Saul H. Rosenthal
Speaking Better French: Faux Amis
It’s easy to assume that French words mean the same as English words when they look and sound pretty much the same. Most of the time you would be correct. However, occasional word pairs look the same, and may even be spelled the same, but have different meanings. They are called “false friends,” or faux amis.
These faux amis can cause misunderstandings, uncomfortable situations, and even embarrassment when you use them in conversation and they mean something entirely different than what you expected. This book is written to help you avoid these awkward misunderstandings.
This is not a dry list of faux amis. It’s a book written in conversational language and is easy and fun to read. Each faux ami word pair is explained so that you will understand the difference between the usage of the word in French and in English, and often even how that difference arose. Each faux amis word is also accompanied by examples of the word used in sentences and phrases to illustrate, and to make very clear, exactly how it is used.
When you have finished reading this book, you will have learned most of these faux amis simply because they are fascinating, and incredibly interesting, without ever having had to consciously memorize them.