Juven Wu
"False friends " between English and French False friends means words that are spelled similarly in two languages but have different meanings . In order not to make funny mistakes , do you have any to propose between English and French ? eg. journal 
Jan 31, 2016 3:40 PM
Comments · 5

In English, 'preservatives' are substances that we use to stop products decaying. For example, a manufactured drink or food product may contain preservatives so that it lasts longer and you don't need to keep it in the fridge.

In French, 'préservatifs' are condoms. Could be embarrassing.

January 31, 2016

sympathetic / sympathique

- sympathique en Francais = pleasant, friendly

exhibition in English = exposition en Francais 

- exhibition en Francais = flashing as in indecent exposure of your naked body 

February 1, 2016

Here are a few false friends I could think of:

1. to pretend = faire semblant

    prétendre = to claim

2. a coin = une pièce

    un coin = a corner

3. pain = douleur

    pain = bread

4. a library = une bibliothèque

     une librairie = a book shop

5. to pass an exam = réussir un examen

    passer un examen = to take an exam

6. a hazard = un danger

    le hasard = chance

7. a physician = un médecin

    un physicien = a physicist

8. actually = en fait

    actuellement = currently

January 31, 2016

french : Actuallement = currently

english : Actually = in fact

February 1, 2016

The English word "sensible" is a false friend for all Romance language native speakers, including the French.  In English, it means having good sense, reasonable, practical.  In French, "sensible" = sensitive, which has a different meaning in English.  

I think "sensible" also meant sensitive in English in the past, and this meaning lives on in the noun "sensibility", which readers of Jane Austen will be familiar with.

January 31, 2016