Spanish words somewhat resembling two English words can be helpful or misleading. For example:
los DEPORTES looks most like the English word ‘DEPORT’, which is not what it means.
los DEPORTES looks less like the English word ‘SPORTS’, which is what it means.
So when seeing this Spanish word DEPORTES, the natural first reaction of an English-speaker who does not know Spanish is to mistakenly think it is related to ‘DEPORT’ in English.
With Spanish words that are ambiguous in this way, the resemblance to English could work against you -- rather than help you understand and remember the Spanish word more easily (as is true of other Spanish words that resemble English words).
The Spanish word DEPORTES is used often on TV networks in the United States that broadcast sporting events in the Spanish language to Spanish-speakers living in the United States. Maybe you have seen the Spanish word DEPORTES used in ads for sporting events on U.S. TV networks -- and maybe you did not realize that DEPORTES simply means ‘SPORTS’.
So when you see any Spanish word that looks like two English words, it will help if you associate it with the correct English word.
SPANISH WORDS THAT LOOK LIKE TWO ENGLISH WORDS
coco -- MEANS -- coconut -- NOT -- cocoa
deportes -- MEANS -- sports -- NOT -- deport
diaria -- MEANS -- daily -- NOT -- diary
familia(r) -- MEANS -- family -- NOT -- familiar
hospedaría -- MEANS -- hostel -- NOT -- hospital
jugo -- MEANS -- juice -- NOT -- jug
lavendería -- MEANS -- laundry -- NOT -- lavender
nombre -- MEANS -- name -- NOT -- number
ordenar -- MEANS -- order (v) -- NOT -- ordinary
pene -- MEANS -- penis -- NOT -- pen
placer -- MEANS -- pleasure -- NOT -- place
salado -- MEANS -- salty -- NOT -- salad
salteado/a -- MEANS -- sautéed -- NOT -- salty
sopa -- MEANS -- soup -- NOT -- soap
sexto/a -- MEANS -- sixth -- NOT -- sex
Some Spanish words look exactly like an English word, but actually mean another English word that is spelled somewhat like the Spanish word.
It can be helpful if the Spanish 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.
SPANISH -- [SAY] -- MEANS -- ENGLISH -- NOT
planes - [PLAH-nehs ] - MEANS - plans - NOT - planes
postal - [pohs-TAHL ] - MEANS - postcard - NOT - postal
valor - [BAH-lohr ] - MEANS - value - NOT - valor
café - [kah-FEH ] - MEANS - coffee - AND - cafe/café
FRIENDS IN DISGUISE
The Easy Spanish Words that resemble English are like good friends you happen to see in a foreign country.
And the Spanish 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 Spanish 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 Spanish Words that look like English words.
If the Spanish 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.