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  Home > TEFL Clinic > Teaching Knowledge > Problems for Russian Learners

False Friends


There are quite a few words that sound similar in English and Russian, but they have different meanings or shades of meaning. Some examples are:

aktual'niy (current, not actual)

simpatichniy (nice, friendly, not sypathetic)

biskvit (sponge cake, not biscuit)

manifestatsiya (demonstartion, not manifestation)

salyut (fireworks display, not salute)

perspectiva (prospect, not perspective)

dekada (ten days, not decademiting (a rally, not meeting)

kharakteristika (a {character} reference, a letter of recommendation, not a characteristic)

pretendovat (to lay claim to, to have pretensions to, not to pretend)

operativniy (effective, quick, practicl, current, timely, not operative)

moment (point, element, aspect as in a presentation, not moment)

ekonomniy (thrifty, frugal, practical, not economic).







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