes this.
  8. Iordanus Active Member

    "diu" (for a long time) in Latin sounds like "to f**k" in Cantonese...used to giggle at that all the time when I first learned Latin!
    Last edited by Iordanus, Jun 26, 2015
  9. Tomer Active Member

    Location:
    Iudaea Capta
    Well, fac sounds like f*ck. But I assume it's already worn out by now.

    I guess it means that facit is also an obsolete joke.
    Laurentius likes this.
  10. Imperfacundus Reprobatissimus

    • Civis Illustris
    In georgian, viri means "ass" as in "donkey"

    interestingly, an... an means exactly the same thing as it does in Latin
  11. Tomer Active Member

    Location:
    Iudaea Capta
    English's aloof is almost identical in pronounciation to Hebrew's word for "champion" or "army general". I find it epitomizes our Spartan politics.
  12. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    The Metro, a free newspaper in London, has a sudoku puzzle. To distinguish it from all the other equally boring examples of the genre, it calls it 'Metroku'. This amuses francophones, particularly those who think it's quite a sensible suggestion as to what to do with the things.
    Pacis puella likes this.
  13. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    No matter how many times I see the sign Hier kunt U pinnen ('you can pay by card here'), I can't read it in the way it was intended.
  14. Quasus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Águas Santas
    Portuguese Puxe (with x = sh) on a door means `pull'.
  15. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I see... Well, the Japanese for "no" sounds like "yeah", and the modern Greek for "yes" sound like the Dutch for "no".
  16. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    Location:
    England
    The well known UK company British Telecom is now almost universally known as BT. To A Chinese person our pronunciation of BT sounds almost exactly like their word for "snot".
  17. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Latin prout is written (if not pronounced) exactly the same way as a French word meaning "fart" (noun).
  18. Tomer Active Member

    Location:
    Iudaea Capta
    It might be my amateurish Chinese, but the Mandarin word for 'dinner' gets to sound as if, for the 3rd time now, you're being asked for the whereabouts of a Wi-Fi network.
    Callaina likes this.
  19. Laurentius Weebus Maximus

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Antium
    I wonder if it is because people often do it in swimming pools.
  20. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Canada
    LOL, I didn't know that word and when you wrote it in the RPG thread, I thought... ;) :oops:
    Laurentius likes this.

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