"du tout"[fr] vs. "del todo"[sp] - false friends?

I finished my "Negatives" French lesson today. Something I always keep an eye out for are French-Spanish false friends (being a Spanish native speaker, they tend to get me a lot if I don't make an effort to remember them).

This one piqued my curiosity a lot, because it seems to mean the exact opposite in both languages. If I understood my lesson correctly (and I did manage to get through with full hearts), saying:

[FR] Ce travail n'est pas du tout facile (This job is not easy at all)

implies that the job is the contrary of easy, a.k.a. hard or tough. However, when speaking Spanish, the sentence

[SP] Este trabajo no es del todo fácil (This job is not quite so/completely easy)

one implies that, while the job may have its difficulties it is generally easy. I find this completely counterintuitive and just wanted to clarify that I understood the French meaning right.

And yes, I know this is the English->French board but the Spanish->French has a much smaller userbase.

Thanks in advance to anyone (linguist or not) who might shed some light on my question.

July 6, 2014


I cannot shed any light onto the spanish side of the question, but I can say that you understood the French meaning correctly. :) I hope you can find the answer you're looking for soon.

July 6, 2014

Thanks for the validation, that's why I was asking :-) It's actually fun to hypothesize about how phrases and expressions which seem etymologically related mean different, sometimes even opposite things. I can easily imagine it being a source of confusion for centuries almost :)

July 6, 2014

Busqué en un par de diccionarios y efectivamente son faux amis. Vas a tener que acordarte por "at all" en vez de "del todo". El equivalente en español sería algo como "en (lo) absoluto" (que no está nada mal como recordatorio, ya que "absoluto" de cierta manera se relaciona con "todo").

July 6, 2014

¿Alguno de los diccionarios que usas está disponible en línea? Soy un principiante en cuanto a herramientas para el aprendizaje Español->Francés. ¡Gracias por tu esfuerzo!

July 6, 2014

Bueno la verdad es que no eran diccionarios de español a francés. Busqué en foros en inglés, francés y alemán para ver ejemplos y luego confirmé con un diccionario de alemán a francés y de alemán a español.

July 6, 2014

En castellano sería... Este trabajo es para nada fácil... (pas du tout lo que hace es acentuar la negación, exagerarla) Así lo entiendo yo.

July 6, 2014

Si, es una buena manera de verlo. Gracias por la perspectiva :)

July 7, 2014
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