FALSE FRIENDS are words in different languages that look similar or are sometimes even identical but have different meanings. In the Translation Chains topic we saw that the role of multilingual links are typically played by false friends such as folder, map etc.

We asked ChatGPT to translate Steek de folder en de kaart in de map. First we got a wrong translation: Put the folder and the card in the folder. After asking ChatGPT about false friends we did get a correct answer though: Put the brochure and the map in the folder.

As said above, false friends don't have to be identical but can de deceptively similar and put you on the wrong foot. A couple of well-known examples are eventually / eventueel and actual / actueel

Eventually he would fail the exam.
Uiteindelijk zou hij niet slagen voor het examen.
(notice the nice use of an antonym)

Eventueel kom ik toch.
Perhaps I will come after all.

Een eventuele vergoeding...
A possible compensation...

The actual amount was much higher.
De werkelijke hoeveelheid was veel hoger.

De actuele toestand is slecht.
The present situation is bad.

An interesting one is "rare". Typically it means unusual, hart to find in English. In Dutch it means weird, strange. However, think of the expression "een vreemde/rare vogel" and in English we have the expression... "a rare bird" ,-)