How did you get on with last week´s translations? I hope you managed to get most of them correct as they were regarding what we had just covered, here are the correct translations:

Keep an eye on Jack because he´s in the street – echarle un ojo a Jack que está en la calle, in order to get this you have to put in a lot of effort – para conseguir esto hay que echarle ganas , I will pull down the blind – echaré abjajo la persiana, the boys had a nap all afternoon – los chicos se echaron una siesta todo la tarde, the police will stop that car – la policia echará el alto a ese coche, Have you locked the door? – ¿has echado la llave a la puerta?, I miss you – te echo de menos, do you want me to give you a hand? – ¿quieres que te eche una mano? to climb the mountain you have to make an effort – para subir la montaña hay que echarle ganas, I´m going to have a look at the food – Voy a echar un vistazo a la comida, I don´t want to choose, let´s do it in a random way – yo no quiero eligir, vamos a echarlo a suerte.

This week we are going to talk about ´false friends´ that is Spanish words that look like English words but actually mean something different. A lot of false friends are verbs however there are many others, we will start with verbs as these are the ones most people seem to have most problems with.

The first ones I´m going to mention are actual and actualmente, these quite clearly look like the English words actual and actually however they don´t mean these. The meaning in Spanish is current and currently. The words in Spanish for actual and actually are: real and realmente or en realidad. These are not completely false friends as real can also translate as the English equivalent.The next verb I´m going to look at is: asistir which translates into English as to attend. The Spanish for assist is ayudar. The Spanish verb atender actually means to pay attention and the way we say attend in Spanish is, as above asistir! A popular verb is despertar which means to wake up not desperate as it seems which is desesperado. I guess one word that is very common in Spanish yet makes us English speakers a little uncomfortable is molestar due to the word that it sounds like in English, however this Spanish verb means nothing worse than to bother, and as mentioned, it is very commonly used, the actual Spanish word for molest is abuser (sexualmente). The Spanish verb realizar means to carry out and the Spanish words for to realise are darse cuenta. Recordar means to remember or remind, the Spanish translation of record is grabar. In Spanish if we want to say that we will support someone we use the verb apoyar, and the verb soportar means to put up with!

Now I´m going to cover a few more words with which you have to be careful when speaking or writing in Spanish, some of them can be misconstrued worse than others but in any case it´s important to ensure that you use the correct words when speaking and also when listening, as you don´t want any confusion. Remember, a lot of words that sound like English words actually do mean the same thing, however these false friends will throw you quicker than a bucking bronco! So take time to learn and remember them.

El campo is the countryside, not a camp which is campamento, una carpeta is a folder, not a carpet which is actually called una alfombra, un compromiso is a commitment and a compromise translates as acuerdo. Another very common false friend, especially at this time of year is constipación which is actually a common cold, the way to say constipation in Spanish should you unfortunately need it, is estreñimiento. I hope you never hear nor need to say the next one, the Spanish word decepción means disappointment, with the Spanish using engaño for the English word deception. If you hear the word disgusto all the person is saying is that they are annoyed or worried, disgust is asco or repugnancia, a favourite with teachers when telling pupils about false friends is the next one, and I´m sure most of you will have remembered it, however, for the few that are still not aware, the word is embarazada which actually means pregnant! So please, unless you really are pregnant never say estoy embarazada, the Spanish for embarrassed is avergonzada, un éxito is a hit or a success, this is heard a lot on the radio when talking about music, the exit is la salida. Una fábrica is a factory and the Spanish call fabric, tela. If you say something is largo be sure that it is long and not large which is grande. If you want to buy a book you will go to the librería however to borrow one you go to la biblioteca. Un nudo is a knot and the word for nude or naked is desnudo. I´m sure a lot of you are aware that una parada is a stop, for example a bus stop, the word for parade is desfile. One word that can be heard quite often is preocupado which means worried, the word for preoccupied is distraído. Some of my young learners get confused at first with the following and it´s an easy mistake to make, the Spanish word sopa is pronounced like soap with an ´a´ but actually means soup, if you want a wash you need to ask for jabón. Finally the Spanish word sensible is another commonly used word and easily mistaken for its´ identically spelt English equivalent, however sensible = sensitive and sensible in English is sensato in Spanish.

I hope you found the above interesting and keep on practising. Next week I´ll be giving you some translations with this weeks´ words, so make sure you study, you want to get good marks after all!


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