Academic false friends

In my professional environment (university), I often hear and even read two literal and rather awkward translations. I have no definite evidence that they are genuine false friends, but a comparison on Google suggests that the two expressions I regard as correct are used much more often than the others. Moreover, I did not find any dictionaries that would support both versions.

German native speakers often use the phrase

to hold a lecture

because the corresponding German expression is eine Vorlesung halten. However, the correct English expression appears to be (see here)

to give a lecture

Similarly, the phrase

to visit a lecture

(eine Vorlesung besuchen) appears to be incorrect, whereas

to attend a lecture

is widely used and can be found in most dictionaries.

Finally, make sure you do not mix up lecture and course. A lecture refers to a single event, whereas a course is a series of lectures. In German, lecture and course are both translated as Vorlesung, which can cause confusion.

 

 

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