Falsos amigos 2: some Spanish and English words you should never mix up

This is the English  transcription of our second video about some “false friends” that can cause problems for English speakers.  False friends (falso amigos) are words that look and sound very similar in English and Spanish because they are derived from the same Latin roots, but nowadays they have different meanings.

If you just want to listen to the audio, you can get it on Soundcloud.

English Transcription:

Hello and welcome to Real Spanish!

Today we bring you some examples of “false friends”, that is, words that in English sound similar to Spanish but have a different meaning, such as “library” (which in Spanish means «biblioteca») and «librería» (which in English means “bookshop/bookstore”).

Another false friend that causes confusion is “to realize”, which doesn’t mean «realizar», as you might expect, but should be translated as «darse cuenta de (algo)». «Realizar» means to carry out, to do.

Other frequently-confused words are “large” and «largo». “Large” should be translated as «grande» in Spanish, and «largo» as “long”.

Also, the English word “carpet” doesn’t mean «carpeta»; it’s an «alfombra». A «carpeta» is a “folder” in English.

Well, as you can see it’s very important to learn these words because if you make a mistake, you could create an embarrassing situation. For example, «nudo» (knot) is not the same as “nude” (desnudo).

I encourage you to continue learning with our entertaining lessons on Real Spanish, where you can enjoy your Spanish! Bye for now!


Have you seen the first video in this series? José explains false friends such as «embarazada» and “embarrassed”, «eventualmente» and “eventually”, «excitante» and “excited”, «actualmente« and “actually”.  You can see the video on YouTube

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Tell us about a time when you got confused or made a mistake with a «falso amigo».

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