Posted in English

Key Learnings 4 – Um Falso Amigo

Today’s lesson included the word “admirar” in an article about all the different types of coffee on offer in Portugal. I can’t remember the exact wording but it was something like

Não admira que as turistas preciso de um dicionário quando pedem um café!

The meaning seems to be “I’m not surprised the tourists need a dictionary when they order a coffee”. So “admirar”, which is obviously cognate with “admire” has obviously diverged in meaning somewhat from its English cousin.

In the same lesson, we also came across “vasculhar” which looks like it has something to do with “vascular” but if you’re expecting it to mean “to pump blood” or something then you’ve been had by another false friend. It actually means to search – not specifically searching for something but having a good old look round in general, in the way a thief might if he got into your house and was looking around to see what there might be to steal. A related word is “remexer” which means “rummage”.

Finally, “Rever” which is obviously cognate with “review” means “look again at”. It must be related to “revista” but “revista seems only to mean “magazine” now and has lost its connection tio what we think of as a review as in a book review – they use “comentário” instead.


Just a data nerd

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