False Friends in GermanGerman False Friends

German False Friends

01.12.2022

German False Friends List

German-English false friends, also called “false cognates”, are words that look similar but in fact have different meanings. This can be deceiving to English native speakers learning German, as the words appear to have the same meaning and root.

For instance, the German verb “kennen” looks like the English verb “to know”, however, it actually means “to be familiar with”. Another example is the German word “Gift”, which looks like the English word “gift”, but in German it means “poison”.

False friends can be confusing for English native speakers learning German, as the similarities and differences between the two languages are not always easy to spot. Even experienced language learners can sometimes make mistakes, so it pays to be extra careful when using German words that look similar to English ones.


German-English "false friends" are words that look similar but have different meanings. These words can be deceiving to English native speakers learning German, as the words appear to have a similar meaning but in fact, have a different definition.

A few examples of German false friends are:

• Gift - In German, "Gift" means "poison". This is deceiving for English native speakers as, in English, "Gift" means "present".

• Band - In German, "Band" means "tape". This is deceiving for English native speakers as, in English, "Band" means "group".

• Karte - In German, "Karte" means "card". This is deceiving for English native speakers as, in English, "Karte" means "map".

Below is a list of some other common German false friends:

• Rat - In German, "Rat" means "advice". This is deceiving for English native speakers as, in English, "Rat" means "mouse".

• Bitte - In German, "Bitte" means "please". This is deceiving for English native speakers as, in English, "Bitte" means "bit".

• Chef - In German, "Chef" means "boss". This is deceiving for English native speakers as, in English, "Chef" means "cook".

• Fabrik - In German, "Fabrik" means "factory". This is deceiving for English native speakers as, in English, "Fabrik" means "fabric".

• Komfort - In German, "Komfort" means "comfort". This is deceiving for English native speakers as, in English, "Komfort" means "convenience".

• Wagen - In German, "Wagen" means "car". This is deceiving for English native speakers as, in English, "Wagen" means "wagon".

German false friends can be confusing and can lead to errors in communication if not understood correctly. It is important for English native speakers learning German to become familiar with these words and their meanings. This can help to prevent any misunderstandings and ensure that their German is understood accurately by native German speakers.


Introduction False friends, also known as faux amis, are two words from different languages that look similar, but have unrelated meanings. False friends are especially common between German and English and can lead to confusion. This blog post will discuss the different types of false friends, how to avoid confusion, and provide examples of German-English false friends.

Types of False Friends False cognates are two words from two different languages that look the same but have different meanings. This type of false friend can be the most difficult to detect since the words look so similar. For example, the German word “Gift” means “poison” while the English word “gift” means “present.”

Words with different meanings are also a type of false friend. These words may have a similar spelling but have different meanings. For example, the German word “alt” means “old” while the English word “alt” means “high.”

How to Avoid Confusing False Friends It’s important to learn the difference between false friends in German and English so


I. Introduction

II. Types of False Friends A. False Cognates B. Words with Different Meanings

III. How to Avoid Confusing False Friends A. Learn the Difference B. Use a Dictionary C. Use Context Clues

V. Conclusion

Introduction False friends are pairs of words in two languages that look and/or sound similar, but have different meanings. False friends are common between English and German, and it’s easy to get tripped up if you don’t understand the differences. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the various types of German-English false friends and how to avoid confusing them.

Types of False Friends When it comes to German-English false friends, there are two main types: false cognates and words with different meanings.

False Cognates False cognates are the most common type of German-English false friends. These are words that look and/or sound similar, but have different meanings in each language. Examples of false cognates in German-English include “Real” (real in German means “royal”), “Bald” (bald in German means “soon”), and “Gift” (gift in German means “poison”).

Words with Different Meanings The second type of German-English false friends are words that look similar, but have different meanings in each language. These can be tricky to spot because the words look similar, but they can mean completely different things. Examples of words with different meanings in German-English include “Gift” (gift in English means “present”), “Handy” (handy in German means “cell phone”), and “Konfekt” (konfekt in German means “candy”).

How to Avoid Confusing False Friends It’s easy to get tripped up on German-English false friends if you don’t know the difference between them. Here are some tips to help you avoid confusing them:

Learn the Difference The best way to avoid confusing German-English false friends is to learn the difference between them. Make sure to look up the words in a dictionary and learn the correct meaning in each language.

Use a Dictionary Another way to avoid confusing German-English false friends is to use a dictionary when in doubt. A dictionary can help you figure out the correct meaning of a word and avoid confusion.

Use Context Clues Finally, you can also use context clues to figure out the meaning of a word. Pay attention to the context of the sentence and look at the other words used. This can help you figure out the meaning of a word and avoid confusion.

Conclusion German-English false friends can be tricky to spot and can lead to confusion if you don’t know the difference between them. To avoid confusion, make sure to learn the difference between false cognates and words with different meanings, use a dictionary when in doubt, and use context clues to figure out the meaning of a word. With these tips, you can easily avoid confusing German-English false friends.

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