False Friends Juli 2005

Heute habe ich um halb acht den Hausmeister im Flur getroffen.

What is wrong with this translation? “Today I saw the housemaster on the floor at half eight”.

The first mistake is ‘housemaster’, which is a teacher. He is in charge of a ‘house’ in a private school.  

The second false friend is ‘floor’, which is ‘Boden’. Flur is ‘corridor’ in an office building or hotel or ‘hall’ in a private home. Finally, in British English half eight in the morning is 8:30. So the translation is “I met the caretaker this morning at half (past) seven in the corridor”.

Deutsch                  English

Flur                         corridor / hall
halb acht                half seven
Hausmeister           caretaker / janitor

English                   Deutsch
floor                        Boden
half eight                halb neun
housemaster          Lehrer



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