This is part II of a series, find part I here.
What are false friends in language terms? They are words in one language that look or sound like words from another language but which have a different meaning.
Here are some of the false friends I have come across while living in the Netherlands.
English - following as a result or effect (daaruit volgend), Dutch – consistent.
English – reproduction, imitation but also an individual example e.g. of a book (exemplaar), Dutch – kopie only means reproduction.
English – used to mean skilful, clever, but now mostly used for devious, cunning, shrewd (listig, sluw, gewiekst), Dutch – not krachtig (powerful).
English – ten years (decennium), Dutch – 10 days, not in common use.
English - the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid (bedrog), Dutch – deceptie means teleurstelling (disappointment).
English – any of various slender-legged, even-toed, ruminant mammals (family Cervidae, the deer family) having usually brownish fur and deciduous antlers borne by the male of most species (hert), Dutch – not dier (animal).
English – large bird of prey (arend, adelaar), Dutch - not egel (hedgehog)
English - taking place at an unspecified later time (uiteindelijk), Dutch – not eventueel (possible).
English – cloth, material (textiel, weefsel), Dutch – not fabriek (factory).
English – not genuine or true, treacherous (vals), also wrong as in true or false (waar of niet waar), Describing a person as false means they are insincere. Dutch - fout means an error, mistake or fault, defect, but Hij was fout means he was a collaborator during World War II while Een foute jongen can mean a player in dating terms or a minor criminal.
I hope you found this interesting and/or useful. A like, share or comment is very motivating to get me writing more articles. 😊
I would love to hear about your favourite False Friend in Dutch/English languages!