When students learn a new word in English that sounds like a word in Russian, they often assume the meaning is the same. While this is often true, this is not always the case. These words are called «False Friends» and you need to be aware of them. The most obvious example of this is «Магазин», which sounds like the word «Magazine» in English, but really translates as «Shop / Store». Another would be «Фамилия», which sounds like «Family» (семья), but means «Surname» or «Last name».
Let’s look at a few less common examples (Word — Sounds like — Real translation):
Репетиция — Repetition (doing some over and over) — Rehearsal (practice)
Трансляция — Translation — Broadcast
Ангина — Angina (chest pain) — Tonsillitis
Конкурс — Concourse (where a plane lands and takes off) — Competition
Стул — Stool — Chair
Аккуратный — Accurate — Neat, Tidy, Well-ordered
Интеллигентный — Intelligent — Cultured
Кабинет — Cabinet (a place for storing dishes or files) — Office, Study
Физик — Physique (the shape/form of the body) — Physicist
So, when you come across a new word that looks or is pronounced similarly to a word in Russian, don’t assume they mean the same thing!
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