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There was once an incident as a kid where I was acting foolish somehow at the dinner table talking with my brother, who maybe didn't care that much anyways as to what I was doing. My grandfather, whose first language is Spanish, then went on to get a bit angry at me and said 'Do not molest your brother!', to which we both couldn't stop laughing at for a few minutes. Anyways, here I am now actually getting alright at my spanish, and I now realize he just took the spanish word for 'to bother/annoy/otherwise disturb' (molestar), and mistakenly used the word for something that was totally inappropriate in english usage (Generally to be 'molested' in english implies something that tends to send people to the psychologist, and to 'molest' someone is something that sends people to jail, at least in modern parlance).

So now, my question is this - Is there any words that sound similar enough between English and Spanish that have different connotations than what I might expect while blurting out, which I should avoid using while speaking Spanish, in case I end up saying something accidentally offensive or hilarious at my own expense? I'm sure a bunch of you here are native speakers that have some amusing stories that we can learn from, let's hear them!

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closed as too broad by jrdioko, c.p., Jose Maria, Emilio Gort, Gorpik Feb 19 '14 at 9:01

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Welcome to Spanish.SE! While your question is very interesting and well writen, I doubt it would be appropriate for the QA-format. Unfortunately this is one of the questions that cannot be objectively answered or it requires a very long answer (list). –  c.p. Feb 18 '14 at 6:00
There are a lot of words that sound almost the same, one comes to my mind, bizarre and bizarro, in English is weird, strange; in Spanish is brave,gallant. I hear a lot the word in Spanish for people meaning the English meaning, because that word is not frequently used in Spanish. –  El_Mochiq Feb 18 '14 at 12:00
@c.p. -- How would you have worded the general idea of the question so that it -does- fit your idea of how it'd work for the format of this site? I think I see a good 3 examples here that loosely fit what I'd consider good enough answers that I learned something. Feel free to edit if you think it could be fixed. I recognize such a question is bound to have a wide range of answers, but I'm not looking for anything pedantically specific here... Mainly just for an edutainment-oriented laugh or two. I also don't see this being closed yet. –  Dmitri DB Feb 18 '14 at 18:47
@DmitriDB The question cannot be better worded. There is no definitive answer, that's the problem. But I've found a large enough list. –  c.p. Feb 18 '14 at 20:36

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here we go. If I understand correctly your question, you will be happy with the 200+ entries you could find in Wikipedia, False friends between Spanish and English. I think that's the objective part of the question that can be answered. Unfortunately, I don't know which of them you'd find funny, so is upto you to select them. Enjoy!

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Yeah, that's about as perfect an answer as I could have hoped for! I'd vote it up given some rep and all but for now all I can do is comment up some graciousness :) –  Dmitri DB Feb 18 '14 at 22:29

I agree with @c.p. that this type of question is not appropriate for the QA-format, but since I don't have enough reputation to add a comment, here's a link to get you started.

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Answer is yes: There are a lot of those words. They are called in spanish "Falsos amigos" (false friends).

You did not ask for a list, and the Question would have been inappropiate if you were done that.

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Puedes editar la pregunta para tratar de salvarla –  Emilio Gort Feb 18 '14 at 12:21

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