Shay Chu

French is a romance language, so it’s no surprise that some words resemble those of Latin. What is surprising is that some French words still have the same Latin spelling even though the French pronunciation of the words differs from the Latin pronunciation of them.

Example 1

French et

Latin et

English translation: and

Example 2

French est

Latin est

English translation: third-person singular present conjugation of the verb to be (e.g., he is, she is)

Example 3

French non

Latin non

English translation: The French word non means no in English while the Latin word non negates a sentence in Latin.

Do you know other French words like these?

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False cognates are pairs of words that sound similar and that have a similar meaning but actually have different etymologies.

Example 1

Japanese ありがとう (Pronunciation: arigatō)

Portuguese obrigado

English translation: thanks

Example 2

English much

Spanish mucho

Example 3

English (to) occur

Japanese 起こる (Pronunciation: okoru)

Example 4

Mandarin 弯 (Pronunciation: wān)

English round (object)

Example 5

And lastly, the famous example of a false cognate between English and the extinct language of Mbabaram:

English dog

Mbambaram dog

Do you know any other false cognates?

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Shay Chu

Shay Chu

Product Designer | Multilingual | Fan of the Oxford Comma & Oxford Spelling | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaychu Portfolio: https://shaychu.com