Spanish – English False Friends

If you are learning Spanish, most likely you have been a victim of some of these despicable false friends. Have a look at the list below and check some of the most relevant (and funniest) ones that you should take into account!

Embarazada – Embarrassed: It seems to me pretty useful to clarify that one is feeling ashamed and not that just got pregnant, so here it goes my first false friend to keep in mind. Besides, this one sounds particularly funny when said by a man.

EnSp_Spanish – English False Friends_intext1

Grosería – Grocery: English for “rudeness” is what “grosería” means. As you can see, nothing to do with buying some groceries.

Sopa – Soap: Nobody likes “jabón” (soap) for dinner, right? Or to bathe in “sopa” (soup)…? Well, that would be quite nutritious at least. Just in case, though, try not to mix them up.

Carpeta – Carpet: “Carpeta” in English means “folder” and not “carpet” which in Spanish is actually “alfombra”. Just one single “a” stands between these two terms that look almost the same but whose meanings are completely different.

Lentillas – Lentils: Quite useful not to mix up these two, since Spanish “lentillas” refers to “lenses” and not to “lentils” (lentejas) which is surely something you don’t want to have in your eyes.

EnSp_Spanish – English False Friends_intext2

And last but not least, my favorite…

Constipado – Constipation: Is it not funny that “constipation” sounds so similar to what in Spanish means “cold”? The right translation would be “estreñimiento”, which is surely harder to pronounce and much more unpleasant to suffer from.



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