10 hilarious Spanish false friends

It's easy to think we are the only ones who make silly mistakes with our foreign language learning. But of course, it works both ways. And when it comes to 'false friends' (words that look similar in both languages but differ in meaning) trouble invariably ensues; not to mention the odd total communication breakdown. Check out these comical errors made by Spanish speakers learning English...  

Spanish false friend: Carpeta

1. Nope! Not Carpets. Carpeta means Folder


Spanish false friend: Parientes

 2. Two of those parents look suspiciously young. Parientes means Relatives


Spanish false friend: Constipado

 3. Oops. Constipado means Blocked up


Spanish false friend: Bizarro

 4. Well, maybe. He could also be described as Bizarro (Handsome)


Spanish false friend: Campo

 5. The camp?! No, across the field. Campo is Field


Spanish false friend: Arena

 6. No sign of any fans or even an arena. Arena is Sand.


Spanish false friend: Embarazada

 7. A classic! We can't see if she's embarrassed but we can see she's Embarazada (Pregnant)


Spanish false friend: Libreria

 8. Looks like a bookshop to me (Librería).


Spanish false friend: Largo

 9. Long, more like. Largo


Spanish false friend: Bomberos

10. They'll just make it worse. Try the firemen (Bomberos)

I've been on the wrong end of at least one of these. I still remember the time when a Spanish friend, keen to practice her English, shared with me that she was 'constipated'. Cue over concern on my part!

Have you got a funny story to share?

See you next time, Jim

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