10 More False Friends in English and Italian

Don’t let false friends catch you out! We are back with 10 more of those words that you think “oh I know it, it’s similar in Italian” but actually it means something completely, or quite, different. Take a look at these ones to make sure you don’t use them when you shouldn’t!

Accidente- Accident

The Italian word accidente translated to English is actually a coincidence, misfortune or sickness. Instead the English accident is an unpleasant event that happens unexpectedly causing injury or damage. (incidente, infortunio)

Confrontare- Confront

This seems like a straightforward translation… oh wait, false friend! The Italian verb confrontare in English means to compare two things. However the English verb confront means to deal with a difficult situation or problem. (affrontare)

Conveniente- Convenient

The Italian adjective conveniente translated to English means good value and it is worth the money it costs or something that is suitable and appropriate. Instead the English adjective convenient means something is useful, quick and easy to do. (comodo)

Educazione- Education

In Italian the word educazione refers to your upbringing and good manners that usually your parents gave you whereas the English education refers specifically to your schooling and university, the process of teaching, training and learning. (istruzione/ insegnamento)

Fattoria- Factory

This is a difficult one for English speaking learners of Italian! The Italian noun fattoria simply refers to a farm in English. Instead the English factory is the building where items are made, usually by a lot of workers or machinery! (fabbrica)

Eventualmente- Eventually

This looks like an obvious translation but actually it’s not at all! The Italian adverb eventualmente means possibly, potentially, or if need be. However the English eventually used to mean the end of a period of time or series of events. (finalmente/ prima o poi)

Parenti- Parents

Another one that is often very hard to remember and often mistaken. The Italian parenti translates to English as relatives, or the people outside of your immediate family, like your aunts, uncles, cousins etc. However the English word parents literally just means your mother and father. (genitori)

Libreria- Library

The Italian libreria is known in English as a bookshop. Instead in English a library is the place you can borrow books. (biblioteca)

Stampa- Stamp

In Italian stampa means the entire media, or the printing press. A stamp in English is the little square piece of paper that you pay for and then stick in the corner of letters. In the UK it has a picture of the queen’s head on it! (francobollo)

Stipendio- Stipend

There is only a slight distinction here but an important one! The Italian stipendio refers to your salary or monthly wage from your employer. However in English a stipend is usually a small extra payment that only covers living expenses. (stipendio)

 

Do you know any more false friends? Write them in the comments below!

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