by Kim Mandel

Words that sound similar in English and Spanish, but have different meanings are known as false friends.

A translator must be on the look out for them, and not confuse them. Here are some good examples: Actual means real in English, but Actual means current in Spanish. What are the actual ingredients in this cake? ¿Quién es actual presidente de Bolivia? Assist is to attend or be present at in English, but the meaning of Asistir changes to help in Spanish. I assisted Professor Smith´s last lecture. ¿Me puedes asistir con esta tarea? Carpet is rug in English, while Carpeta means folder in Spanish. Our carpet is green. ¿Me puedes alcanzar una carpeta para guardar los documentos? Code in English shouldn´t be confused with Codo which means elbow in Spanish. The spy used a secret code. Me lastimé al codo cuando me caí. College means a college or university in English, while Colegio is a high school in Spanish. What college are you going to next fall? Mi hija asiste a un colegio privado. Compromise in English means settling a disagreement in which both sides give up something; however, Compromiso in Spanish is a commitment. The workers and the company compromised on a pay increase. Tengo un compromiso más tarde.