Hell is Bright

Falsche Freunde

Hell is bright and Gift is poison while a Taste is a keyboard key and Klang is not my husband’s hometown but sound. In German, that is.

Looks the same, feels the same, but it's not - language is a tricky thing. - <em>Image of graffiti on playground equipment in Neukoelln by SL Wong</em>
Looks the same, feels the same, but ..

Charming for the first fortnight, not so much when you actually have to communicate. In language class, I learned the concept of falsche Freunde – ‘false friends’ – words in two languages which appear the same but have very different meanings.

A cruel trick to play when both English and German are kissing-cousin West Germanic languages and actually share many cognates (words which mean the same thing). In class, the surfacing of falsche Freunde tended to be greeted with despairing groans. ω

Experienced: 19.10.2008 || Recounted: 27.08.2014

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