false friend

(redirected from Faux amis)

false friend

n.
A word or phrase in one language that is similar in appearance to a word or phrase in another language but has a different meaning, as French actuel, "current," and English actual, "real."

[Translation of French faux ami : faux, false + ami, friend.]

false friend

n
(Linguistics) a word or expression in one language that, because it resembles one in another language, is often wrongly taken to have the same meaning, for example, the French agenda which means diary, not agenda
Translations
faux-ami
References in periodicals archive ?
French words that look like English words but with different meanings in the two languages are called faux amis ("false friends").
COLLEAGUE Barry Gibson's impassioned plea yesterday to watch out for 'faux amis', or the 'false friends' of a foreign language, reminded me of an incident a couple of weeks ago in France.
Et parmi les fE[umlaut]culents, il n'y a pas vraiment de faux amis, sauf les pEotes au beurre, les pommes sautE[umlaut]es ou, bien sE[c]r, les frites.
homonymy and faux amis, and the second targeting problems of translation of certain English words, phrases, or concepts into Russian.
When Faux Amis are Truly False Friends: "Pas de preservatifs dans mon pain." Paul.
Or reading in a second language, she may add to her central conceptual system a subset of cognates, formal contrasts, and misleading cognates (those faux amis with which English-speaking learners of French quickly become familiar).
The main problems in this instance concern the direct translation of French words into English 'equivalents' which, while not quite faux amis, cannot be carried straight over from one language to the other, and the retention of French sentence structure when the reversal of clauses or the splitting up of long sentences would read more naturally in English.
Apart from a score of unsightly but insignificant typos, assorted faux amis such as "indetermination" for "indeterminacy," and a dozen instances where multiple line spaces have been widowed onto the top of the following page (ah, the deceptive ease of electronic publishing!), the following errata should be noted as possible sources of misunderstanding.
The Friendly German-English Dictionary: A Guide to German Language, Culture and Society through 'faux amis', Literary Illustration and Other Diversions.