07-15-2010 11:13 PM
Saludos Estimados Alumnos,
Greeting Esteemed Students,
I just wanted to mention false cognates. A cognate is a foreign word that is similar to a word in your native language.
A false cognate is a word that looks and sounds like a word in your native language, but has a different meaning.
Two examples of false cognates in Spanish that embarrassed me.
I once told a group of Colombian students that I was 'pregnant', thinking that 'embarazado' meant
'embarrassed'. It doesn't of course. It means to be with child. What laughter ensued.
The correct word for embarrassed is 'avergonzado(a)' . Or you could simply say 'Tengo vergüenza' for 'I'm ashamed'. 'Vergüenza' is actually a big important word in Spanish.
A second example of a false cognate is 'constipado(a)'. In Spanish 'Constipado(a)' means to
have a stuffy nose.
How about that?
¿Qué les parece?
Your comments and stories are always welcome.
07-16-2010 01:52 AM
My father once made the same mistake with 'embarazado'. He used it to apologize to a group of Dominican diplomats and their wives in Santo Domingo (this was a long time ago...) The wives all laughed and said 'pobrecito'