7 May

Don’t call it a beamer!

The German word Beamer may sound pretty English, but in fact it’s a classic false friend (a word which looks or sounds the same in both languages, but actually has completely different meanings). The English word for Beamer is projector. The word Beemer (with double e) is used to talk about a BMW. False friends […]

3 April

What it can sound like when the English disagree

You must be joking! Rubbish! Nonsense! Oh, come off it! After you’ve given an opinion, you may hear any one of those from an English friend or a colleague you know well. And, of course, the message is completely clear: your friend or colleague disagrees with you. Now imagine that you express your opinion or make […]

24 April

Can I become a beefsteak?

I suppose we’ve all heard about the man sitting in a restaurant and asking the waiter “Can I become a beefsteak?” And of course you’d never say that, would you? Would you??!! Become means werden, of course, and not bekommen. It’s a false friend. And there are many others out there waiting to trip you […]