False Cognates-Molest/Molestar

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shoes The Spanish word “molestar” means “annoy, bother disturb”, whilst the English term “molest” conveys negative sexual connotations of “sexual harassment”.
According to the “The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission”:
“Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.”

At the present time, when all of us aspire to be politically correct, there is a need of being extremely careful when applying these verbal nuances… imagine then the reaction of a native speaker that was asked by his Argentinian colleague that wishes to brush up her English: KINDLY DO NOT MOLEST ME NOW…

The term “false-cognate” is sometimes used incorrectly for “false friend”. False cognates are a pair of words in the same or different languages that are similar in form and meaning but have different roots. That is, they appear to be or are sometimes considered cognates when in fact they are not.

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