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Spanish and Portuguese are both Romance languages sharing the same Latin root. As a result, there are thousands of Spanish and Portuguese words that look and sound similar and mean pretty much the same thing.
There are cases, nonetheless, where semantics have grown apart as time went by, which led to what we call false friends
Accordingly, false friends (aka false cognates) are words that look and sound similar but mean different things.
Now, words in this category don’t necessarily mean totally different things in either language.
There are many cases where they merely represent different shades of the same original meaning. Although used in different contexts, they are still semantically relatable.
Also, a Portuguese word can have two meanings of which the one with the least currency matches the dominant meaning of the Spanish cognate (and vice versa). These word-pairs are often labeled as false friends as well.
With that said, let’s look at a few common Spanish-Portuguese false friends.
Reading tips! Here’s an analogous read for English-Portuguese false friends: 50+ English-Portuguese False Friends to Keep an Eye Out For
Common Spanish-Portuguese False Friends
tuition fee (pt-pt); bribery (pt-br)*
a little while
* Read the following article to learn more about how European and Brazilian Portuguese compare: European vs. Brazilian Portuguese – How Different Are They, Really?
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