Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

False Friends: 5 German Words That Don’t Mean What You Think They Do

“German and English are both Germanic languages, so they not only share many grammatical features but also have a lot of similar words. For example, when you know English and you hear the German word ‘Haus’ you immediately know what it means: house. The spelling is different, but it sounds exactly the same!

Similarly, a ‘Freund’ is a friend, ‘Sand’ is sand, ‘grün’ is green, and so on and so forth. And as it happens when two languages are very close, there are also many words which seem the same but mean completely different things.

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Languages do matter!


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