On "False Friends" in the Field of Economics
Keywords:homophones, neologisms, linguistic borrowings, calque, false friends
Abstract“False friends” or bilingual homophones/homographs are words existing in two or more languages, sounding alike but differing significantly in meaning. They present a language learning challenge due to the inevitable confusion resulting from word migrations and similarities in sound and meaning. Coined in 1928, the term continues to fuel linguistic research, addressing comprehension confusions in the process of language acquisition. The reciprocal influences of languages, especially through neological borrowings, lead to divergent meanings in the target language. Inexperienced users may misuse these words due to homonymy. In economics, initially influenced by French borrowings, there is a substantial influx of terms from British or American English, driven by the need for precise terminology for new extralinguistic realities. This paper, drawing from teaching practice, provides brief examples and suggests strategies to navigate confusion related to translating „false friends,” emphasizing specific learning techniques and the use of online bilingual dictionaries.
Copyright (c) 2023 Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Series V: Economic Sciences
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