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Faux Amies


Chancer

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Whilst learning this great language there are unfortunately many opportunities to slip up with some words that unlike many others do not have the same meaning in both languages. 

Feel free to add your own or correct mine.

To start with:

Actuellement means nowadays, for actually use en fait or en realité.

Assister means to go to watch an event or similar, for assist or help use aider. Which incidentally is where the international distress signal "Mayday" came from m'aider = help me

Bugger! I had loads of them but how many can I remember now?

Editted: Not bad 794 posts and the first time that the rude word filter has editted my posting

Looks like I will have to trot back to the computer each time I remember one!

 

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[quote user="J.R."]Looks like I will have to trot back to the computer each time I remember one! [/quote]

library = bibliothèque

librairie = bookshop

achievement = succès

achèvement = completion

deception = tromperie

déception = disappointment (this one fooled Mr Clair when he read the front page on Sunday's local paper, re rugby semi-final)

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[quote user="J.R."]Assister means to go to watch an event or similar, for assist or help use aider. Which incidentally is where the international distress signal "Mayday" came from m'aider = help me [/quote]

This one is said to have cost Gérard Depardieu an Oscar back in his Green Card days.

Being interviewed about his rough youth in the banlieue, he said in French that "il avait assisté à un viol" (he had witnessed a rape). This was translated as "he had helped in a rape", which did not go down too well, as can be imagined... The error in translation was rectified and clarified, but too late for him and his Oscar hopes...

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[quote user="woolybanana"]When I was young and foolish I actually wrote a dictionary of the things. I reckon there are about 5000 of the little nudgers, totally or partially false I mean. Where do you wanna start?[/quote]

Yes I had hundreds in my head but come the moment of posting only 2 could be remembered.

One more:

Passer un examen = to take an exam

Reussir un examen = to pass an exam

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Ah its all coming back to me now!

My favorite of all time.

Promiscuité = Closeness or lack of privacy

Except in the Peronne WW1 museum where the text was translated to speak about the promiscuity between troops and animals in the trenches!

I dont really know the french equivalent, Libertin(e) ou liberté de moeurs

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Again, not exactly a false friend, but one that made me laugh....

A friend of mine wanted to tell the french people she was meeting up with that her husband would not be able to make it, as he was at home looking after the the puppy (le chiot).

What she actually said was that he couldn't come as he was busy with "la chiotte" !

 

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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]

Not exactly a Faux amis but one that catches me out

la moule = mussels

le moule = mold

I'm pretty sure I've ordered a nice bowl of mold before now [+o(]

[/quote]

Don't worry, it's not THAT kind of mold - it's mold as in the sense of it's something that's used to mold something into a certain shape (such as a cast, cake pan, etc).  Plus, you'd never really order just one mussel anyways (which is what just plain old une moule is), so a way to get around is ordering moules, with an S !  That way you avoid having to decide if its masculine or feminine.  *S*

The other kind of mold is known as moisissure.

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Anyone any idea how to say -

'you made my day'  

which my neigbour did when sweeping the 'nipples'  (actually acorns which stain the grout) from the terrace - but I am still smiling about this! it did make my day!   imagine it!

many thanks

tegwini

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I am going to the local Lyceé proffesional again next week to chat with the students in the English class.

The last time I visited one asked me "where did you live in Eeengland"

I replied in an exaggerated accent "Je viens de la region de Sussex" which came out sounding like a contraction of "sucer sex" hysterical laughter broke out, I knew that I had said something funny but not what, the poor sod couldnt stop laughing especially as his mates kept nudging him and my friend the teacher had to eject him from the class to retain order.

She later told me that it was a shame as he was the most motivated to learn English.

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[quote user="Patf"]Cul and cou. I asked for bare-necked chickens - cul-nus s'il vous plait. The man looked a bit startled but didn't laugh. By the way, what does belle guele mean? Describing J. Wilkinson - bon pied, belle guele[/quote]

Une belle gueule means he's a pretty boy...

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