Categories Learning Spanish - Tips and Resources

Spanish False Friends Report – How To Avoid Major Embarrassment!

False Friends: Don’t get your marmalades mixed up!

As we head with major excitement towards Real Spanish Coaching Week we want to make sure you’ve got all the best Notes in Spanish materials, all part of ensuring your “Best Spanish Learning Year Ever!”

Today, we’re sharing our amazing “Falsos amigos” report. You can download the report below, but do read this classic Spanish-confusion-nightmare tale first that shows how crucial this can be:

Why are False Friends important? Courtney’s Story…

NIS listener Courtney sent us this great confession about a somewhat embarrassing experience during the very first day with her host-family in Spain:

“Nunca lo olvidaré: Yo desayunaba con mi nueva “familia” española el primer día que yo llegué a su apartamento en Salamanca. Yo comía un pan dulce con una mermelada bien sabrosa. Les dije a mis “padres”: “¡Ay, que rico! Me encantan estos preservativos….”

At which point the whole family fell about laughing! Courtney, trying to be nice about their preservative jam, had just told them how much she loved their condoms!

The word she was looking for was “mermelada”, of course!

The special false friends report we’re giving away here is packed with more great examples you need, at the very least, to be aware of (don’t feel you need to learn them all right now! Awareness is enough at this stage!)

Download the report here now:

Download: Notes in Spanish Falsos Amigos Special Report PDF

Spanish-Boosting News!

Real Spanish Coaching Week is just around the corner! It’s going to set your year up for total Spanish-learning confidence and success!

Sign up here now if you haven’t joined yet! We’re going to learn so much great Spanish together!

Un abrazo,

Ben y Marina

8 thoughts on “Spanish False Friends Report – How To Avoid Major Embarrassment!”

  1. This story made me laugh. I used to work in the food exports industry. One of my suppliers, in a bid to be helpful, did a homemade translation for Spanish labels on some packaging for sausages. However, they wrote “preservativos” instead of “conservantes” and “saliva” instead of “salvía”! Luckily I was able to intercept them and get them changed before shipment. Beware false friends (and typos!).

  2. I remember trying to order three beers and three hotdogs in Spain one time. I being quite sure of my Spanish asked the waiter for ‘Tres cervezas y tres perros calientes’!
    Needless to say the staff fell about the place laughing, before explaining to me my error.

    Saludos de Glasow,

  3. I once said ‘soldados’ instead of ‘zapatos’ when trying to think of word for shoes. Gave my Spanish friends cause to giggle.

  4. I once told my Spanish friend I was looking for a “teniente” to share my flat! She explained I needed an “inquilino” not a lieutenant!!

  5. I once called my Spanish wife’s three aunties who were preparing breakfast ‘las tres cochineras‘ instead of ‘las tres cocineras’! They were not amused!!

  6. After my first class in Spain I related to my host Spanish family that I was “muy embarazada” and although they assured me this was not true, I insisted that it was because I gave a wrong answer in class. I thought it meant “embarrassed”-it means “pregnant” !!-and we shared a great laugh!
    I also still laugh remembering the first few times the family asked me if I was “ready” to go. I said SOY lista. We all chuckled when they explained I should use ESTOY lista (I’m ready) -not SOY lista (I’m clever!) Fun times!

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