Italian that somewhat resembles two English words can be helpful or misleading. For example, the Italian word ‘ARROSTO’:
ARROSTO looks most like the English word ‘ARREST’, which is not what it means.
ARROSTO looks less like the English word ‘ROASTED’, which is what it means.
So when seeing this Italian word, the natural first reaction of an English-speaker who does not know Italian is to mistakenly think it is related to ‘ARREST’ in English.
With Italian words that are ambiguous in this way, the resemblance to English could work against you -- rather than help you understand and remember the Italian word more easily (as is true of other Italian words that resemble English words).
So when you see any Italian word that looks like two English words, it will help if you associate it with the correct English word.
ITALIAN WORDS RESEMBLING TWO ENGLISH WORDS
arrosto -- MEANS -- roasted -- NOT -- arrested
basilico -- MEANS -- basil -- NOT -- basilica
boxe -- MEANS -- boxing -- NOT -- box
carta -- MEANS -- card -- NOT -- cart
cassa - MEANS - cashier -- NOT -- case
chilo -- MEANS -- kilo -- NOT -- child
collega -- MEANS -- colleague -- NOT -- college
lungo/a -- MEANS -- long -- NOT -- lung
montone -- MEANS -- mutton -- NOT -- monotone
ordinare -- MEANS -- order (v) -- NOT -- ordinary
pesca -- MEANS -- peach -- NOT -- pesky
ricevuta -- MEANS -- receipt -- NOT -- rice
salato -- MEANS -- salty -- NOT -- salad
saltato -- MEANS -- sautéed -- NOT -- salted
timo -- MEANS -- thyme -- NOT -- time
tonno -- MEANS -- tuna -- NOT -- ton
trota -- MEANS -- trout -- NOT -- trot
valore -- MEANS -- value -- NOT -- valor
Some Italian words look exactly like an English word, but actually mean another English word that is spelled somewhat like the Italian word.
It can be helpful if the Italian word has a different pronunciation than the English word it is spelled like -- because that makes it sound different than the English word it is spelled like, and helps make it clear that it is actually a foreign word.
ITALIAN -- [SAY] -- MEANS -- ENGLISH -- NOT
basket - [‘basket’] - MEANS - basketball - NOT - basket
burro - [‘burro’] - MEANS - butter - NOT - burro
media - [MEH-dyah] - MEANS - medium - NOT - media
sale - [SAH-leh] - MEANS - salt - NOT - sale
wafer - [VAH-fehr] - MEANS - waffle - NOT - wafer
FRIENDS IN DISGUISE
The Easy Italian Words that resemble English are like good friends you happen to see in a foreign country.
And the Italian words that resemble two English words can be thought of as Friends in Disguise that may at first appear to be something different, but down underneath really are familiar friends.
A False Cognate, also known as a False Friend, is a Italian word that looks like an English word, but has a different meaning.
So a False Cognate can be misleading, especially to someone looking to be helped by Easiest Italian Words that look like English words.
If the Italian False Cognate is spelled somewhat differently than the English word, this can help you realize that this is truly a foreign word, and probably not related to the English word it looks something like.