False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

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eldin raigmore
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by eldin raigmore »

Like “the ‘hood” for “the neighborhood”.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y »

Japanese Totoro (name of a fictional animal) and Old High German totoro "egg yolk"
Spoiler:
Japanese Totoro:
Image

German Totoro:
Image
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y »

English Norse "the collective Scandinavian people" v.s. Swedish nors "smelt(fish)"
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y »

sorry for triple posting, but got another one.

Classical Latin Ūranium "a town in Caria" v.s. New Latin uranium "uranium"

It seems that native Latin speakers of Roman era might have problems understanding the Latin language used as a source for modern internationalism.
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eldin raigmore
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by eldin raigmore »

k1234567890y wrote: 16 Jan 2021 21:53 English Norse "the collective Scandinavian people" v.s. Swedish nors "smelt(fish)"
Is that a sense-verb with an incorporated object? Like “saw(stars)”?
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov »

eldin raigmore wrote: 24 Jan 2021 04:22
k1234567890y wrote: 16 Jan 2021 21:53 English Norse "the collective Scandinavian people" v.s. Swedish nors "smelt(fish)"
Is that a sense-verb with an incorporated object? Like “saw(stars)”?
Smelt is the name of a kind of fish, which before checking on it, is what I assumed K1234567890Y meant.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Khemehekis »

A smelt belongs to the same order (Clupeiformes) as the herring, the anchovy, and the pilchard. (I think the menhaden too.) So basically, the sardine order.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y »

Shemtov wrote: 24 Jan 2021 17:22
eldin raigmore wrote: 24 Jan 2021 04:22
k1234567890y wrote: 16 Jan 2021 21:53 English Norse "the collective Scandinavian people" v.s. Swedish nors "smelt(fish)"
Is that a sense-verb with an incorporated object? Like “saw(stars)”?
Smelt is the name of a kind of fish, which before checking on it, is what I assumed K1234567890Y meant.
yeah I was talking about that kind of fish.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Vlürch »

:pol: jak się masz? - how are you?
:tib: (Amdo) jəχ sha ma - widow

A bit of a stretch since they'd be used in totally different contexts, but... I'm also not sure if the <sh> of Amdo Tibetan is [sʰ] or [ɕ], probably the former tbh but it's still similar enough that I think it kinda counts as a false friend or at least unfortunate coincidence.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y »

Japanese ゆり (a female given name, often written as 百合) v.s. Russian Юрий (a male given name, cognates with English George)

both of them are pronounced as something similar to /juri/ but Russian Yuris are male, while Japanese Yuris are female.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y »

Chinese 柚子 “pomelo” v.s. Japanese 柚子 “yuzu”

Both of the words indicate a kind of fruit belonging to the genus Citrus, but they actually indicate something different.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Raginaharjaz »

:pol: puszka (a can)
:rus: пушка (a cannon)

:pol: kawior (caviar)
:rus: кавер (a carpet)

:pol: dywan (a carpet)
:rus: диван (a sofa)

:pol: świat (world)
:rus: свет (light)
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y »

Moroccan Arabic muš “cat” v.s. Polish mysz “mouse”
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Xonen »

Raginaharjaz wrote: 24 Feb 2021 00:39:pol: świat (world)
:rus: свет (light)
I'm not sure if this one really counts as a false friend... The Russian word also means 'world', even if мир is more common for that sense these days. And it's quite certainly not a coincidence: the sense 'world' appears to be fairly transparently derived from 'light', and the Proto-Slavic *světъ already had both of these senses.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov »

Raginaharjaz wrote: 24 Feb 2021 00:39 :pol: puszka (a can)
:rus: пушка (a cannon)

Just to add, Yiddish borrowed the :pol: word, and it narrowed in meaning to "Charity collection box", and is used in that sense in some Jewish English varieties.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y »

Old Chinese "yes" (supposed pronounciation in Old Chinese: /*lo/) v.s. Hebrew לא /lo/ "no"

I found the Hebrew word on Wiktionary lol
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov »

That reminds me:
:isr: /ʔein/ "NEG.EXIST" Jewish Babylonian Aramaic /ʔein/ "yes"
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Iyionaku »

Xonen wrote: 26 Feb 2021 21:33 And it's quite certainly not a coincidence: the sense 'world' appears to be fairly transparently derived from 'light', and the Proto-Slavic *světъ already had both of these senses.
I've always understood this thread that it's about false friends and OTHER unfortunate coincidences, i.e. it doesn't need to be a coincidence to be considered a false friend worthy of a placement here. I didn't search all 23 pages, but I'm pretty sure that, for instance, English to become and German bekommen "to get" is listed, even though it's not a coincidence either and both derive from bikwemaną.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Xonen »

Iyionaku wrote: 23 Mar 2021 14:59
Xonen wrote: 26 Feb 2021 21:33 And it's quite certainly not a coincidence: the sense 'world' appears to be fairly transparently derived from 'light', and the Proto-Slavic *světъ already had both of these senses.
I've always understood this thread that it's about false friends and OTHER unfortunate coincidences, i.e. it doesn't need to be a coincidence to be considered a false friend worthy of a placement here.
Indeed, and as I pointed out in the post you're quoting here (immediately before the quoted part), I'm not sure if this really counts as a false friend, either. The way I understand it, a false friend is a similar-looking word with a clearly different meaning (possibly resulting in funny or at least nonsensical mistranslations) – but here, again, the Russian word has the same meaning as the Polish one, even if it's stylistically less neutral in that sense. In any case, it seemed kind of out of place next to the rest of the Russian-Polish pairs listed in that post.

Also, please note that I wasn't trying to say the pair isn't worthy, just that it's a bit debatable. This is a discussion board, after all, so I find it's actually a good thing if our different ideas about stuff sometimes spark a bit of, you know, discussion. [:D]
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Salmoneus »

Does the Russian word usually mean "world"? If so, it's not a false friend just because it also has a less-common, unrelated meaning. [otherwise every homophone could end up a false friend...]

On the other hand, if the "light" word is much more common than the "world" word, such that a reader ought to assume the former, even though analogy from other Slavic languages would suggest the latter - and given that the two meanings appear completely unconnected and couldn't easily be guessed - then it would seem to be a false friend: if a Polish reader is likely to assume it means "world" when in fact it probably means "light", then it's a false friend to them, even if their assumed meaning could occasionally be accurate.

You get this a lot between English and other Germanic languages, in fact. For instance, I'm told the primary sense of "Kessel" is of a cauldron (a large metal vessel), whereas a "kettle" is a small device for heating water, so I'd call these false friends - even though apparently "Kessel" can in theory be used for old-fashioned heated-metal kettles, and English "kettle" retains its older meaning in certain contexts (the kettle of a kettle-drum for instance, or a geographical kettle (a cauldron-shaped dell)). Similarly, a "Koffer" is a rigid(?) suitcase, whereas a coffer is usually a real or (much more frequently) metaphorical strongbox for money, so I'd call these false friends - even though in theory you could store money in a suitcase, or use a strongbox to store your clothes...
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