False friends – 11: spreeuw vs sparrow



Transcript of the video lesson – spreeuw vs sparrow:

Hi, welcome to learndutch.org’s false friends.
Words from different languages that sound or look the same, but with a different meaning. Today the word: “spreeuw” in Dutch, which more or less looks like the english “sparrow”. I agree the resemblance is not that strong, as with other words in this set of lessons, but a lot of people make mistakes with these. So, they are false friends!

A sparrow is this bird. And his name in Dutch is “een mus”. And I use the word “his”, because as far as I know, the one on the picture is a male.

The Dutch word “spreeuw” is also a bird, but this one. And that’s what we call in English a starling. I used the word “that”, because I can not say whether it’s a “he” or a “she” on the picture. If you know it, please write it in the comments of this video.

Now, in the Netherlands. Each year there is a bird registration. All people that have bird watching as a hobby, will spend that day outside and register which bird they see and how much of them they see. And “de spreeuw” (the starling) takes the second place in terms of most frequently registered birds on that day. And the number one; ta-ta-ra-taa, and you could guess that: the sparrow.

de meest geziene vogel: is de mus, daarna: de spreeuw
the most seen bird is: the sparrow, next: the starling

So now you know, why the mistake is easy to make, the Dutch “spreeuw” and and the English “sparrow” are false friends!

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