You Really Can’t… Fire Your Chef? – False Friends in English and German

Not a Chef!

Two Real Chefs!

Lots of Germans have trouble with the word chef in English. Read this story where Thomas gets confused about the difference between a chef and a boss in English.

Thomas: I really hate my chef.
Nick: Oh, then why don’t you fire him.
Thomas: What do you mean? I can’t fire him.
Nick: Why not? You are the one who pays his salary.
Thomas: No I don’t! He pays my salary.
Nick: Oh, you must mean your boss. In English, a chef is someone who prepares your food, like a “Koch”.
Thomas: Now I see. It’s even funnier, because my boss is named Mr. Koch!

Remember: the Chef = der Koch and the Boss = der Chef.

To practice, write some sentences in the comments below. Use the words chef and boss.

Other False Friends in English and German