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Faux Amis: 20 French False Friends You Need To Know

french false friends mistakes to avoid faux amis in french20 Useful French False Friends To Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes

False Friends or ‘faux amis’ in French can exist between any two languages that share historical or cultural connections, but what are they, does knowing them help our ability to master a language and which are good ones to know between English and French? Read on to uncover the answers!

What are false friends or ‘faux amis’?

According to the Collins English Dictionary, a false friend is “a word or expression in one language that, because it resembles one in another language, is often wrongly taken to have the same meaning, for example, the French agenda which means diary, not agenda”

Why Are False Friends Important When Learning a Language?

Obviously, these similarities can often lead to confusion or misunderstanding for language learners or speakers who assume the words are equivalent due to their resemblance, while learning false friends may not be the main factor in mastering a language, it is undoubtedly a valuable aspect of language learning that contributes to linguistic proficiency and cultural understanding.

The main reasons to study, learn and apply faux amis or false friends include:

  • avoiding miscommunication
  • increasing knowledge of vocabulary
  • cognitive flexibility
  • cultural insight
  • better language production

20+ French False Friends You Need To Know (to avoid embarrassing situations!)

If you haven’t watched the video I made detailing my very own experience with miscommunication and a French False friend, then you have to check it out: My French Faux Pas – Don’t Make This Mistake! It might make you smile (and help you to avoid a similar mistake in the future)! Have you ever had issues with miscommunication due to French false friends?

If you want to practise your knowledge of French False Friends, then definitely check my latest ‘How To Improve Your French’ video clip. Although it’s aimed at GCSE French students, don’t let that put you off! The list is still gold.

The French False Friends List includes:

Below, is a taster of what false friends the video includes. There are approximately 25 included with 5 bonus faux amis, all of which are worth knowing. Do you know what these words mean in English? Don’t translate them as you may expect, there’s a different meaning!

la chance – 

la casserole – 

les petits-annonces –

Why not download the FREE WORKSHEET to accompany the GCSE FRENCH FALSE FRIENDS VOCABULARY BUILDER REVISION video?

download theidealteachers resource here

Have you subscribed to my YouTube channel yet for more fantastic French revision material? Do it here! The Ideal Teacher Language School – YouTube Channel.

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French False Friends Faux Amis GCSE French Revision
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