Whenever I stumble upon French-English synthetic amis— words that sound or look alike however have 2 various significances– I consider the relationship that the words do have with each other. Often times they share a Latin root, and each word’s meaning includes a fascinating subtlety to the other’s– typically to entertaining result.
Consider example the following French words versus their English incorrect pals:
défunt(deceased) vs defunct(no longer existing or working)
préservatif(prophylactic) vs preservative(a compound utilized to maintain foods items and other products versus decay)
imprégner(to soak or penetrate, as in these complicated matches) vs impregnate(most typical meaning: make a female pregnant; less typical meaning: soak or fill with a compound)
corpulence(an individual’s construct) vs corpulence(weight problems)
ignorer(most typical meaning: to not understand; less typical meanings: to have no experience of or to disregard) vs. disregard(refuse to pay attention to or acknowledge; neglect deliberately)
négligé(disregarded, slovenly, shabby) vs negligee(a ladies’s dressing dress, usually made from a light, cloudy material)
I simply discover these pairings wonderful, do not you? Not as wonderful: informing individuals– on more than one event– that there are way a lot of prophylactics in American food.
Which advises me of one last, traditional synthetic ami that humiliates every French student at some time or another: While “ excité” can in specific situations describe almost the exact same thing as the English “ ecstatic,” it is more frequently utilized to describe sexual arousement. So, do not walk around informing your French associates or in-laws, for instance, that you are excité to see them.
If you have actually got other intriguing synthetic amis to include, please let me understand!
Likewise, a PS: As Soon As, I was pleased to discover a word(well, truly an expression) in French, “ mal de terre,” for which I didn’t understand the English equivalent. I had actually never ever heard the word “landsickness” prior to, and in reality I didn’t even understand the principle of landsickness existed till it occurred to me.
Just recently, I stumbled upon the expression “sea legs” utilized to explain “the impression of movement felt on dry land after hanging out at sea,” i.e. landsickness. I had actually constantly considered “getting your sea legs” as getting used to the movement of a boat on the water so that it stops to be felt, however obviously it can describe landsickness, too. I’m discovering English ideal along with French!
[Photo: Ruth Hartnup]