If you’re learning a foreign language you’ve probably been in this situation before: getting all excited about coming across a seemingly familiar word only to find out that its actual meaning is very different from what you expected. There’s no doubt that false friends – i.e. words or expressions that have similar forms to the ones in a person’s native language, but different meanings – can be a major minefield for language students.
In some cases, however, false friends can also be a source of great amusement: below are 13 foreign words that may be completely innocuous in their native language, but sound very rude indeed to English ears.
Translation: whipped cream
Translation: drive, ride, trip
Translation: dot, check, spot
Translation: with it/them, thereupon, thus, so that
Translation: side, border
Translation: thick, fat
Translation: whereby, with what