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Lesson Transcript


Hi everybody! Marika here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Italian questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: Does Italian have any "false friends" — words that look the same in English but mean something different?
The answer is yes. The term "false friends" is the perfect name for these words. They’re like people who look really familiar but are actually total strangers. We’ll go through some of the most common ones, so you can avoid miscommunications when you’re speaking Italian.
If your Italian partner is going to introduce you to his or her parenti, you’ll be meeting their relatives, not just the parents. The word “parents” is genitori in Italian.
Also, if you see the word sale in a supermarket, don’t think you’re getting a discount! Sale is actually the Italian word for “salt.”
If someone describes you as educato or educata, they’re usually not talking about your education - they’re saying that you’re polite.
And if you work in a factory, don’t say you work in a fattoria. That means you work on a farm! If you’re a librarian, you don’t work in a libreria, because that’s a bookshop - so don’t think that you can borrow books there for free!
Make sure you don’t offer to take pictures with your camera - that means “room.” You take pictures on your macchina fotografica.
Pay attention to adverbs, too. Attualmente means “currently” in Italian. The Italian for “actually” is in realtà. “Definitely” doesn’t translate as definitivamente either- that means “ultimately.”
Lastly, when you’re talking about an event that’s coming up later than expected, don’t use eventualmente for “eventually.” Eventualmente means “possibly.” And, of course, there are many more!


Got it?
Keep the questions coming - if you have another question, leave it in the comments and I’ll try to answer it.
A presto! “See you soon!”