Comparison of Italian and Spanish
A 'false friend' (falso amico or falso amigo) is a
word in one language that looks like a word in another language,
but has a different meaning. Here are some common false friends:
To make life even more complicated, the Italian word deluso and the
Spanish word decepcionado do not mean deluded or deceived
respectively. In fact, they both mean disappointed!
- Italian barato means cheated; Spanish barato
- Italian burro means butter; Spanish burro means
- Italian guardare means to look (at);
Spanish guardar means to keep or to guard.
- Italian officina means workshop; Spanish oficina
- Italian parare means to adorn or to shield;
Spanish parar means to stop.
- Italian pesca usually means peach, although it can
(if pronounced with a closed 'e') mean fishing. Spanish pesca
always has the latter meaning.
- Italian pronto means ready; Spanish pronto means
- Italian salire means to go up; Spanish salir means
to go out or to depart.
- Italian sembrare means to seem; Spanish sembrar means
to sow (seed).
- Italian subire means to undergo or to endure; Spanish
subir means to raise or to go up.
- Italian tenere means to hold or to take; Spanish
tener usually means to have.
- Italian topo means mouse; Spanish topo
- Italian tra means between or among;
Spanish tras means after or beyond.
Last updated September 2011 by Adam N. Letchford.