Can it mean both appear and seem?
No, to seem = a părea (without the initial 'a')
Is it just because I'm English that they both sound exactly the same?? lol!
The difference is subtle, but it is there. It may be hard to pick up when it is said really fast.
To appear, like an apparition (ghost)?
The way it is pronounced is for a apãra to defend. Your translation is for a apãrea to appear. Duo however did not mark to defend wrong and translated apãre as to appear!!