beamer vs. projector

English words that are frequently used in the German language can easily become false friends when used with the same meaning in English. A classic example is Handy, the widely used term for mobile phone (or cell phone), which will certainly confuse native speakers a lot. While very few advanced speakers make the mistake of

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Fresh from the source…

I just came across a very dangerous false friend while listening to a scientific talk. This time, it’s a false friend for non-native German speakers. Please, do not translate the English word ordinary as ordinär. The former means gewöhnlich (common) or einfach (simple), whereas the latter means vulgär (vulgar).

briefly vs. shortly

This is a tricky one, and as is often the case with languages, there are people who argue that the two words can indeed be used as synonyms. However, according to the majority of sources I consulted, and in line with my gut feeling of the English language, briefly and shortly are not interchangeable, and

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How to pronounce pseudo, psychology, pnictides

There are a number of words in the English language that start with a silent p, such as psychology (and psych, psycho etc.) pseudonym pneumonia pneumatic psalm Ptolemaeus The fact that the p is silent is often ignored or missed by non-native speakers. This is surprising, because the correct pronunciation appears to be easier. In

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