Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Friday March 15, 2013

competencia, noun:
rivalry; competition

The ‘false friend’ that we will be looking at today is competencia. Be careful not to use competencia as a translation for competence (although, by the way, competente does mean competent).
Competencia can mean rivalry:

la competencia entre dos hermanos
the rivalry between two brothers

or competition:

una campaña para descreditar a la competencia
a campaign to discredit the competition

If you actually want to say competence, use either of the Spanish words capacidad or aptitud. In LAm competencia could also be used in this sense as in dudaron de su competencia como professional/médico/testigo

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