Language Lunedi’ – False Friends

False friends within languages happen when words from two languages seem the same but have different meanings. Sometimes the confusion can be a little embarrassing.

False Friends in Italian Language

For today’s lesson, we will cover a few of these words.

Keep in mind, this is just a selection of words, but there are many!


Buona giornata!


annoiare                         to annoy                                                 to bore

confetti                           small pieces of colored paper             candied almonds

delusione                       delusion                                                   disappointment

estate                             estate                                                      summer

fabbrica                          fabric                                                       factory

firma                               firm                                                          signature

grosso                             gross                                                        big

lunatica                          lunatic                                                      moody

*(one of my favorites, because sometimes, when I am moody, I feel a bit like a lunatic!)

morbido                         morbid                                                     soft

*(made for a funny first conversation at the fabric store! I thought the saleswoman was saying the fabric was morbid because it was a dark brown color)

parenti                               parents                                                relatives

preservativo                       preservative                                       condom

*(another favorite…everyone was laughing at me when I tried to compliment Italian food as compared with American food, saying it seemed the Italians used fewer condoms!)

sensibile                              sensible                                               sensitive

*(In the early days, my husband used to repeatedly tell me how sensibile I was. Ha, ha, ha…I could not understand WHY he would think I was so sensible, because I don’t view myself as so sensible….a little lunatica maybe…but sensible????

12 Comments on “Language Lunedi’ – False Friends

  1. laugh out lound funny – maybe you should include a warning not to read while I’m at work!
    I love this new addition to the site so i cna get my vocabulary down.

  2. Oh boy – I know I’ve done this a million times. This may not be exactly the same thing you are talking about but I remember how everyone was talking about “lengua” at the table, and I thought they were talking about languages. Meanwhile, I munch on what I thought were mushrooms. Turns out the “lengua” everyone was talking about was the tongue I was eating! Ewww!

    • Oh my gosh Lyn! The EXACT same thing with me and “lingua” with Gracie! Ha, ha, ha…I thought they were talking about how great Gracie was with the languages, and instead it was how great that tongue appetizer was! Yes…”ewwww”

      • That’s my other problem! Half the time when I try to say something in Italian, I say it in Spanish instead, and vice versa. Grrrr. How funny you did the same. Doesn’t sound like you actually ate it like I did. Who mistakes tongue for mushrooms?

      • Errr….YES! I WAS eating it…..but it did not look like mushrooms to me! ha, ha, ha….you are funny. I thought it was some kind of regular meat…and I liked it too!…and even asked for more! But it while I was waiting for the seconds that the conversation about how fab Gracie was at the “lingua” that I started putting it together. I did not have seconds….

  3. Well done! It is a great idea to add something about Italian language. Many people fancy learning Italian just for its sound and as it reminds them of holidays and sunshine.
    The topics on your blog are really interesting Diana!
    Ciao X

  4. Pingback: Language Lunedi’ – Conjugating the Verb “To Be” | Vino Vita Viaggi

  5. Pingback: Language Lunedi’ – Tech Talk | Vino Vita Viaggi

  6. Very funny indeed! Not a false friend (unless you’re the proud owner of huge imagination) but my favorite Italian word must be francobolli. 😉

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