"Semi-false" friends for Russian-speaking students in English and where they come from

In our article "False friends for Russian-speaking students who learn English and why you need to know them by sight" we told you about how you might not be lucky if вам фартит (fart means пукать in Russian) and reviewed the top 15 most common false friends.

Where do false friends come from?

1. Common origins

Sometimes it happens that two languages ​​have a common origin, but over time the words change or acquire additional meanings. Like twins who were brought-up in different families and different countries - similar in appearance, but different inside.

So, очки are translated into English as glasses. The word is very similar to the Russian "eyes". Undoubtedly, there is a kinship of languages, because glasses are second eyes. "Eyes" - "glasses", i.e. "Small eyes".

2. Coincidence?

It also happens that the spelling and pronunciation coincided by chance only. For example, the English word kit is only similar in sound with the Russian word кит, but has nothing to do with it.

3. Pseudo Anglicisms.

These are words in other languages ​​that are formed by some English elements and may appear to be English, but in fact they are not.

For example, when a native English speaker hears the word автостоп, they most likely have no idea what you are talking about, since автостоп in English is hitch-hiking.

As in life, English has "semi-false" friends - words that coincide in only one sense, but at the same time have one or more other meanings. Often, they appear when a word has been borrowed in only one of its meanings.

The table below lists the top 15 of semi-false friends.

Слово

Совпадающее значение 

Дополнительные значения

Accent

Акцент

Ударение, акцентировать

Aggressive

Агрессивный

Энергичный, настойчивый, 

Argument

Аргумент

Спор, ссора

Artist

Артист

Художник

Fortune

Фортуна

Состояние (богатство)

General

Генерал, генеральный

Общий

Goal

Гол

Цель, задача

Insult

Инсульт

Оскорбление, оскорблять

Lyrics

Лирика

Текст (слова) песни

Master

Мастер

Хозяин, победитель, магистр; одолеть, овладеть

Match

Матч

Спичка, подбирать под пару

Nature

Натура

Природа, характер

Occupation

Оккупация

Занятие; род занятий, профессия

Officer

Офицер

Чиновник, должностное лицо, полицейский

Original

Оригинал (подлинник)

Настоящий, подлинный, первоначальный; оригинальный

Patient

Пациент

Терпеливый

Despite the huge number of false friends, there are also many internationalisms - words that fully or partially coincide in spelling and meaning. For example: computer, bank, vodka.

In our next article, we will tell you about the most dangerous words that disguise themselves as these very internationalisms. For example, what do you think the word beckon means? You probably guessed that this is not a fragrant meat product, the image of which has treacherously popped up in your head. Beckon, which means кивать (nod), has cleverly disguised itself as real bacon (бекон). Moreover, we will tell you how to identify a false friend and avoid "betrayal" on his part.

Author: Andrew Shapovalov

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