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40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally

40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally
What does it mean to “have tomatoes on your eyes?” Find out below… By Helene Batt and Kate Torgovnick May It’s a piece of cake. You can put lipstick on a pig. To add fuel to the fire. Below, we asked translators to share their favorite idioms and how they would translate literally. From German translator Johanna Pichler: The idiom: Tomaten auf den Augen haben.Literal translation: “You have tomatoes on your eyes.”What it means: “You are not seeing what everyone else can see. The idiom: Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof.Literal translation: “I only understand the train station.”What it means: “I don’t understand a thing about what that person is saying.’” The idiom: Die Katze im Sack kaufen.Literal translation: “To buy a cat in a sack.”What it means: That a buyer purchased something without inspecting it first.Other languages this idiom exists in: We hear from translators that this is an idiom in Swedish, Polish, Latvian and Norwegian. From Swedish translator Matti Jääro:

Related:  Idioms, quotes, expressions/phrases & sayingsTOKLanguage

Idioms Idioms and idiomatic expressions in English An idiom is a group of words in current usage having a meaning that is not deducible from those of the individual words. For example, "to rain cats and dogs" - which means "to rain very heavily" - is an idiom; and "over the moon" - which means "extremely happy" - is another idiom. In both cases, you would have a hard time understanding the real meaning if you did not already know these idioms! Why Save a Language? Photo Gray Matter By JOHN McWHORTER “TELL me, why should we care?” The 50 most useful Idioms and their Meaning Commonly used Idioms Idiom: a manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language Every language has its own collection of wise sayings. They offer advice about how to live and also transfer some underlying ideas, principles and values of a given culture / society. These sayings are called "idioms" - or proverbs if they are longer. These combinations of words have (rarely complete sentences) a "figurative meaning" meaning, they basically work with "pictures".

English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions Use the navigation above to browse our A-Z of English idioms … If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our Idioms Discussion Forum. If you know of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please use our online form to suggest an idiom. Below are listed the latest 30 entries that have been added to our database of English idioms & idiomatic expressions. Subscribe to our idioms feed to keep up-to-date: Members Get More - Sign up for free and gain access to many more English idioms and slang expressions. The power of stupid ideas: ‘three generations that have never worked’ This month I ran a workshop with a group of first year undergraduate sociology students at Teesside University (in the North East of England). Our students tend to be from working-class or lower-middle class backgrounds and often the first in their families to go to university. I’d been invited to give an insight into a ‘real life’ research project, and I began by asking for responses and thoughts about some quotations: ‘Behind the statistics lie households where three generations have never had a job’ (ex-British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, 1997).

Expressions & Sayings If you prefer to go directly to the meaning and origin of a specific expression, click on its relevant entry in the alphabetical list below. Use this alphabet to speed up your search: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z The Case for Teaching Ignorance IN the mid-1980s, a University of Arizona surgery professor, Marlys H. Witte, proposed teaching a class entitled “Introduction to Medical and Other Ignorance.” Her idea was not well received; at one foundation, an official told her he would rather resign than support a class on ignorance.

How to Improve Your English Pronunciation “How can I improve my pronunciation?” This is one of the most common questions I am asked. I wrote this post to answer that question, and help you improve your English pronunciation! Good pronunciation is essential for speaking AND understanding spoken English. Below is a list of my best tips for improving your English pronunciation. 1. Idioms used by native speakers Those of us who grew up with English as our first language have been exposed to idioms and idiomatic expressions for most of our lives. They may have confused us a little when we were children, but explanation and constant exposure not only increased our understanding of them, but likely drew them into our own vernacular. If you’re in the process of learning the English language, you may come across some of these and not be entirely sure what they mean. Here’s a list of 20 that you’re likely to come across fairly often: 1. A Chip on Your Shoulder

Making Time: Does it matter why we help others? Is altruism simply self-interest in disguise? And can a mathematical equation hope to answer the question? In 1968, an academic almost unknown in the UK walked into University College London and presented its staff with an equation so remarkable, that they offered him an honorary position and the keys to his own office. His name was George Price, and his equation addressed a problem that has vexed scientists since Charles Darwin published On The Origin of Species more than a century earlier. If we are selfish creatures, engaged in a battle for survival, why do we display altruism? Why do we show kindness to others even at a cost to ourselves?