Tim likes to travel. Follow his adventures as he explores the world.

Friday, September 15, 2017

5 Times When Knowing French Made This American Mess Up In Spanish

I can say that knowing French before learning Spanish definitely made learning Spanish much easier than had I not learned French. The grammar, latin rooted words, reflexive verbs, and sentence structures are similar in the two languages. However, they are not the same language and there have been a few times when relying on French to try to speak Spanish did not end up how I hoped.

Check out my article on French vs. Spanish!
photo credit

Five histoires locos

Words in blue are in French - Words in red are in Spanish

1. Adding an '-o' does not make it Spanish
One day, while running a Train with TMax bootcamp, I had to switch to Spanish to explain an exercise and I said oso (bear), thinking of the French word os (bone), when in Spanish the word for "bone" is hueso

2. For or for?
I went to buy something at a store in Spain and they asked me who it was for, and I said es por mí (it's for/by/through me). Pour (for) is sometimes por, but sometimes para. In this case, it should have been es para mí.

3. False friends
Playing a guessing game where you have to give hints to your partner based on words, I saw the word sable (fr: sand / sp: saber) and I gave the hint "beach". Ainhoa, my partner, also speaks French and realized my mistake. 

4. See, look, or watch?
I made this error a lot. Voir / regarder (see / watch) (ver / mirar) is used the same in French as in English, but not in Spanish. 
See = voir = ver a movie 
Watch = regarderver television

5. More to add or insult?
I received an email in Spanish and at the bottom there was P. D., which in Spanish is "P.S." for making an additional comment after the signature. I was confused at first, since pédé (PD) in French is condescending way to say "gay".

What do you think?

Have you had issues mixing up languages? Any funny stories to share? Put them in the comments!

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