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  1. pejeman

    pejeman Senior Member

    Hi:

    I have encountered the expression "falsos amigos" or "amigos falsos" to mean "words identical or very much alike both in English and in Spanish, but with quite different meanings". At first I couldn't really understand what that meant.

    That word "amigos" does not click to me. I`d rather say "falsos gemelos" "false twins". And the only reason I can imagine is that in Mexico "cuate" means both "twin" and "close friend" and that someone living in Mexico may have translated "cuate" (twin) as "amigo", and coined "falso amigo" instead of "falso gemelo".

    Is it so or is there another source for "falso amigo"?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. alc112

    alc112 Senior Member

    Concordia, Entre Ríos
    Argentina Spanish
    Yo siempre conocí esas palabras por Falsos amigos o False friends.

    Yo pienso que es porque en realidad esas palabras supuestamente "transparentes" te dan una ayuda, que se los toma com amigos por dar esa facilidad, pero en realidad son falsos :) :D
     
  3. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English
    I first learned of "false friends" (faux amis) when studying French. Each lesson in the textbook usually contained a list of faux amis). In this forum I have noticed that some use the term falsos cognados. There have been several threads on this subject. See, for example, http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=21541 and http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=26748

    Actually I don't like the term false cognate since normally the words are cognates in the sense that they have the same root, but their meaning are now different.
     
  4. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English
  5. Blehh.

    Blehh. Junior Member

    Houston.
    USA, English
    Ew, amigos falsos. And I love Wikipedia, but that article up there is just waaay too much information.
     
  6. DCPaco Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    Spanish of Mexico/ English of the USA
    cuate = in my region of Mexico we use it for "fraternal twins"
    gemelo= identical twin

    cuate = buddy, pal, friend, etc.
     
  7. DCPaco Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    Spanish of Mexico/ English of the USA
  8. pejeman

    pejeman Senior Member

    In Sonora we use it for twin sisters too. "Las cuatitas" means two little twin sisters.

    Saludos
     
  9. JB

    JB Senior Member

    Santa Monica, CA, EEUU
    English (AE)
    Un desacuerdo con Pejeman.

    1. The reason "false cognate" is a valid term, is that cognates, by definition, are words now having about the same meaning, that come from the same root, but have diverged slightly in spelling and pronunciation. So we get intelligence, inteligencia, intelligence (French) and probably similar terms in Portuguese and Romanian .

    2. False cogates (cognados falsos) do NOT necessarily have the same roots, they only appear to be similar. Even in English, one "spring" comes from Latin, one from German. As both changed in pronunciation, they gradually came to be spelled / pronounced identically.

    3. On the other hand, in Don Quijote you will find embarazada used to mean what embarrassed means in Englih. Only over time, used as a euphemism in Spanish for pregnant, did it come to have its current meaning, maknig it, in current usage, a cognado falso.

    4. The reason I do not like the term "false friends" is because it sounds like a hcildren's term.

    5. No one has mentioned partial false cognates, which are the trickiest to translate. For example, adecuado sometimes translates as adecuate and sometimes as appropriate, and sometimes both will fit in the same context. If you remember the O.J. Simpson trial, the housekeeper, Rosa López got upset when her interpreter, who spoke wonderful English, mis'translated "mi rancho" as "my ranch" instead of "my town" and ended up with someone from El Salvador, who spoke great Spanish, but broken English.

    6. Once in Mexico, a Mexican friend working for Mexicana Airlines, had me review her speech, writen in English, to be given to some U.S: travel agents coming to Los Cabos. One line said "Welcome to your new destiny," which I thought a bit strong. I asked her what she was saying in Spanish. She said "destino," which is, in fact, destiny. Only after I consulted a dictionary did I learn that destino is both destiny abd destination. I can understand the connection, why it would be the same word in Spanish, but of course in English they are seen as to distinct concepts. The same woman (who spoke a lot of English) told me she had "won 10 pounds." First I thought she had won 10 British Pounds in a lottery. It turned out she had gained 10 lbs. weight. In Spanish, same word ganar.

    The partial false cognates are the real mothers for translators. And in this case, for some reason, mother and madre need no explanation. (Madre bad, Padre good. Not sure why. Subject for another thread.)
     
  10. pejeman

    pejeman Senior Member

     
  11. pachanga7 Senior Member

    Southeast U.S.
    U.S. English
    Por mi parte imagino que la frase se originó en inglés que la inventó así debido a su predilección por la aliteración del sonido efe, y de allí a los otros idiomas donde perdió esa gracia y por tanto algo del sentido, ¿qué opinan?
     
  12. Dr. Quizá

    Dr. Quizá Senior Member

    Esuri - Huelva York.
    Spain - Western Andalusian Spanish.
    Tranquilo, que la todopoderosa RAE dice que "falso amigo" está bien :p

     
  13. pejeman

    pejeman Senior Member

    Entonces no les queda mal lo de falsos cuates, que cubre tanto el aspecto de amistad, como el de ser gemelos.:D

    Saludos
     
  14. loladamore Senior Member

    Zacatecas, México
    English UK
    Creo que falsos cuates queda muy bien, peje. Habrá que proponer el término como variante mexicano de falsos amigos.

    Let's just go with the faux.
     
  15. JB

    JB Senior Member

    Santa Monica, CA, EEUU
    English (AE)
    Le agradezco todos sus comentarios. Yo entendía que "estoy embarazada" sólo llevaba el significado de "estoy encinta" in nada más.

    Acerca de la frase citada arriba, que "en México nadie gana" tengo que decirte que, al menos, hay una excepción. Repito que ella, una mujer mexicana, empleada de Aerolíneas Mexicana, me dijo a mí, al principio, "I won 10 pounds" y después, cuando no entendí, dijo en español "Gané 10 libras." Puede que ser un regionalismo de Baja Calif. Sur, pero a que yo recuerda, había nacido en otra parte, y se mudó allá por razones del trabajo. Además, eso pasó hace 20 años. SI Ud. es muy joven, puede ser una acepcion "anticuado" de su punto de vista, más o menos actual para mí.
     
  16. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English
    Como ya dije, la primera vez que la encontré era en una classe de francés en la forma-- "faux-amis". Y por lo menos a mí, me suena muy suave en francés. :)
     
  17. JB

    JB Senior Member

    Santa Monica, CA, EEUU
    English (AE)
    Entiendo lo que dices, y no le critico, pero agrego que: Todo suena suave en francés. Es la Ley Número Uno de francés, donde agregan o quitan letras o sílabas enteras para que todo suene bien. Ya que esto no es el Foro Francés, no me atrevo a decir mucho más, pero a mí, yo creo que, poniendo atención sólo al sonido, "Je vais manger de la merde"* suena algo romántico, ¿no?

    *Voy a comer mierda.
     
  18. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English
    I wouldn't go that far. :)
     
  19. loladamore Senior Member

    Zacatecas, México
    English UK
    I heard faux amis used in English before I ever heard of 'false friends' or falsos amigos. It looks like Edwin is quite right in that the term originated in French. Interestingly enough, the Spanish wiki page on falsos amigos acknowledges that Koessler and Derocquigny were the first to use the term faux amis in the title of their book (1928). I wonder why that isn't mentioned in the English version?

    Wikipedia aside, various other sources confirm that both 'false friends' and falsos amigos are calques. The original term is French.

    Saludos/salutations/salut?
     

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