Sayings, ideoms and things that don't make sense in another language

arnljot

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Okay

This thread is meant to make us laugh and learn.

Recently there has been a lot of friction and misunderstandings in posts because a number of us here doesn't have english as our native language.

It's not so rampant here at Amibay, but have a look over at EAB. Some are priceless.

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I'll open the floor with a norwegian way of saying that "I'll put something together for you".

You'd most likely say the following if you mean that it'll be a rush job and quality will be so so, but it should get the job done:
I will screw something together for you
Norwegian original
Jeg vil skru sammen noe for deg
Now, screw is quite innocent, it's a fastening device. And to screw is the verb where upon you are in the act of applying the fastening device to the different parts.

But still, it makes much more sense to use "put together" in english.

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Now, the next one makes even less sense in english

You would use this if you were at a meeting were everyone was talking at the same time, and noone cared to listen to what the other party was saying. In another way, what happens on a forum discussion everyday.

English translation
To talk in eachothers mouths
Norwegian original
Å snakke i munnen på hverandre
Now this sounds a lot like how the french kiss. Or what as it was known as under George Bush "Freedom Kisses". Norwegians do it too.
 

Merlin

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How about "Bob's your Uncle" in English, meaning that everything is sorted out and OK.....?

Example:-

"Open the case, solder a wire to this link and Bob's your Uncle!"

How others translate that is beyond me....

There's going to be some real Quote Contest gems cropping up in here, I'm sure!!

:LOL:
 

rkauer

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In Brazil we use "Pagar o pato" ( = pay the duck), when in English we use "Paid trough the nose".

Among a lot of other funny expressions. Each country or even region of the world have their own.
 

arnljot

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In Brazil we use "Pagar o pato" ( = pay the duck), when in English we use "Paid trough the nose".

Among a lot of other funny expressions. Each country or even region of the world have their own.

In norway transaction ideoms are, which I can remember right now:

Den kosta skjorta
It cost the shirt
Meaning you had to give the shirt off your back.

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Bedre med en i hånda enn ti på taket
Better with one in the hand, than ten on the roof
I'd say it depends on what it is...

---

Å kjøpe katta i sekken
To buy the cat in the bag
You bought something that was crap, possably been the victim of a fraud.

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Ikke selg skinnet før bjørnen er skutt
Don't sell the skin (fur) until the bear is shot
Skin can either mean skin or fur (skinn eller pels) in Norwegian. I've never understood why this saying is so unprecise. I would think that if you need to tell this to someone, you'd better be precise.

---

Those were the trade related ones.

Then there are the classic ones which are particular to norway:

å gå over bekken etter vann
to walk over the stream for water
or a little better

to cross the stream for water
In england they say

carrying coals to Newcastle
So it describes something hard and pointless.

---

And then we can say
la meg tenke meg om litt

It means to stop and consider

Let me think myself a little about

or word for word
Let me think me about little
 

Merlin

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@ arnljot

"To lose your shirt" in English comes from the fact that people used to pawn their husband's best shirt in order to raise money, when times were tough. Obviously, if you couldn't repay the loan, you 'lost your shirt'. It's probably the same the World over.

To be "sold a pup" would be the English equivalent of your "cat in the bag",meaning you have "bought a lemon".

"Letting the cat out of the bag" is quite another thing; that means to disclose a secret or information that should not be imparted to others.

"Taking coals to Newcastle" would be like "Taking snow to the North Pole", meaning offering something they already have, so it's pointless.
 

arnljot

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Just remembered one more

koste mer enn det smaker

cost more than it tastes[/qoute]

Means that it's more troubble than it's worth.

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mye skrik og lite ull

lot of screams and little wool

There was a lot of effort with little to show for it.

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Det er ikke bare bare

It's not only only

Meaning it's not easy

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And then there are norwegian athletes or, in this case sportsmen who don't master the language so well - or actually do and just have fun:

Henning Solberg said:
It's not the fart that kills, but the smell

Fart = Speed in norwegian. Smell = Sound of a crash, bang.


Henning Solberg said:
It's not only only to win this race

Henning Solberg said:
I came with a great fart and disappeared as a prick in the sky

Now this one is prize worthy. Again he uses the norwegian word for speed(fart) and then uses the norwegian word for dot(prikk). Now, when media quoted this. They spelled it correctly in english and it all became very dirty. :LOL:

Henning Solberg said:
I drivved and then it was a sving and a sving til, så a stein and pang – I drivved rett in the juletre.

Now. This is just getting silly. But atleast he's not shy to speak despite a limited vocabulary. Sving = turn, til = another one. Stein = stone. Juletre = Christmas tree.

Henning Solberg said:
I had bad pigs in my dekk

Dekk = tyres. And heck if I know what you call those nails in tyres meant for winter use :)
 

AndyLandy

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"Taking coals to Newcastle" would be like "Taking snow to the North Pole", meaning offering something they already have, so it's pointless.

In a similar vein: "Preaching to the choir" -- Telling someone something they already know/agree with.
 

arnljot

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"Taking coals to Newcastle" would be like "Taking snow to the North Pole", meaning offering something they already have, so it's pointless.

In a similar vein: "Preaching to the choir" -- Telling someone something they already know/agree with.

Ah, for church related ones...

We have this one:

når det regner på presten, drypper det på klokkeren

when it rains at the priest, then it'll drip on the clerk

clerk was the word google offered me. You know the guy in Notre Dame who rings the bell.
 

Merlin

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"Taking coals to Newcastle" would be like "Taking snow to the North Pole", meaning offering something they already have, so it's pointless.

In a similar vein: "Preaching to the choir" -- Telling someone something they already know/agree with.

Also "Teaching Grandma to suck eggs"...
 

TheCorfiot

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clerk was the word google offered me. You know the guy in Notre Dame who rings the bell.

You mean it will drip on Quasimodo the Hunchback :huh:

As if the poor Bas**rd is not carrying enough around as it is :p

TC :LOL:
 

arnljot

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"Taking coals to Newcastle" would be like "Taking snow to the North Pole", meaning offering something they already have, so it's pointless.

In a similar vein: "Preaching to the choir" -- Telling someone something they already know/agree with.

Also "Teaching Grandma to suck eggs"...

Now, if anyone said that, would have thought it was a "your mama" joke. And been very upset with them :LOL:

---------- Post added at 15:56 ---------- Previous post was at 15:55 ----------

clerk was the word google offered me. You know the guy in Notre Dame who rings the bell.

You mean it will drip on Quasimodo the Hunchback :huh:

As if the poor Bas**rd is not carrying enough around as it is :p

TC :LOL:

LOL, well. Not him specifically. But I was more thinking about his formal job title.
 

TheCorfiot

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Also "Teaching Grandma to suck eggs"...

Merly

In the same manner that you explained the "Shirt" phrase,

Could you please do the same with this one, as It has always baffled me & has a perverse ring about it :p

TC ;)
 

Merlin

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Quiasimodo? I don't know him personally, but his face rings a bell.....:LOL:

badoom-tish!! Ay thang you...

@ TC

I think the "Grandma" phrase links to the fact that by that age, most people would have lost their teeth, hence Grandma has little choice other than to suck eggs.
 

arnljot

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Also "Teaching Grandma to suck eggs"...

Merly

In the same manner that you explained the "Shirt" phrase,

Could you please do the same with this one, as It has always baffled me & has a perverse ring about it :p

TC ;)

It's something about her doing that to the egg with no teeth that is just plain wrong.

---------- Post added at 16:00 ---------- Previous post was at 15:59 ----------

Quiasimodo? I don't know himpersonally, but his face rings a bell.....:LOL:

badoom-tish!! Ay thang you...

You just made David Letterman wheep with joy :)

---------- Post added at 16:01 ---------- Previous post was at 16:00 ----------

LOL, well. Not him specifically. But I was more thinking about his formal job title.

Ah sorry, my mistake, you mean the guy employed to pull when the priest orders it. :p

TC :LOL:

That one exactly. Now, let's not go any further. As there are serious things going on all over the place atm. :-/
 

jvdbossc

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When reading merlin's posting about the cat whe have a completely different one about a cat:

Dutch: Een kat in een zak kopen.
Dialect dutch: Ik em n kat in nen zak gekoch, wafoon sleure!

to translate it literal: To buy a cat in a bag
The dialect: I bought a cat in a bag, what s**** piece

Means: Buy something you don't need, wan't, bad quality, piece of s***t, bad product not worth the trouble etc..
 
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