I got the idea for this dictionary from my more than thirty years’ experience as an interpreter. An interpreter has to work fast, with little time to look for the right word, so one often goes for the word or phrase nearest in form to the original.
The problem, as I explain in the introduction, is that this formal resemblance does not always bring a resemblance of meaning with it. Pairs of words from two different languages that are similar in form but different in meaning are called false friends. In order to prevent the kind of mistake that they cause I got the idea of writing a kind of black list of false friends, which could serve to warn interpreters about them.
At first I was thinking of a short glossary to be distributed to my colleagues, but soon it began to acquire a surprising size. So then I decided to make it into a genuine dictionary of false friends, and enlisted the help of my friend and colleague Lourdes De Rioja. We decided on an electronic format because it allows users to interact and facilitates subsequent corrections. Lourdes has done the publishing, production and design. Lastly I asked another friend and colleague, Alan Rodger, to help with the English. As well as revising and correcting the dictionary, he has also translated the introduction and the FAQs.