When learning a second language, it’s always convenient to find that the word you need to translate is almost the same as it is in your first language. However, we have to be careful with the so-called “False Friends”- words that look the same but have two completely different meanings in their respective languages.

As the majority of Fluentify’s current students are Italian, today we wanted to share some of the most common False Friends between Italian and English so that the next time your student tells you that they saw a “terrific” car accident on their way to work, you know that they’re not crazy, just using the wrong word!

English Word Similar Italian Translation Correct English Word
actually attualmente currently
to adjust aggiustare to fix
annoying noioso/a boring
argument argomento topic/subject/matter
to attend attendere To wait (for something)
consistent consistente substantial/solid/significant
decided deciso/a determined/ driven
to frequent frequentare To attend (a course, workshop, etc.)
incident incidente accident/ car crash
lecture lettura To read over/ to look over/ to take a look at
machine macchina car
notice notizia/e news
parents parenti relatives
to realize realizzare to design/create/build
record ricordo A memory
sensible sensibile sensitive
sympathetic simpatico/a nice/friendly/welcoming
terrific terrificante terrible
ultimate ultimo last/ most recent
vacancy vacanza holiday/ vacation

For Italian-speaking tutors, are there any other common false friends that often cause confusion? Add them to the comments below!

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