Tuesday, 1 January 2013

úžasný vs. ужасный

Definition of false friends according to Wikipedia: False friends are pairs of words or phrases in two languages or dialects (or letters in two alphabets)[1] that look or sound similar, but differ significantly in meaning.

As you know, in my Slovak studies, I have been focusing on comparing Slovak with Russian and Polish. One of the funniest pair of false friends I’ve come across this far is úžasný vs. ужасный.

Don’t let the letters fool you, these two words are very similar in pronunciation, not, however, in meaning. The Slovak word úžasný means wonderful or amazing, whereas Russian ужасный means terrible.


Natalie said...

Haha, this is actually really funny! False friends in languages always make me laugh (and sometimes make people laugh at me when I misuse them!). :)

By the way: С Новым годом!

Zsuzsi said...

Спасибо большое! :)