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German Chef vs. English chef - Tricky False Friends in German and English

Don’t be fooled to think that the German noun "Chef" and the English noun “chef” mean the same thing. In fact, they are false friends (also known as "false cognates") because, even though they might be spelled the same, their meanings are very different indeed. The last eleven entries in our blog series revealed that there is no relation between the German bad and the English word of the same spelling, German Art and the English art, German fast and the English fast, German blenden and the English blend, the difference between become and bekommen, the surprising meaning of a German Gift, English also and its meaning in German, the English "bald" vs. the German "bald", the difference between “brand” vs ”Brand”, showed that "spenden" in German is not what you might think it is, and explained why schmuck wouldn't be considered as an insult by a German native speaker. In this post, I will explain the difference in meaning between the German Chef and the English word.

Chef vs. chef - False Friends in English and German
Chef vs. chef - False Friends in English and German The German noun “der Chef” translates as “the boss” in English and is therefore not confined to the kitchen. The English word “chef” means “der Koch” in German, so the cook. Confusingly, the German word “der Küchenchef” refers to the head chef of a restaurant, which makes sense as he or she is the boss of the kitchen 😉.

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