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Similar words in English and Spanish with different meanings - Part 3

For this third and last article, we’ll talk about “Career, Apartment, Compromise and Familiar”. We explain the last four examples of words we use everyday in English and Spanish that sound the same or almost the same but the meaning is somewhat different.


As we have mentioned in the first two articles of this small series (read article 1 here and article 2 here), the fact that the English and Spanish languages share a similar structure, it is easy to confuse the meaning of some words. .. There are not that many examples really, so we have summarized the most common ones in this series of three articles. Find the last 4 examples below.

1.- Career ...

The meaning of this word in Spanish is "carrera." Although the meaning is not the same, there is a relationship between the two words. You see ... while "career" in English means your working life, to do what you studied for in college; in the Spanish language, "career (carrera)" means only the time you are studying at the university, so finishing your degree (carrera) means finishing studies at the University.

2.- Apartment ...

The meaning of APARTMENT in Spanish is "departmento", while "DEPARTMENT" in English refers to an area or section, such as in a store, in the government or company. You could still translate APARTMENT as "apartment" and it would be understood, however, the correct word in Spanish is "department".

  • DEPARMENT : Tu deberías llevar los documentos al departamento de investigación y desarrollo. / You should take those documents to the research and development department.
  • DEPARTAMENTO : Estoy buscando un departamento que esté cerca de la oficina, no tan pequeño, no tan caro. / I am looking for an apartment close to the office, not too small, not too expensive.

3.- Compromise ...

When you use the word COMPROMISE in English, it is easy to translate it into "Compromiso", these two words are written almost the same. But it is another case in which the meaning is completely different. The word "compromiso" in Spanish is especially related to "ENGAGEMENT" for a wedding. However, it also applies in relation to a task to be done. While in English, this word is related to a commitment or an obligation.

  • COMPROMISE : Si quieres este empleo, tienes que entregarte para no fallar en alcanzar los objetivos. / If you want this job, you have to compromise yourself not to fail in achieving your goals.
  • COMPROMISO : Creo que es tiempo para que ustedes dos anuncien el compromiso y pongamos fecha para la boda / I think it's time for you two to announce the engagement and set a date for the wedding.

4.- Familiar ...

This word is written exactly the same in both languages English and Spanish... and although both words could also have the same meaning (this depends on the context of the sentence), they are used differently. The word FAMILIAR in English refers to something well known or that is closely associated with an element or subject. While in Spanish, the word "familiar" refers especially to the family, in English it would literally be translated as "relative".

  • FAMILIAR (English) : Esa escena me parece familiar, quizás tenga que analizar la situación nuevamente. / That scene looks kind of familiar to me, I may have to analyze the situation again.
  • FAMILIAR (Spanish) : Esa persona que usted ve allá es un familiar y viene con nosotros a la cena. / That person you see there is a relative and comes with us to dinner.

 



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