False friends: problems that Portuguese speakers find when learning English

For this type of project, you are able to use ”I” because it is a reflective report. I would like you to focus on ‘false friends’ for Portuguese speakers when learning English. False friends mean words that are very similar in Portuguese but have a very different meaning in English, so people may end up translating everything literally and getting in ‘trouble’. The reason is: some English words are derived from Latin (you could put a list of words derived from Latin). Think of this problem like it’s your problem because you will be reflecting on it personally. Portuguese has loads of words that look very similar in English, but the meaning is totally the opposite. Examples could be: pretend, parents, sensible and sensitive, and so <link is hidden>

Pretend = pt. pretender
In Portuguese, it means intend. Since it’s very similar, Portuguese speakers may say ”I PRETEND to go to Spain next year”, instead of the correct verb.

Parents = pt. parentes
In Portuguese, parentes means ”relatives”, and there is absolutely nothing related to your mom and dad although they sound almost the same.

Lunch = pt. lanche
In Portuguese, it means snack, and not the meal you have at midday.

These are some examples of false friends in Portuguese. As you can see, the sound of these words are almost the same in English, but have a very different meaning in English and this is why people get confused. You can search for more words and, again, put a list of English words derived from Latin.

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