When learning a new language, words that are the same or similar in more than one language can be an excellent friends. Spanish is full of friends to English, such as teléfono (phone), carro (car) and even verbs, such as combinar (combine). There is also a long list of Spanish words that have become common language in English: tortilla, rodeo, barracuda, taco and plaza to name some.
False friends (not to be confused with false cognates), on the other hand, can be a dangerous enemy to any language learner. These tricky words look similar to words in English, but mean something completely different. Excitar and excitado are false friends and if you don’t know that, you are likely in for some embarrassment (which points out another false friend: embarazado).
I had a friend who arrived to Argentina speaking minimal Spanish. She was a fast learner and pretty confident, so she would jump into conversations with her broken Spanish and just go for it. For the first several months of her time in Argentina, she continuously expressed her excitement for things by saying “estoy excitada!” I guess she chalked up the giggles and smiles that followed her statement to her cute accent.
Unfortunately, that was wasn’t that case.
What is the Best English to Spanish Translation for EXCITED?
Excitado or exitada does not mean “excited” as one might assume. It actually means “horny.” All this time she thought she was telling people she was excited about that upcoming yoga class or dinner when really, she was expressing a sexual desire. The word she was looking for is emocionado or emocionada.
Do yourself a favor and burn emocionado or emocionada into your mind now and save yourself the embarrassment my friend went through. And embarazado does not mean embarrassed. It means pregnant. That’s another one to burn into your head.
Check out these other English Spanish articles.
Featured photo credit: Jump for Joy by kreg.steppe via flickr