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German Bad vs. English bad- Tricky False Friends in German and English

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

The German noun "Bad" and the English adjective "bad" are false friends (also known as "false cognates") because even though they may look like twins, their meanings have no connection whatsoever. In this post, I will explain the difference in meaning between the German bad and the English word.

The German noun "das Bad" translates as "the bathroom" in English, while the English "bad" translates as "schlecht" in German. So, contrary to what the spelling might suggest, there is no connection at all. So Michael Jackson certainly didn't have the German word in mind when we wrote his brilliant song.



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