Discussion: [VG] Faux amis / false friends


Senior Member
List thread / Liste : click

A quoi sert de créer une liste pour ce qui existe déjà ? Je vous donne juste une "short-list" ...

A to abuse / abuser ( to abuse = insulter / abuser = to take advantage)

C caution / caution ( caution = prudence / caution = guarantee)

D to deceive / décevoir ( to deceive = tromper / décevoir = to disappoint)

E expertise / expertise ( expertise = compétence / expertise = expert's report)

Note de la modératrice : tous les emprunts, excédant un paragraphe, d'autres sources que les dictionnaires de WR seront supprimés, quel que soit leur intérêt, pour des raisons légales.
Je vous rappelle ici la règle numéro 14 du forum :
No web pages or copyrighted or plagiarized content may be inserted into WordReference posts. Minor fair use excerpts from dictionaries such as a definition/translation or two is permitted. Other quotes of less than one paragraph (4 sentences) are permitted as well. All other forms of inserted content from press releases, newsletters, web pages, or any other copyrighted content placed into messages will be removed without exception. A link to the content is acceptable and appropriate.

Mise à jour OK :tick:
  • Kelly B

    USA English
    suppress/supprimer (suppress = étouffer / supprimer = eliminate)

    mise à jour ok :tick:

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Very true, Emma. :thumbsup:
    This is the reason why I added the mention Only the false friend senses are mentioned at the top of each list.


    Senior Member
    phrase (sentence) vs phrase (expression)
    senior (old) vs senior (confirmé)

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    Senior Member
    luxurious (luxueux) / luxurieux (lustful)
    chat (causette, tchatche) / chat (cat)

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    Senior Member
    curator (library or museum) / conservateur (bibliothèque ou musée)
    executive / exécutif (réservé au vocabulaire politique : relatif à la mise en œuvre, à l'exécution des lois)
    franchise / franchise (part d'un dommage assuméee par l'assuré(e))
    mutual / mutuelle (association à but non lucratif)
    preservative (anything that preserves) / preservatif (agent de contraception)

    Mise à jour OK :tick:


    Senior Member
    je pense aussi à library vs librairie
    et à sensible qui ne veut pas dire sensible mais sensé c'est bien ça ?

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    Senior Member
    Spanish, English, French
    Éventuellement = hypothétiquement, le cas échéant, peut-être, possiblement, s’il y a lieu, si besoin (est), si l’occasion se présente, si nécessaire, si possible.
    Eventually = ultimement, en définitive, en dernière analyse, en fin de compte, finalement.

    Mise à jour OK :tick:


    Senior Member
    France - French
    Don't you think "we" should look for a manner to save all these words in order to find them again very rapidly / easily ? A kind of list... Otherwise it will never end and we couldn't have a quick look on them :

    accommodate Vs accommoder ==> loger Vs prepare / focus

    assume Vs assumer ==> supposer Vs take (on)

    cave Vs cave ==> grotte Vs cellar

    chip Vs chips ==> puce (info) Vs crisps

    comprehensive Vs compréhensif ==> complet Vs understanding

    consistent Vs consistant ==> cohérent / logique Vs substantial / thick

    deceive Vs décevoir ==> tromper Vs disappoint

    distract Vs distrait ==> divertir Vs absent-minded

    fabric Vs fabrique ==> tissu Vs factory

    reticent Vs réticent ==> peu communicatif Vs hesitant

    rude Vs rude ==> impoli / grossier Vs harsh / rough

    vacant Vs vacances ==> libre Vs holidays / vacation

    god Vs gode ... OK OK, just kidding :eek: :eek: :p :rolleyes: :confused:

    ;) to be continued.... :D

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    Kelly B

    USA English
    obfuscate/offusquer obfuscate = to make something less clear (obscurcir); offusquer = to offend

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    Senior Member
    UK, English
    agony/agonie (agony = extreme pain/agonie = throes of death)
    to agonize/agoniser (to agonize = to suffer anguish or agony/to die, to be dying)

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    Senior Member
    France - French
    gross/grosse ==> brute, grossier, cru/big (female gender)

    rare in English could define the cooking of a piece of meat,
    in French it's only used to express the rarity/scarcity of something

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    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Agnès E. said:
    Thank you, Elroy. :)
    Nevertheless, may I remind you that this sub-forum is not devoted to discussing the language, but suggesting words or phrases according to a given theme. It is a bit special, I know, we all have to get used to it. ;)

    I am going to open a new thread in the French-English forum to discuss about the meanings of mention, as your... comment ;) is very interesting.
    Thank you for your understanding.

    I understand, but the only reason I mentioned it is that it's a false friend! :) I was, in fact, adding to the list.

    To make it more official:

    mention [FR]: comment
    mention [EN]: mentionner

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    Senior Member
    consist in = consister à / consister en (ou dans) = consist of.

    C'est un peu limite, mais il y a un réel problème avec les constructions, faussement parallèles.


    Senior Member
    rest = pause, suite / reste = remainder, residue
    to rest = résider, se reposer / rester = stay

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    Senior Member
    bonjour, Agnès !

    defile = tacher (without ^) / défiler = parade, unwind

    Mise à jour OK :tick:

    ... et encore un, dont je m'étonne qu'il nous ait échappé jusqu'ici :

    global = mondial / global = comprehensive

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    Senior Member
    to be concerned (eng) => etre inquiet, etre préocupé
    concerner (fr) => to reffer, relate

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    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Voici les faux amis que j'ai recueillis récemment.

    special/spécial (special = particulier, exceptionnel / spécial = peculiar, odd)
    normal(ly)/normal(ement) (normally = d'habitude / normalement = all going well, as a rule)
    exceptional(ly)/exceptionnel(lement) (exceptional = very good / exceptionnel = as an exception, as a one off)
    speed/speed (speed (n.) = vitesse / speed (adj., familier) = wired)
    fastidious/fastidieux (fastidious (describes a person) = exigeant / fastidieux (décrit un travail) = tedious)
    punctual/ponctuel (punctual = qui arrive à l'heure / ponctuel = 1) punctual; 2) intermittant, isolated
    tomato puree/purée de tomates (tomato puree = concentré de tomates / purée de tomates = tomato sauce (?))
    powdered sugar/sucre en poudre (powdered sugar (US) = sucre-glace / sucre en poudre = (granulated) sugar)

    (Does ponctual/punctual count as a false friend? I tend to hear the second meaning a lot more than the first (but then I live in the Midi :p ).)

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    Senior Member
    English UK
    A similar one sprang to mind, reading Aupick's list.
    éventuellement/eventually (éventuellement= possibly, potentially / eventually=finally)

    Mise à jour OK :tick:


    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    attendre vs. attend
    attendre -> to wait ;
    attend -> aller à, assister à

    advertissement vs. advertisment
    advertissement -> warning, caution;
    advertisement-> rèclam, publicité

    biais vs. bias
    biais->way, means;
    bias->tendency, prejudice
    biais=bias only in reference to fabric

    bigot vs. bigot
    bigot->zealously religious;
    bigot->fanatic, prejudiced

    blesser vs. bless
    blesser-> to wound, injure, offend;

    bras vs. bras
    bras->plural of bra, French soutien-gorge

    chair vs. chair
    chair->flesh (as a noun) and flesh-colored (as an adjective);
    chair-> chaise, fauteuil

    Christian vs. Christian
    Christian -> masc. French name (don’t know the translation)
    Christian -> chrétien/-ienne (both an adjective and a noun)

    college vs. college
    collège-> highschool;

    con vs. con
    con->f*cking (as an adjective) and c*nt (as a noun);
    cun->escroquerie, taulard

    crayon vs. crayon
    crayon-> pencil;
    crayon-> craie grasse, crayon de couleur

    déception vs. deception
    deception->tromperie, duperie

    entrée vs. entrée
    here I’m not sure since various sources have different definitions ; French entrée means entrance, entry, starter; I think the difference may be in American and British meaning of this word, AE entrée is a main course and British has the same meaning as French, please confirm this or otherwise :)

    football vs. football
    same as above, though the difference is rather clear:
    football->football BE, soccer AE;
    AE football-> le football américain

    formidable vs. formidable
    formidable->great, very good
    formidable-> redoubtable

    gratuité vs. gratuity
    gratuité-> anything for free la gratuité de l’éducation – free education
    gratuity-> pourboire

    gros vs. gross
    gros->big ,fat heavy ; serious ;
    gross->grosse (n); brut; vulgaire (adj)

    inconvénient vs. inconvinient
    inconvénient->is a noun (drawback, disadvantage);
    inconvienient-> an adjective (inoportune, hard to reach)

    raisin vs. raisin
    raisin-> grape
    raisin-> raisin sec

    robe vs. robe
    robe-> dress, gown
    robe-> peignoir

    sale vs. sale
    sale->dirty (adj)
    sale->vente (n)

    Sorry if I doubled someone’s entry.

    Mise à jour OK :tick:


    Senior Member
    England English
    affluence (anglais) = opulence, richesse
    affluence (fr.) = crowd
    affluent (ang) = riche
    affluent (fr.) =tributary


    England living in France
    The beach sandals called in BE "(a pair of) thongs" (Fr "lanière") are usually called "tongs" in French commercial catalogues.
    Tongs (Fr) = beach sandals
    Tongs (BE) = pinces (pour attraper bûches ou charbon dans le feu)


    English France
    KittyCatty said:
    J'ai seulement 1: rude(fr)/rude(eng)
    rude (fr) = rough/ rude (eng) = impoli

    Actually the real meaning of rude in English IS rough, hence the use to describe rough (rude) language, and is still used to describe rough/rude things e.g. a rude hovel etc. Though in general usage you are also of course correct.