False cognates & Funny Blunders

Due to false cognates, embarrassing linguistic blunders are bound to happen when learning a new language. Learning Spanish is not the exception.

Learn how to avoid those mistakes when learning Spanish. Get to know your false friends before they get to know you better. Remember to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Lost in Translation

To molest isn’t to bother! You heard that Spanish speakers? Yes! That´s what HE said: ¨Can I molestate you for a bit? Wait! What? Slap!

Funny Learning Language Mistakes

As language learners, it’s important to recognize that funny moments can pop up at any time, and it’s great to learn from others’ experiences as you journey through the world of language learning.

It may not be a formula to avoid these mistakes, but we can definetely offer you our best recipe and main ingredient: Laugh! Just laugh! And, most importantly: Learn!

Pedro, an Unexpected Teacher!

That being said, let’s dive into a real-life story: Pedro, the hero of our story, had a rather comical and unconscious habit of approaching ladies with a curious question:

“Can I ¨molest¨ you?”

Wait! What? Yes! One night, he asked, “Can I please molest you for a bit?” It was a quirky misunderstanding. In English, you don’t use the word ¨to molest¨ to mean “to bother”.

That’s the lesson Pedro learned one night, not the easy way, but certainly, the most memorable—and, especially, painful—way. Pedro is now teaching how to avoid this mistake.

Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes!

In this article, we will discover the world of false cognates and share one of our many humorous language mishaps that taught us an invaluable lesson.

We always need to have this clear: Embarrasing language mistakes are bound to happen. We just need to learn how to deal with them.

Join us at Kasa de Franko as we delve into the pitfalls of learning Spanish and discover how to navigate through them with a sense of humor and clear communication.

Don’t Ever Trust False Friends!

That unforgettable night at the bar taught Pedro the ultimate lesson: The power of ¨falsos amigos¨ or false friends. These sneaky little devils can catch you off guard when you least expect it.

Trust us, you don’t want to be blindsided by their unexpected tricks. You never know when they are going to attack and stub you from the back. Consider yourself warned!”

Los Falsos Amigos

False friends or false cognates is a linguistic concept related to similar words in different languages.

They can lead to funny and sometimes awkward misunderstandings when learning a new language.

Pedro, a native Spanish-speaker, discovered a hilarious and eye-opening truth about false cognates while on the journey to master English. Want to avoid embarrassing mistakes? Let’s read more about it!

The False Cognate Surprise

Have you ever encountered any false friends? No, I am not talking about the dude that borrowed $1000 from you to later disappear on you.

Of course, he was never a friend and that’s not the type of false friends we are talking about.

False friends or false cognates are words that look or sound similar in different languages but have completely different meanings. Take “to molest” and “molestar” as an example.

The Spanish word ¨molestar¨ actually means ¨to bother¨ in English. On the other hand, the word ¨to molest¨ translates to Spanish as ¨acosar¨ or ¨abusar¨.

What the Hell is False Cognate?

False friends or false cognates are words that look or sound similar in different languages but have completely different meanings. Other examples:

Embarazada vs. Embarrased

Español Inglés
Yo estoy embarazada I am pregnant
Yo estoy avergonzado I am embarrased

Actualidad vs. Actually

Español Inglés
Yo en realidad no entiendo a los falsos amigos I actually don´t understand false friends.
Las noticias actuales son devastadoras The current news are devastating

Asistir vs. To Assist

Español Inglés
Yo asisto a clases de español I attend Spanish class.
Yo ayudo a mi amigo I help my friend.

To make things more complicated:

Español Inglés
Yo asisto a la profesora de español  cuando asisto a la clase de español I assist (help) the Spanish teacher when I attend Spanish class.

You wanna know more?

The list of false friends or false cognates can go on. If you’re eager to explore more cognates, simply sign up for any of our courses at Kasa de Franko. We’re dedicated to our mission and ensure our students and friends become familiar with most false cognates to avoid tricky situations.

Short on funds for Spanish courses?

No worries! Get a free lesson with us, and we’ll immerse you in the captivating world of the Spanish language. Just click the red button at the end of this article for your free journey into the world of Spanish.

Laugh and Learn!

Now that you know learning languages can be tricky, it’s time to let your inner child out. Have fun and focus on the conversational aspect—and especially learn to laugh at yourself. This will help you absorb the language instead of just studying it.

At Kasa de Franko, we’re committed to making your learning journey smoother and more enjoyable. Together, we will learn to laugh at ourselves.

While false friends can be a bit of a challenge, once you get the hang of them, you’ll feel more at ease using any cognate. Just like in life, it’s all about getting to know your real friends!

Stay tuned for more articles on false friends or false cognates on Kasa de Franko’s Blog!

The Cool Accent Guy!

Let’s go back to that night went Pedro went to the bars after finals: Senior year in college and ready to celebrate.

Once the finals were over, Pedro and his friends, excited to dive into the lively nightlife, make new connections, and share unforgettable experiences started mingling with the crowd

With his cool Peruvian accents and a burning curiosity for language, he felt like an unstoppable explorer. But little did he know, a simple word was about to flip his world upside down.

Pedro got slapped!

Ah, Pedro, my fellow Spanish-speaking amigo, had a knack for rocking a unique accent that always turned heads. Little did he know that a harmless slip-up would lead to a valuable lesson about false cognates through a series of comical errors!

Picture this: Pedro, in all his innocent glory, approaches a lovely lady and blurts out, “Can I ‘molestate’ you for a bit?” Cue the record scratch and the collective gasps of disbelief. Yep, you guessed it – a resounding slap landed square on Pedro’s cheek, courtesy of a classic case of mistaken meanings.

The Exorcist Head-Twisting

That fateful night wasn’t just a linguistic disaster; it transformed into a wild and wacky rollercoaster ride. Pedro’s head did a 360° spin like a possessed character from The Exorcist. It was like he channeled his inner contortionist, and no amount of neck cracking would make it stop!

Lesson learned, my friends. When it comes to false cognates, it’s better to err on the side of caution and double-check our word choices. And hey, at least Pedro provided us with a hilarious memory we’ll be laughing about for years to come.

The Painful Learning Lesson

Learning is painful, and yes, it hurts. After this embarrassing linguistic mistake due to a false friend, Pedro, once again, felt the need for reviewing the concept of cognates.

In that moment, he realized the immense impact false cognates could have on our interactions. It was bad! Learning about false cognates can indeed be painful.

He stumbled upon this false cognate trap and realized that using the wrong word can lead to awkward situations or, in Pedro’s case, a resounding slap in the face!

Los Cognados Perfectos

Cognates are words in different languages that are written and sound similar, like “animal” & “animal.” Other examples are ¨romance¨ & ¨romance¨; ¨hospital¨ & ¨hospital¨; ¨actor¨ &  ¨actor¨, ¨artificial & ¨artificial¨, ¨fantastic¨ &  ¨fantástico¨,  etc.

All the previous examples, are cognados perfectos (perfect cognates). This means they are written exactly the same way (or almost) in both languages and also have a very similar pronunciation. However, not everything in life is perfect. Isn´t it?

Actually! The list can go on: In general, most English cognates have literal translations into their Spanish counterparts, known as cognates. However, that night, we learned that false friends are always lurking, ready to make you commit a faux pas.

At Kasa De Franko, we will teach you the most common false cognates to help you face embarrassing language blunders.

To molest is not ¨molestar¨

That fateful night, Pedro quickly learned that not all similar-looking words have the same meaning. His misguided use of “molestate” wanting to say “molestar” resulted in an uncomfortable situation.

Now he understands that “molest” has a very negative connotation in English, representing a repulsive act. His linguistics lessons finally paid off and helped him shed light on the concept of false cognates between “to molest” and “molestar.”

Keep Laughing!

To explore more hilarious language stories and learn about the fun facts in Spanish and English, check out our article on how Mike Cocke told his girlfriend he likes her mom´s chucha (pussy). He said: ¨Me gusta la chucha de tu madre¨.

If interested on reading some of our articles on sexy and dirty words in Spanish, be sure you explore our saga ¨Things Spanish People say in the Bedroom¨. We especially recommend ¨Spanish is Sexy¨, Spanish: Dancing with Words¨ and ¨Unleashing the Spanish Passion¨.

For more sexy and dirty phrases, make sure you get to check out our sagas: The Sexy Chupacabras Legend & Funny Learning Language Mistakes. Wanna sign up but no cash?

Spanish Online Lessons

If you’re looking to take your language learning journey to the next level, we have a solution for you.

At Kasa de Franko, we offer online Spanish lessons that make language learning fun and engaging with strong cultural approach helping you better learn how to stay away from embarrasing linguistic mistakes due to false cognates.

Our experienced instructors will guide you through the intricacies of Spanish, teaching you essential language skills while sharing amusing anecdotes and cultural insights.

Don’t let the pitfalls discourage you; embrace the adventure and discover the joy of speaking Spanish fluently. Learn to properly identify false cognates, avoiding embarrasing language blunders.

Start your Spanish learning journey with Kasa de Franko and unlock a world of opportunities.

Spanish Free Lesson

Ready to conquer the world of Spanish with confidence and avoid, as much as you can, those amusing language mishaps? Join us at Kasa de Franko and take advantage of our free group and private lessons.

If you’re a beginner, our interactive and engaging group lessons will empower you to speak Spanish fluently. If you are at more intermediate or advanced level sign up for a free private lesson in our Learn Spanish Speaking program.

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to unlock a world of opportunities. Sign up for your free lesson at Kasa de Franko today!

Hit that red button bellow and always remember:

spanish dirty talk




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