Business Blunders: False Friends

brain imageDon’t Get Fooled with a Similar Sound

You’ve probably found yourself in this situation—you overhear a conversation in another language and think you understand parts of what they’re saying because some of the words sound familiar. But don’t let your ears fool you! You may have been misled by “false friends.” These words sound alike in two languages, but mean something else. Here are some examples.

False Friend (Native Language) What It Sounds Like What It Really Means
noleggio (Italian) knowledge hire, rental
ostrica (Italian) ostrich oyster
scannare (Italian) scan to skin
Webseite (German) web site web page
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