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Accordning to the mental floss article,

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/57195/50-spanish-english-false-friend-words,

"colegio" and "college" are listed as false friends, and "dormitorio" and "dormitory" are also listed as false friends.

But it contradicts the translations in Google Translate.

"collegio" does translate to "college".

https://www.google.com/search?q=translate+spanish+to+english+colegio&oq=translate+&aqs=chrome.1.69i59l2j0l3j69i60l3.5109j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

and "college" does translate to "colegio"

https://www.google.com/search?q=translate+english+to+spanish+college&oq=translate+&aqs=chrome.1.69i59l2j0l3j69i60l3.5109j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

"dormitorio" does translate to "dormitory".

https://www.google.com/search?q=translate+spanish+to+english+dormitorio&oq=translate+&aqs=chrome.1.69i59l2j0l3j69i60l3.5109j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

and "dormitory" does translate to "dormitorio"

https://www.google.com/search?q=translate+english+to+spanish+dormitory&oq=translate+&aqs=chrome.1.69i59l2j0l3j69i60l3.5109j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

I didn't really understand why the above Mental Floss article seems to contradict the translations on Google Translate.

  • Mentalfloss is right about those two pairs of words being false friends. The translation they propose is the correct one. – Gustavson May 22 at 18:07
  • @Gustavon I usually rely on the translations on Google Translate. – Arunabh Bhattacharya May 22 at 18:33
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    You should not rely on google translate. It is useful but full of mistakes. – DGaleano May 22 at 18:36
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    There are better resources, like dict.cc, LEO, and for words and phrases in context, Linguee. – pablodf76 May 23 at 19:30
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Google translate is wrong while mentalfloss is right.

COLEGIO = high school - school COLLEGE = universidad

DORMITORIO = bedroom
DORMITORY = residencia universitaria

In Spanish COLEGIO is an educational institution. In some countries it is used for the latest years (high school) but in some others like in Colombia it is used for all grades that come after kinder garden.

I guess the other words don't need much explanation

Google translate is a useful tool but is full of mistakes.

| improve this answer | |
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    Just to complicate things what DGaleano says applies to the US, other varieties of English have different meanings for college and dormitory. A dormitory for me is any communal sleeping place, not necessarily in a university, it could be in a hostel or a boarding school. Some expensive private schools call themselves college although that is not common. Truly international languages pose problems for us all. – mdewey May 23 at 15:36
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    It is common in this site to see questions including "but why Google translate it as x?" I don't keep track but we see that here very often. I'd recommend double checking Google translate with other tools like the one @pablodf76 recommended. You can use the search tool on this site to look for "Google translate" and find more examples – DGaleano May 24 at 12:55
  • @mdewey However, the word "dorm" is used mainly for the room in the university. – Arunabh Bhattacharya May 26 at 18:01
  • Another example is "fútbol" which translates to "soccer" or "association football". "football" is called "fútbol americano". However, many people call "association football" or "soccer" as "football". – Arunabh Bhattacharya Jun 3 at 1:02

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