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Many French and English words are related, though often not synonyms or "faux amis".

Are there some good lists of such cognates or some database/tool/website that makes it easy to track them down, preferably with some etymological context?

(Especially those that are not "faux amis" or "vrais amis").

Examples:

  • (f) Bonjour, jour, journal - (e) journey, journal.

  • (f) Cheval - (e) Cavalry

  • You will have to work on etymologies. etymonline.com will give you the etymology of English words and whether they come from French. Wiktionary isn't too bad either. – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Feb 17 '14 at 17:09
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This PDF is quite nice : http://blogimages.bloggen.be/ivemontpellier3/attach/166241.pdf

The first 2 columns are the English word and its actual translation in French, while the 2 last columns are the "immediate translation" a French would do and the actual meaning in English.

For instance, to arrive means to reach a destination, while a French would think it means arriver (i.e. to happen).

  • 1
    Be careful, French verb arriver has many different meaning (to happen, to succeed, to come, ...) – Fractaliste Feb 17 '14 at 15:57
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    @Fractaliste and arriver means "to arrive" as well. Actually it's the most common meaning of arriver! – Laure SO - Écoute-nous Feb 17 '14 at 17:07
  • It is a nice list, but it seems to only cover quite similar words, not related words spelled quite differently. – Olav Feb 17 '14 at 21:50
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To resolve disambiguation I personally use linguee.com/.fr website.

It's not a translation website nether a dictionary, it's a translation memory based on other website translations. So there is no etymological or other grammatical information, but its aim is to provide a dozen of relatively reliable example to allow you to understand in which context your sentence can be used.

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