The Polish false friends quiz: 4
The words below all look like normal words in Polish (and probably in some other languages), but they also look like perfectly normal words in English!
The problem is that these words have completely different meanings.
Match the 10 correct words to the correct English definitions (listed below).
busy mam/ma pan stale was
dole my pot talk windy
1. A deep round container used for cooking stews, soups, and other food
2. Past tense form of the verb 'to be', as used in the first and third persons
3. In British English, this is the money that is given regularly by the government to people who are unemployed
5. When the wind is blowing a lot
6. A word used by children to describe one of their parents
7. When you use spoken language to express your thoughts, ideas, or feelings
9. A word to show that something belongs or relates to you
10. A round metal container, usually with a long handle, for cooking things in
(For non-Polish speakers: if you are unsure what these words actually mean in Polish, these can also be found in the key to answers, which you can read below if you scroll down the page a bit...)
And here are the answers to the false friends quiz (4):
busy: I don't have time to see you today, I'm so busy at work!
dole: So you don't have a job? How much are you getting from the government - that is, how much are you getting on the dole?
mam/ma: Hi mam! How are you! It's your daughter, Gloria!
my: That's not your pen, that's my pen! Give it to me!
pan: You need a good pan if you want to boil some potatoes ready for dinner.
pot: If you want to make a stew, you need a good cooking pot for your meat and potatoes so it can be in the oven for two hours.
stale: I think that bread's stale. It's been in the cupboard for over a week.
talk: There are some problems that we need to talk about so we can fix them.
was: I was at school yesterday, and so was Fred and Julie.
windy: You had better keep your hand on your hat! It's very windy outside!
And what are these same words in Polish?
busy: More than one bus (usually a mini-bus)
dole: The bottom (of something, not your personal bottom!)
mam/ma: I have/it has
pan: You (formal form, usually addressed to men)
stale: Constantly or permanently, also the plural form of steel
talk: Talc (as in talcum powder)
was: A moustache! (strictly speaking, it's wąs), but perhaps more obviously - you!
windy: More than one lift/elevator