False friend

In linguistics, false friends are words in different languages that look or sound similar, but differ significantly in meaning. An example is the English embarrassed and the Spanish embarazada (which means pregnant), or the word sensible, which means reasonable in English, but sensitive in French and Spanish. The term originates from a book by French linguists describing the phenomenon, which was translated in 1928 and entitled, "false friend of a translator". As well as producing completely false friends, the use of loanwords often results in the use of a word in a restricted context, which may then develop new meanings not found in the original language. For example, angst means "fear" in a general sense (as well as "anxiety") in German, but when it was borrowed into English in the context of psychology, its meaning was restricted to a particular type of fear described as "a neurotic feeling of anxiety and depression". Also, gymnasium meant both 'a place of education' and 'a place for exercise' in Latin, but its meaning was restricted to the former in German and to the latter in English, making the expressions into false friends in those languages as well as in Greek, where it started out as 'a place for naked exercise'.


This table shows the example usage of word lists for keywords extraction from the text above.

WordWord FrequencyNumber of ArticlesRelevance

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