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Spanish (ES) and Portuguese (PT) are the two most widely spoken languages around Latin America. Knowing one of these languages makes it a lot easier to learn the other. However, there are various “false friends” to beware of!
“False friends” – formally known as false cognates – are words that look similar in the two languages but have completely different meanings. If you know one of these languages and want to learn the other, keep an eye out for these 10 “false friends”!
1) Asistir (ES) / Assistir (PT)
Spanish: to attend
Example: ¿Te gustaría asistir a un partido de fútbol conmigo?
English translation: Would you like to attend a football match with me?
Portuguese: to watch
Example: Você gostaria de assistir a um jogo de futebol comigo?
English translation: Would you like to watch a football match with me?
Spanish: to hit
Example: Mi hermano me pega.
English translation: My brother hits me.
Portuguese: to pick up
Example: Meu irmão me pega.
English translation. My brother picks me up.
3) Perú (ES) / Peru (PT)
Spanish: Peru (country)
Example: Yo amo Perú.
English translation: I love Peru.
Example: Eu amo comer peru.
English translation: I love to eat turkey.
Example: Voy llegar pronto.
English translation: I’ll arrive soon.
Example: Estou pronto.
English translation: I am ready.
Spanish: drunk (girl)
Example: Esa chica borracha necesita ayuda.
English translation: That drunk girl needs help.
Example: Eu preciso de uma borracha.
English translation: I need an eraser.
Spanish: to serve
Example: ¿Nos van a atender?
English translation: Are they going to serve us?
Portuguese: to answer (the phone)
Example: Você vai atender o telefone?
English translation: Are you going to answer the phone?
7) Novio (ES) / Noivo (PT)
Example: Vivo con mi novio.
English translation: I live with my boyfriend.
Example: Moro com meu noivo.
English translation: I live with my fiancé.
8) Aceite (ES) / Aceitar (PT)
Example: Agregue más aceite al plato.
English translation: Add more oil to the dish.
Portuguese: to accept
Example: Eu não quero aceitar isso.
English translation: I don’t want to accept that.
Spanish: to agree
Example: ¿Estás de acuerdo?
English translation: Do you agree?
Portuguese: to wake up
Example: Você acordou?
English translation: Did you wake up?
Example: La reunión fue larga.
English translation: The meeting was long.
Example: A mesa é larga.
English translation: The table is wide.
Do you know any other false friends between Spanish and Portuguese? Share them in the comments below!