+0
Hi,

I'm looking for an example of an idiomatic expression in any language that can't be translated or at least doesn't have an acknowledged, correct translation.

Does anybody have any suggestions?
1 2 3 4
Comments  (Page 2) 
Lionheart - so WHO are you actually? An American of Czech/German descent? It means one of your parents is Czech and the other German? So could you please produce something Czech, which would fit into the thread? Oh, and please don't translate it at first - I'll try to guess the meaning myself (I promise no cheating of course) Emotion: big smile Deal?
Ok Lionheart, now everything is clear. Don't apologize, it's only my fault, I don't know english very well and I hope I improve it as soon as possible. I want to ask my sister if she ever heard "make a movie" in any film, because she loves movies and she knows english very well; but she turns back home tonight; tomorrow I can write you something.

Anyway I searched it on tiscali.it and I didn't find anything.

Don't trust in translator, I have one too and it translates italian sentences in a terrible english...I can even correct it!Emotion: wink

Thank you for having said that my english isn't that bad...you are so good with me! Emotion: smile

Ciao!
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Here I am
I asked my sister, she said she heard this sentence:

"ti stai girando un film nella testa?" in english is "Are you making a movie in your mind?"

you can say it to somebody who just told you what he was thinking about his next future and you think that is absurd, fanciful and impossible to realize.

For example: your friend comes to you and she says: "that boy is looking at me, soon he'll invite me to go out and he'll say he loves me...." and you can tell her: "Are you making a movie in your mind?"

I hope it's clear, it took me an hour to translate!Emotion: wink

Ciao!
WielebnySo could you please produce something Czech, which would fit into the thread?

Okay, I suppose I should stop drifting off-topic and post some foreign idioms. Czech idioms can be hilarious when translated literally into English. I suppose all foreign idioms sound strange to non-natives, but eastern european idioms carry a certain coarseness with them that can be funny, and the Czech people do not break that trend.

Být v rejži.
Dát/snést někomu modré z nebe.
Držet (někomu) palce
Chodit kolem horké kaše.

Apparently there are many Czech idioms that involve birds. I think the first one is funny.:

Lepší vrabec v hrsti nežli holub na střeše
Vrána k vráně sedá, rovný rovného si hledá

Go to http://www.radio.cz/en/article/42543 for more interesting notes on Czech idioms. Also, www.bohemica.com has some good resources for the Czech language, although it should be noted that my Czech descent is from the Moravians, not the Bohemians.

The remainder of my post is directed to Francesca:
Francesca Don't apologize, it's only my fault, I don't know english very well and I hope I improve it as soon as possible.
What you don't understand is that you write better English than most native Americans do. You use capitalization and punctuation better than most American college students. That's not flattery, that's the truth.

Francesca I want to ask my sister if she ever heard "make a movie" in any film, because she loves movies and she knows english very well;
Just to make sure you understand me, I didn't hear the term "Make a movie" in a movie. I just heard a person say this: "In Italy, they have a phrase: "Make a movie!" It means to live life large! Live life like a movie was being made out of it!" The person that told me this was not Italian, so I probably shouldn't have believed him.

Francesca Don't trust in translator, I have one too and it translates italian sentences in a terrible english...I can even correct it!
Yeah, I found out the hard way! Here, let's have a little bit of fun: I typed in "I would like to take a tour of your country." and this is what came out: "Vorrei prendere un giro del vostro paese."
"Waiter, their is a hair in my soup!" becomes: "Cameriere, loro sono i capelli in mia minestra!"
What did you just say about my sister?" becomes: "Che cosa giusto avete detto circa la mia sorella?"
And finally, "I smell something funny, I think it's my laundry," becomes: "Sento l'odore di qualche cosa di divertente, Penso che sia la mia lavanderia"

That should keep you laughing for awhile.

--Lionheart
Lionheart I typed in "I would like to take a tour of your country." and this is what came out: "Vorrei prendere un giro del vostro paese."
"Waiter, their is a hair in my soup!" becomes: "Cameriere, loro sono i capelli in mia minestra!"
What did you just say about my sister?" becomes: "Che cosa giusto avete detto circa la mia sorella?"
And finally, "I smell something funny, I think it's my laundry," becomes: "Sento l'odore di qualche cosa di divertente, Penso che sia la mia lavanderia"

That should keep you laughing for awhile.

--Lionheart
iol! These sentences are so funny Emotion: big smile

In your future, if you will have to write something in italian it's better that you ask me first! Emotion: wink

I'm going to sleep, it's past midnight in Italy and I usually wake up early in the morning!

Ciao!
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
All right, here I come:

(1) Lepší vrabec v hrsti nežli holub na střeše
(2) Vrána k vráně sedá, rovný rovného si hledá

These two are easier I suppose.

(1) - A sparrow in your hand is better than a pigeon on the roof.
(2) - A crow sits near another crow - the similar/equal ones stick together (sounds AWFUL, I know)

For those the translation probably sucks, but I can at least guess it somehow.

But this:

Být v rejži.
Dát/snést někomu modré z nebe.
Držet (někomu) palce
Chodit kolem horké kaše.

no idea. Must be something purely Czech.

Waiting for my grade Emotion: wink
Oops, I am afraid one duplicate shall soon turn up somewhere here. Sorry for that, just forgot to log in.
In the U.S. we say "Hindisght is 20/20" meaning roughly the same thing as that Polish expression.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
(1) A sparrow in your hand is better than a pigeon on the roof.
(2) A crow sits near another crow - the similar/equal ones stick together (sounds AWFUL, I know)


In English we say (1) "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," and (2) "Birds of a feather flock together."


Dát/snést někomu modré z nebe.
Držet (někomu) palce


Can I take a wild guess at these? Does the first mean "give someone (something) from the sky"? Is it possible that the second one means "to hold someone's finger"?? I have no idea what the idiomatic meanings would be, but could someone tell me if my literal guesses are any good?

Show more