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False Cognates – Part 4


I. Theory

In German, there is a wide variety of words that look and sound similar to words we have in English. When these words share a common meaning in both languages, they are known as cognates. However, words that look similar and don’t have the same meaning are known as false cognates or falsche Freunde.

In the following examples, we see that the meaning of the German words in question are not what they seem.

Konstruktive Kritik ist immer erwünscht.
Constructive criticism is always welcome.

Der Fotograf besitzt eine Kunsthalle in New York.
The photographer has an art gallery in New York.

Wir lesen im Prospekt über die Sehenswürdigkeiten.
We read about the attractions in the brochure.

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