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False Cognates – Part 5


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.

Sie kritisierte ihn auf eine freundliche Art.
She gave him criticism in a friendly way.

Hast du Jura an der Hochschule studiert?
Did you study law at university?

Meine Großeltern besitzen ein Haus am See.
My grandparents own a house on the lake.

II. Falsche Freunde

This lesson will focus on four false cognates: Art, Hochschule, See and Lokal. For each false cognate, the English definition is provided along with the word it may be confused with. The word in parenthesis is the correct German word for the word in quotation marks.

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