False friends: Scholar

Scholar non significa studente, bensì studioso. Una borsa di studio in inglese è scholarship e, curiosamente, in British English students si usa solo per gli studenti universitari, in American English invece le cose cambiano…

Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

The word “scholar” in English is what is generally known as a false friend for Italians because it doesn’t mean (1) “scolaro” but it means a “studioso.” A scholar is a person who spends his or life… his or her life studying and specializing in an academic subject, and the art of what they perform is generally known as “scholarship (2),“ although (3) this in English can also be used to mean a “borsa di studio.” So the obvious question is: “How do you say ‘scolaro’ in English?” Well, there are various terms. In British English you can say “pupil,” whether female or male, or else you can say “schoolboy” or “schoolgirl.” The word “student” in British English tends only to refer to university. So we talk about “university students” and we talk about ”student grants (4),” we talk about “student loans (5)” and we talk about “student protest” and we even talk about “student politics.” So when you hear the word “student” in British English it’s usually referring just to university. However, the Americans are… are different in this and they can use the word “student” for university, or “college,” as they call it, but they also use it for schools. For example, high school: you can talk about a “high school student,” which is somebody… a… a pupil for a British person, who is studying at a high school, and hasn’t yet gone to university. So “student,” remember, in British English, is purely university, but in American English is both school and university.


1  it doesn’t mean: non significa
2  scholarship: sapienza, erudizione
3  although: sebbene
4  grants: borsa di studio
5  loans: prestiti

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