In Science By Lily

False friends of interpreters. And again about false friends

But sometimes things are not so simple. Many have experienced great disappointment when they learned that the magazine really is not any shop. Such words, for obvious reasons, is called false friends (false friends of interpreters). The scientific name for this phenomenon — interlingual homonyms. They, incidentally, is not particularly exclusively in English, because such examples are found in a totally different language pairs, such as Ukrainian, Polish, German and French, and so on. D. For the Russian-speaking person to learn English, false friends — this is the English word , similar to the Russian accent, but with a different meaning. Where is the similarity? Perhaps the word was borrowed by both Russian and English of, say, Latin. But Russian compared with the English word was filled with a different value. Although in some cases the values ​​were the same initially, but there was a difference in time. After all, language is — a living organism, so these processes are quite natural.

  • Learn more about homonyms in English, you can read the article Victoria.

When people talk about values ​​do not match, do not always have in mind the complete absence of similarity between the word and its false counterpart. With this in mind, we can distinguish three groups of Russian-English homonyms:

  • Words with a complete mismatch values.
  • Words with partial mismatch values.
  • The words that are used in several meanings, among which are similar, not similar to Russian counterparts.

We invite you to go through all those groups and to examine some interesting examples of false friends.

Words with a complete mismatch values

Here, everything is very categorical. The word has no points of contact with the Russian consonant goal. Green color indicates the correct definition of the words, while the red — false. Brown highlighted words corresponding to «false» definitions.

  1. Accurate — accurate.

    Correct and true in every detail.
    Someone who is tidy and keeps their house, clothes etc. neat and clean.

    Neat tidy.

    I am afraid the description of goods on this website is not accurate. — I’m afraid that the description of the goods on this site is not accurate.

    Please try to keep your room tidy. — Please try to keep your room in order.

  2. Actually — in fact, it really is.

    Word used for emphasizing what is really true or what really happened.
    Something real and not merely possible or imagined, existing in fact.

    Actual (-o) — topical (ly).

    I have not seen you for ages. Since we graduated from the university actually. — I have not seen you for ages. In fact, since we graduated from university.

    This book deals with really topical problems. — This book deals with the really urgent problems.

  3. Insult — insult, humiliate.

    To offend someone by saying or doing something they think is rude.

    Stroke, stroke stroke.

    I am sorry. I did not want to insult you. — I’m sorry. I did not mean to offend you.

    He looked after his grandmother after she had a stroke. — He took care of his grandmother after she had a stroke.

Words with partial mismatch values

Here, we highlight the word, some lexical meanings which are similar, but they are old, rarely used, it is not correct, and so on. D. The last marked in blue.

  1. Invalid — invalid, wrong. The meaning of «disabled person» is used rarely. This value is obsolete and also politically incorrect. It is better to use: disabled person.

    A contract, ticket, claim etc. that is invalid is not legally or officially acceptable.
    Someone who can not look after themselves because of illness, old age, or injury.

    This ticket is invalid. It’s torn. — The ticket is invalid. He is torn.

    This building has an access for disabled people. — The building has access for people with disabilities.

  2. Lyrics — lyrics. The meaning of «lyrical» is used most often lyrical adjective or lyric.

    The words of a song.
    Poem in a lyric style.

    I do not like the music, but the lyrics are great. — I do not like the music, but the lyrics are great.

    Shakespeare’s sonnets are a great example of lyric poetry. — Shakespeare’s sonnets — a perfect example of lyric poetry.

  3. Brilliant — outstanding, wonderful, bright (the light). The meaning of «diamond» is rarely used. A more appropriate word for it diamond.

    I think Tom Cruise is a brilliant actor. He is very talented. — I think that Tom Cruise a great actor. He’s very talented.

    He proposed her with a beautiful diamond ring. — He proposed to her with the help of a beautiful diamond ring.

The words that are used in several meanings, among which are similar and do not like Russian counterparts

In this case, similar and dissimilar values ​​are equal.

  1. Vacancy — vacant room in the hotel as well — open position.

    A room available for someone to stay in.
    A job available for someone to start doing.

    I am afraid we have no vacancies for tonight. — I’m afraid that we have no free rooms.

    I am looking for a job. I’ve heard that Shell has some interesting vacancies. — I’m looking for a job. I have heard that at Shell has several interesting vacancies.

  2. Argument — csora dispute, and — the argument.

    A situation in which two people having different views disagree.
    A reason that shows that something is true or untrue.

    Why does she look so angry? — She has had an argument with her husband. — Why does she look so angry? — She had a quarrel with her husband.

    He listened to my arguments and changed his mind. — He heard my arguments and changed his mind.

  3. Complex — Complicated, complex group.

    Consisting of many details and difficult to understand.
    An emotional problem, when someone worries about something, usually without a real reason.
    A group of things.

If you are interested in this topic, look at our article «false friends.»

And remember that in the case of new words, your true friends yavlyutsya vocabulary and context!

We offer you a small test to secure examples of «false friends», mentioned in this article.



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