“Réel” happens be to an example of the kind of word, I have in mind. It looks like, and is sometimes translated (incorrectly) as “real” in English.

In some instances, that may be ok, for example “en temps réel” = “in real time”.

But my understanding is that it would be wrong to use “réellement” in the sense of “really”. A better translation would be “vraiment”.

What is the French term for this kind of word?

  • 1
    For questions concerning English translations, check this site : english.stackexchange.com
    – zejam
    Aug 23, 2011 at 13:32
  • @zejam: I edited the question to ask for the FRENCH term, But your point is well taken.
    – Tom Au
    Aug 23, 2011 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


I think you're referring to a false friend or faux-ami in French, where a similar word has very different meaning in two different languages.

“En temps réel” is a proper translation for “in real time”; “vraiment” would be the translation of “really” rather than “réellement”.

  • 5
    I'm nearly disappointed that faux-ami is not a false friend itself
    – Joubarc
    Aug 23, 2011 at 13:38
  • So noted, and corrected. Thanks.
    – Tom Au
    Aug 23, 2011 at 13:39

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