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#2318 - 07/20/00 02:54 AM Re: false friends
screen Offline

Registered: 05/25/00
Posts: 37
Loc: Newcastle, Australia.
I have an English/French one.
My father was a motivational business speaker , who was addressing a French audience. As a rousing "go-get-em" type finale he wanted to say "[the people in this company] are the salt of the earth", but couldn't remember the word for "salt" so thought of the principle behind the phrase and decided the word "preservative" would do, so he said "preservatif", and was puzzled by the stunned response it received. It was later explained to him that he has just called the entire group of delagates "the condoms of the world".

#2319 - 07/20/00 02:33 PM Re: false friends
william Offline

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
actually i prefer "condom of the world".
i think if we can get over our sex hang ups that will become a standard expression.

#2320 - 07/20/00 08:58 PM Re: false friends
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky

that was hilarious (though not to your dad!)! Glad to see you posting more, Dear!

#2321 - 07/26/00 01:40 PM Re: false friends
JMike Offline

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 7
Loc: Combine (East of Dallas) Texas
Wasn't there a problem with President Carter speaking through an interpreter in Poland. He remarked that the US and Poland were alike in their common desire for peace.
Apparently the interpreter translated "common desire" as "mutual horniness"...

Spider Robinson uses the device to form a type of riddle based on what he calls the "invisible idiot" technique. That was the translation of "out of sight, out of mind."
The story is "Involuntary Man's Laughter" in the 3rd Callahan book.

#2322 - 08/01/00 07:09 AM Re: false friends
dreisenberger Offline

Registered: 08/01/00
Posts: 1
Loc: UK
My favourite ever false friend was one between English and Italian. A train connection in Italian is known as a


Perfectly logical of course- it's the meaning in English that's crept to mean something else.

Does this false friend work in any other latinate languages?


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