All posts by marcel

Variants, dialects and accents of English

Variants, dialects and accents of the English language

English is nowadays the global lingua franca and the third most-spoken native language in the world (the top 10  languages in the world by number of native speakers are: 1. Mandarin Chinese 2. Spanish 3. English 4. Hindi 5. Arabic 6.French 7. Portuguese 8. Bengali 9. Russian and 10. Indonesian). As Bill Bryson puts it in his memorable book The mother tongue, it is a an irony that “a language that was treated for centuries as the inadequate and second-rate tongue of peasants, should one day become the most important and successful language in the world”

As you may know, English is not a uniform language, by a long shot.  From cockney to received pronunciation,  from Jamaican English to  Canadian English and, of course, from the so-called “British English” to “American English”, there are countless examples of local variants, dialects and accents.

But first of all we must make clear what a variant, a dialect and an accent are:

  • A variant is a specific form of a language used in a culture, for example English is a language, and English as used in the USA is a language variant.
  • A dialect is a form of a language spoken in a particular part of a country, containing some different words and grammar.
  • An accent is the way in which people living in or from a particular region or social group pronounce words.

I’ve thought that the best way, or, if you like, the most  straightforward way of understanding such differences and variations is by watching the following videos offered by some awesome native speakers:

acentos en inglés

 

British English

 

Standard British English 

Standard British English (often associated with British English and the Received Pronunciation) refers to the dialect of English language that is used as the national norm in a British country, especially as the language for public and formal usage. grammar and vocabulary. Abbreviation: BrE, UK

3 minutes to a proper British accent with U of A“.

Received Pronunciation (RP)

Other names: RP,  BBC Pronunciation, the Queen’s English.

Received Pronunciation is an accent, not a dialect, since all RP speakers  are supposed to speak standard English.  According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, RP is the “standard accent of English as spoken in the south of England”. However,h it can be heard from native speakers throughout England and Wales, since it is identified  not so much with a particular region as with a particular social group (mostly upper and upper middle class).

Cockney (London)

Area: London ( East End are Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Stepney, Wapping, Limehouse, Poplar, Clerkenwell, Aldgate, Shoreditch, Millwall, Cubitt Town, Hackney, Hoxton, Bow and Mile End.)

Aly Williams.  Youtube Channel: Learn English with Papa Teach Me

Brummie (Birmingham)

Region: Birmingham, England.
Number of speakers: 3.7 million

Joel and Lia Youtube channel

Picky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory on brummie accent  (minute 03: 50)

…Even Picky Blinder’s creator, Steven Knight,  admitted that Birmingham’s accent is “very difficult to get right”.

Scouse (Liverpool)

Region: Merseyside, England.

English like a native Youtube Channel

Liverpool fc Youtube channel

Geordie

Region: Newcastle, South Northumberland, Tyneside

Graham Oakes’ Youtube channel

Yorkshire accent

Region: Yorkshire, England
Alternative names: Broad Yorkshire, Tyke, Yorkie, or Yorkshire English

Go to Harrison Fletcher’s Youtube Channel

Scottish English

Region: Scotland
Alternative names: Scottish Standard English or Standard Scottish English (SSE).

Youtube Channel: Beauty Creep

Irish English

Alternative names: Hiberno-English
Region: Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Number of speakers: 4.3 million

American English (Standard)

Region: United States of America
Number of speakers: 225 million
Abbreviations: AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US
Alternative names: United States English or U.S. English
Varieties: Eastern New England, New York City, South, North, Midland, West

US map United States map

 

Youtube Channel:  Pronunciation Pro

American English accents

Fun tour of American accents by Amy Walker, actress, singer and accent chameleon:

Youtube channel: Amy Walker

New England (Connecticut) Accent

Youtube channel: Electric Ryan

New videos coming soon.

Canadian English

Region: Canada
Abbreviations: CanE, CE, en-CA
Native speakers: 19,4 million

 Youtube Channel: Like a Native Speaker

Australian English (Aussie English)

Region: Australia
Native speakers: 16,5 million
Abbreviation: AuE; en-AU)

Youtube channel: Tabloid Junk

New Zealand English

Region: New Zealand
Abbreviation: (NZE)
Number of speakers: 3.8 million

Amy Walker’s Youtube channel

Gibraltarian English

Region: Gibraltar, Iberian Peninsula, Europe.
Abbreviation: GibE

Nigerian English

Region:Nigeria, Africa
Number of speakers: approximately 150 million

Nigeria

Youtube channel:  Adefolake

Jamaican English

Region: Jamaica, Caribbean Sea, America
Number of speakers: 2,890,000

Indian English

Region: India, Asia
Abbreviations: IndE, IE
Number of speakers: around 10% of its population (125 million people) speak English, second only to the USA and expected to quadruple in the next decade! English is also the co-official language of the Indian government.

So… who knows? Maybe we’ll all end up speaking the Indian English variant!
By the way, here is one of the funniest videos about English variants I have ever seen, so enjoy it!

 Youtube Channel: Dyaus Prithivi

One thing is for sure: they have a great sense of humor 🙂

***

So, as you can see, English language differs greatly from one variant or dialect to another. Robert Burchfield, a New Zealander lexicographer, scholar, and writer, even asserted that American English and British English were drifting away so rapidly that within two centuries both nations won’t be able to understand each other. Whether it is true or not, it remains to be seen. It is my belief that  platforms such as Netflix or HBO, will play an important role regarding this issue.

Perfect English Pronunciation (British English)

Trainer: Anthony Kelleher

Learn every single English sound from a native British speaker to take your accent and pronunciation to the next level

CLICK ON THE PICTURE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

**********

Perfect English Pronunciation Practice (American English)

Make yourself better understood in English when you learn & practice how to pronounce 12 tricky English consonant sounds

CLICK ON THE PICTURE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

*****

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Multilingual Idioms, Sayings and Colloquialisms Illustrated

Idioms, Sayings and Colloquialisms in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese…

Here is an extensive list of illustrated idioms, sayings and colloquialisms and its equivalents in other languages. Please note that I have often added the word by word translation in parentheses just after the idiom/saying/colloquialism version in other languages so that the reader can get a picture of its deep, symbolic or allegorical meaning. If you want to contribute with other languages, make amendments or comments about nuances, you are very welcome.

This post will be  periodically updated with new multilingual idioms, sayings, colloquialisms and awesome illustrations!

Idioms

They are truly ubiquitous in almost any language, but if we translate them literally, idioms often lose their meaning. That’s why adaptation is part and parcel of the translation process. An idiom is a group of words or a set expression that have a figurative meaning, and not a literal one. Maybe it looks like a tough nut to crack, or what you are reading is Greek to you but, believe me, it’s not rocket science. 🙂

Like two peas in a pod in many languages

multilingual idioms illustrated

Like two peas in a pod  in other languages:

Like two peas in a pod in Spanish: Como dos gotas de agua (like two water droplets).
Like two peas in a pod in French: Comme deux gouttes d’eau (like two water droplets).
Like two peas in a pod in German: Sich gleichen wie ein ei dem anderen (they are so similar as one egg to another)

Like two peas in a pod in Italian: Come due gocce d’acqua (literally, like two water droplets).
Like two peas in a pod in Portuguese: Como duas gotas de água (literally, like two water droplets).
Like two peas in a pod in Finnish: Finnish: kuin kaksi marjaa (literally, Like two berries).
Like two peas in a pod in Romanian:  ca două picături de apă (literally, like two water droplets).
Like two peas in a pod in Swedish: vara lika som bär.
Like two peas in a pod in Catalan: com dues gotes d’aigua (literally, like two water droplets) pastats (pasted)
Like two peas in a pod in Waloon: rishonner come deus gotes d’ aiwe (literally,  like two water droplets).

It’s not rocket science in many languages

It's not rocket science

It’s not rocket science  in other languages::

It’s not rocket science in Spanish: no hay que ser una lumbrera / genio.
It’s not rocket science in French: ce n’est pas sorcier. (literally, this is not witchcraft)
It’s not rocket science in Italian: non è niente di trascendentale.
It’s not rocket science in German: Das ist nicht so kompliziert (literally, that is not so complicated); Das ist keine Hexerei (literally, this is not witchcraft); Das ist keine Diplomarbeit! (this is not a Diploma Thesis)
It’s not rocket science in  Portuguese: não é um bicho de sete cabeças (literally,  it’s not a seven-headed creature)

A tough nut to crack in many languages

Un hueso duro de roes

A tough nit to crack  in other languages:

The detainee is a hard nut to crack. He hasn’t confessed anything during the interrogation.

A hard nut to crack (fig. problem, person) in Spanish: un hueso duro de roer (a hard bone to  gnaw).
A hard nut to crack (fig. problem, person) in French: Dur à cuire (hard to cook)
This is a hard nut to crack in German: Das ist ein dicker  (That’s a fat one)/ harter Brocken (hard chunks).
A hard nut to crack (fig. problem, person) in Italian:  un osso duro (a hard bone ).
This is a hard nut to crack  in Portuguese: um osso duro de roer (a hard bone to  gnaw).
A hard nut to crack (fig. problem, person) in Mandarin Chinese: 难以攻克的困难 (Difficult to overcome)
A hard nut to crack (fig. problem, person) in  Danish: en hård nød at knække (a hard need to crack)
A hard nut to crack (fig. problem, person) in Catalan: un os dur de rossegar (a hard bone to  gnaw).

(to) clutch at straws in many languagesto clutch at straws

Alternative form: grasp at straws

A drowning man will clutch at straws.

(to) clutch at straws  in other languages:

(to) clutch at straws in Spanish: Agarrarse a un clavo ardiendo (to clutch at a burning nail).
(to) clutch at straws in French: Se raccrocher aux branches (to cling to the branches).
(to) clutch at straws in German: Nach Strohhalmen greifen (to clutch at straws) also Sich an einen Strohhalm klammern (clutch at straws).
(to) clutch at straws in Italian: Crearsi delle illusioni (to make up hopes)
Similar to “A drowning man will clutch at straws” in Portuguese: quem não tem cão, caça com gato (Who does not have dog, hunts with a cat).
(to) clutch at straws in Catalan: Agafar-se a la taula de salvació
(clutching at a salvation board).
(to) clutch at straws in Basque: iltze goriari heldu (to the nail polished).

(to) hit the nail on the head in many languages

dar en el clavo en inglés

(to) hit the nail on the head  in other languages:

(to) hit the nail on the head in Chinese:
Mandarin: 一針見血 (zh), 一针见血 (zh) (yīzhēnjiànxiě) (draw blood on the first prick)
(to) hit the nail on the head in Catalan: Justa la fusta (just to the whip); clavar-la (to nail it).
(to) hit the nail on the head in Czech: uhodit hřebíček na hlavičku, udeřit hřebíček na hlavičku (to hit the cloves on the head,  to hit the nail on the head).
(to) hit the nail on the head in Danish: ramme hovedet på sømmet (to  hit the head on the seam).
(to) hit the nail on the head in Dutch: de spijker op de kop slaan (to hit the nail on the head).
(to) hit the nail on the head in Finnish: osua naulan kantaan (to hit the nail on the head).
(to) hit the nail on the head in French: faire mouche (literally, to do the fly).
(to) hit the nail on the head in German: den Nagel auf den Kopf treffen ((to hit the nail on the head).
(to) hit the nail on the head in Hungarian: fején találja a szöget (hu)
(to) hit the nail on the head in Icelandic: hitta naglann á höfuðið, eiga kollgátuna, hitta í mark, koma orðum að kjarna máls, tilgreina kjarna máls
(to) hit the nail on the head in Italian: colpire nel segno (to hit the mark).
(to) hit the nail on the head in Lithuanian: durti kaip pirštu į akį (prick as finger in the eye)
(to) hit the nail on the head in Polish: trafić w sedno (to hit the nail)
(to) hit the nail on the head in Portuguese: acertar em cheio (literally, to fully hit).
(to) hit the nail on the head in Russian: попа́сть не в бровь а в глаз (popástʹ ne v brovʹ a v glaz) (hit not the brow but the eye), попа́сть в то́чку (popástʹ v tóčku) (hit the spot)
(to) hit the nail on the head in Spanish: dar en el blanco (to hit the bullseye), dar en el clavo (to hit the nail); clavarlo (to nail it)
(to) hit the nail on the head in Swedish: slå huvudet på spiken (to turn your head on the nail).
(to) hit the nail on the head in Basquebete-betean asmatu (fully invented)erdiz erdi asmatu (half invented)

Old wine in new bottles in other languages

Old wine in different bottles

Alternative forms and equivalents: Old wine in a new bottle; the same old same old; the same old stuff; another day, another dollar; same shite different night.

It is a reference to the parable of Jesus of New Wine into Old Wineskins, Matthew 9:14–17, Mark 2:21–22, and Luke 5:33–39.

They hoped that the new president would not be old wine in a new bottle, but that he would fulfil the aspirations of the working class.

Old wine in new bottles  in other languages::

Old wine in new bottles in Spanish: El mismo perro con diferente collar (the same dog with different collar).
Old wine in new bottles in French: Bonnet blanc, blanc bonnet (white bonnet, bonnet white).
Old wine in new bottles in GermanNeuer Wein in alten Flaschen. 
Old wine in new bottles in Italian: (Translation needed)
Old wine in new bottles in Portuguese: (Translation needed)
Old wine in new bottles in Persianرایه ایده ای کهنه در لباسی نو‎ (An old idea in a new dress).
Old wine in new bottles in Finnish: Vanhaa viiniä uudessa pulloss (old wine in a new pulloss)
Old wine in new bottles in Catalan: de moliner mudaràs i de lladre no t’escaparàs (you will change to miller and won’t escape from thief).

memes para traductores

(to) Split hairs in many languages

She always has to split hairs, doesn’t she?

(to) split hairs  in other languages::

(to) split hairs in Spanish: buscar tres pies al gato (literally, try to find three feet  in the cat); rizar el rizo (literally, to curl the curl)
(to) split hairs in French: chercher midi à quatorze heures. (lterally, look for noon to fourteen o’clock).
(to) split hairs in German: haarspalterei (literally, hair splitting).
(to) split hairs in Italian: spaccare il capello in quattro (literally, split the hair into four) , cercare il pelo nell’uovo (literally, look for the hair in the egg).
(to) split hairs in Portuguese: discutir detalhezinhos, fazer distinções miúdas (literally, discuss small details, make small distinctions).
(to) split hairs in Finnish: hiusten halkominen (literally, hair splitting).
(to) split hairs in Catalan: buscar tres peus al gat (literally, try to find three feet  in the cat).
(to) split hairs in Basque: izurra izurtu (literally,  to plunge the pestle).

(like) water off a duck’s back in many languages

like water off a duck's back

Listen to me: just ignore these slanders, like water off a duck’s back.

Like water off a duck’s back  in other languages::

Like water off a duck’s back in Spanish: como quien oye llover
Like water off a duck’s back in French: comme l’eau sur le dos d’un canard
Like water off a duck’s back in German:  alles an ihm ab
Like water off a duck’s back in Italian:  è come parlare al muro
Like water off a duck’s back in Portuguese: entrar por um ouvido e sair pelo outro
Like water off a duck’s back in Catalan: com si sentís ploure
Like water off a duck’s back in Polish:  jak po kaczce
Like water off a duck’s back in  Czech: jedním uchem tam, druhým ven
Like water off a duck’s back in Russian: как с гу́ся вода́
Like water off a duck’s back in  Swedish: som vatten på en gås

(to) lose one’s train of thought in many languages

to lose one's train of thought

Sorry… what was I saying? I lost my train of thought.

(to) lose one’s train of thought  in other languages:

(to) lose one’s train of thought in Spanish:  irse el santo al cielo; perder el hilo
(to) lose one’s train of thought in French: Perdre le fil de sa pensée
(to) lose one’s train of thought in German: den Faden verlieren;
aus dem Konzept geraten
(to) lose one’s train of thought in Italian: perdere  perduto ilfilo del discorso.
(to) lose one’s train of thought in Portuguese: perder a linha de pensamento / raciocínio
(to) lose one’s train of thought in Catalan: anar-se’n el sant al cel.
(to) lose one’s train of thought in Basque: ahaztu, ahantzi; adia/arreta galdu

Gift of tongues in many languages

idioms

 

Alternative form: gift for languages

Mary’s got a gift for languages / gift of tongues. She can speak English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch and Corsican.

Gift of tongues  in other languages:

Gift for languages in Spanish: don de lenguas.
Gift for languages in French: don de langues.
Gift for languages in German: Sprachbegabung.
Gift for languages in Italian: dono delle lingue.
Gift for languages in Portuguese: dom das línguas.
Gift for languages in Catalan: do de llengües.

It’s a small world!  in many languages

El mundo es un pañuelo

You know my cousin!? Well, it’s a small world, isn’t it?

It’s a small world  in other languages:

It’s a small world in Finnish: maailma on pieni
It’s a small world in French: le monde est petit (fr)
It’s a small world in German: die ganze Welt ist ein Dorf, wie klein die Welt doch ist, unsere Welt ist ja so klein
It’s a small world in Hungarian: kicsi a világ
It’s a small world in Italian: il mondo è piccolo, com’è piccolo il mondo, come è piccolo il mondo
It’s a small world in Japanese: 世間は広い様で狭い (せけんはひろいようでせまい, seken wa hiroi yō de semai), 世界は狭い (せかいはせまい, sekai wa semai), 世間は狭い (せけんはせまい, seken wa semai)
It’s a small world in Polish: jaki ten świat mały
It’s a small world in Russian: мир те́сен (mir tésen)
It’s a small world in Spanish: el mundo es un pañuelo
It’s a small world in Swedish: världen är liten
It’s a small world in Catalan: el món és un mocador (ca)

business idioms

A cock-and-bull story in many languages

Idioms, sayings and colloquialisms illustrated

un cuento chino

He gave us some cock-and-bull story about having to be in a meeting.

A cock-and-bull story  in other languages:

Cock-and-bull story in Spanish: un cuento chino (literally, a Chinese story)
Cock-and-bull story in French: une histoire à dormir debout (literally, a story to sleep standing up)
Cock-and-bull story in German: Lügengeschichte (literally, pack of lies)
Cock-and-bull story in Italian: frottola (literally,  fib)
Cock-and-bull story in Portuguese: história para boi dormir (literally, a story to sleep ox)
Cock-and-bull story in Catalan: un sopar de duro (literally, a 5 cents coin story)
Cock-and-bull story in Basque: (col.gezur (huts) (literally, lie)

As nutty as a fruitcake in many languages

It’s all Greek to me in many languages

Greek

I don’t understand a bloody word. It’s all Greek to me!

Alternative form in English: It’s double Dutch.

Here is a list of expressions meaning the same in many languages. Chinese seems to be the number one choice when it comes to define an unintelligible language or handwriting.  Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Turkish are coming behind… I have pinpointed those languages that appear in some other language’s expressions with an arrow (►). The Serbian and Croatian cases strike me as the most funny, they literally mean: “These are to me a Spanish village” and “These are to me the Spanish countryside”.

It’s all Greek to me in Albanian: Mos fol kinezce. ( Do not speak Chinese).
It’s all Greek to me in Afrikaans: Dis Grieks vir my. ( It’s Greek to me).
► It’s all Greek to me in Arabic: .يتحدث باللغة الصينية ; .يحكي كرشوني ; بتتكلم بالهندي؟ (Speaking in Chinese/ Syriac / Are you speaking Hindi?)
It’s all Greek to me in Asturian: Suename chinu, Ta’n chinu. (It sounds like Chinese to me. This is in Chinese).
It’s all Greek to me in Basque: ulertezin, ulergaitz, ezin ulertuzko; txinera
It’s all Greek to me in Bulgarian: Все едно ми говориш на патагонски. (It’s like you’re talking in Patagonian.)
It’s all Greek to me in Cantonese: 呢啲係咪鬼畫符呀 ? / 呢啲係唔鬼畫符呀 ?(Is this ghost’s script?)
It’s all Greek to me in Catalan: Això està en xinès. (This is Chinese)
It’s all Greek to me in Cebuano: Nilatin; Inintsik. (Latin, Chinese)
It’s all Greek to me in Croatian: To su za mene španska sela. (These are to me the Spanish countryside)
It’s all Greek to me in Czech: To je pro mě španělská vesnice (This is a Spanish village to me)
It’s all Greek to me in Danish: Det rene volapyk. (This is pure gibberish)
It’s all Greek to me in Dutch: Dat is Chinees voor mij; Ik snap er geen jota van. (That is Chinese to me; I don’t understand one iota of it)
It’s all Greek to me in Esperanto: Tio estas Volapukaĵo. (That’s a Volapük thing).
It’s all Greek to me in Estonian: See on mulle hiina keel. (This is Chinese to me).
It’s all Greek to me in Filipino: Parang Intsik (It looks like Chinese).
It’s all Greek to me in Finnish: Täyttä hepreaa. Kuulostaa siansaksalta. (It’s all Hebrew; Sounds like gibberish).
►It’s all Greek to me in French: C’est du chinois; C’est de l’hébreu. (It’s Chinese/Hebrew)
It’s all Greek to me in German: Das kommt mir spanisch vor (That sounds like Spanish to me); Spreche ich chinesisch? ( Am I speaking Chinese?); Fachchinesisch (specialty Chinese(= technical jargon)); Kauderwelsch; Böhmische Dörfer; Polnisch rückwärts (Polish reversed).
►►It’s all Greek to me in Greek: Αυτά μου φαίνονται αλαμπουρνέζικα. (These seem to me gobbledygook).
It’s all Greek to me in Greek Cypriot: Εν τούρτζικα που μιλάς (Are you speaking Turkish?)
It’s all Greek to me in Hebrew: זה סינית בשבילי (It’s Chinese to me!).
It’s all Greek to me in Hungarian: Ez nekem kínai. (It’s Chinese to me).
It’s all Greek to me in Icelandic: Hrognamál (Fish-egg language)
It’s all Greek to me in Indonesioan: Bahasa planet ((Other)-planet language)
It’s all Greek to me in Italian: Questo per me è arabo/aramaico/ostrogoto / (This is Arabic/Aramaic/Ostrogoth to me)
It’s all Greek to me in Japanese: ちんぷんかんぷん (“Ching chong”)
It’s all Greek to me in Latin: Graecum est; nōn legitur (This is Greek; it can’t be read)
It’s all Greek to me in Latvian: Tā man ir ķīniešu ābece (This is Chinese alphabet book to me)
It’s all Greek to me in Lithuanian: Tai man kaip kinų kalba (This is Chinese alphabet book to me)
It’s all Greek to me in Macedonian: За мене тоа е шпанско село. (It is for me a Spanish village).
►►It’s all Greek to me in Mandarin: 火星文 (Martian language); 看起來像天書。/看起来像天书。(looks like hieroglyphics); 這是鬼畫符嗎?/这是鬼画符吗?(Is this written in ghost’s script? > poor, incomprehensible handwriting); 聽起來像鳥語。/ 听起来像鸟语。(Sounds like the birds)

Me suena a chino en otros idiomas
It’s all Greek to me in Norwegian: Det er helt gresk for meg. (It’s complete Greek to me)
It’s all Greek to me in Persian: انگار ژاپنی حرف می زنه (It’s as if he/she’s speaking Japanese); مگه ترکی حرف میزنم؟ (Am I speaking Turkish)
It’s all Greek to me in Polish: To dla mnie chińszczyzna. (It is Chinese, to me); Siedzieć jak na tureckim kazaniu (Sit as in a Turkish sermon); Czeski film (Czech movie)
It’s all Greek to me in Portuguese: Isto para mim é chinês / grego (This is Chinese / Greek to me)
It’s all Greek to me in Romanian: Parcă e chineză. (It’s like Chinese)
It’s all Greek to me in Russian: Это для меня китайская грамота (That’s Chinese writing to me).
It’s all Greek to me in Serbian: То су за мене шпанска села (These are to me a Spanish village); К’о да кинески причаш. (Like speaking in Chinese).
►It’s all Greek to me in Spanish: Está en chino/arameo. (This is in Chinese/Aramaic); Me suena a chino/arameo. (It sounds like Chinese/Aramaic to me); No entiendo ni jota (I don’t understand one iota of it).
It’s all Greek to me in Swedish: Det är rena grekiskan. (It’s all Greek).
►It’s all Greek to me in Turkish: Konuya Fransız kaldım. (I am French to the topic); Anladıysam Arap olayım. (If I could understand, I’d be an Arab.)
It’s all Greek to me in Ukranian: Це для мене китайська грамота. (That’s Chinese writing to me)

No great shakes in many languages

como para tirar cohetes

The actors are not great shakes.

No great shakes  in other languages:

No great shakes in Spanish: (no ser como) para tirar cohetes.
No great shakes in French: ça casse pas des briques.
No great shakes in German: nicht gerade vom Hocker hauen.
No great shakes in Italian: non è che brilli.

Let bygones be bygones in many languages

pelillos a la mar

They decided to let bygones be bygones for the sake of coexistence.

Let bygones be bygones  in other languages:

Let bygones be bygones in Spanish: Pelillos a la mar; el pasado, pasado está.
Let bygones be bygones in French: Passons l’éponge.
Let bygones be bygones in German: die Vergangenheit ruhen lassen; die Vergangenheit Vergangenheit sein lassen.
Let bygones be bygones in Italian:  Mettiamoci una pietra sopra
Let bygones be bygones in Portuguese: águas passadas não movem moinhos.
Let bygones be bygones in Dutch: geen oude koeien uit de sloot halen, zand erover!
Let bygones be bygones in Catalan: Fer creu i ratlla.
Let bygones be bygones in Irish: An rud atá thart bíodh sé thart.

(to) get goosebumps in many languages

Idioms, sayings and colloquialisms illustrated

get goose bumps

His speech was awesome! I got goosebumps when he said the last lines.

(to) get goosebumps  in other languages:

(to) get goosebumps in Spanish: poner(se) la piel de gallina.
(to) get goosebumps in French: avoir la chair de poule.
(to) get goosebumps in German: Ich bekam eine Gänsehaut. (I got goosebumps).
(to) get goosebumps in Italian: venire la pelle d’oca.
(to) get goosebumps in Portuguese: arrepiar-se.
(to) get goosebumps in Catalan: posar la pell de gallina.
(to) get goosebumps in Basque: oilo-ipurdi.

(to) go up in smoke in many languages

tQuedar en aguas de borraja

Without a scholarship, his dreams of becoming a doctor would go up in smoke.

(to) go up in smoke  in other languages:

(to) go up in smoke in Spanish: quedar en aguas de borrajas; esfumarse.
(to) go up in smoke in French: partir en fumée.
(to) go up in smoke in German:  sich in Rauch auflösen
(to) go up in smoke in Italianandare in fumo.
(to) go up in smoke in Portuguese: ser mal sucedido;  ser abandonado; fracassar; falhar.
(to) go up in smoke in Catalan: fer-se fonedís; esfumar-se.
(to) go up in smoke in Basque: desagertu, ezkutatu

(to) be the talk of the town in many languages

ser la comidilla

How did you not hear about  her new boyfriend? It’s the talk of the town!

(to be) the talk of the town  in other languages:

(to) be the talk of the town in Spanish: ser la comidilla; estar en boca de todos.
(to) be the talk of the town in French: tout le monde en parle.
(to) be the talk of the town in German:  Stadtgespräch.
(to) be the talk of the town in Italian: sulla bocca di tutti.
(to) be the talk of the town in Catalan: tothom en va ple.
(to) be the talk of the town in Basque: herrian zurrumurruak dabiltza.

english sayings in Spanish dichos ingleses en español proverbios refranes

(to) tar with the same brush in many languages

meter en el mismo saco

It is not fair to tar all politicians with the same brush.

(to) tar with the same brush  in other languages:

(to) tar with the same brush in Spanish: meter en el mismo saco.
(to) tar with the same brush in French: mettre dans le même sac.
(to) tar with the same brush in German: über einen Kamm scheren.
(to) tar with the same brush in Italian: fare di tutta l’erba un fascio.
(to) tar with the same brush in Portuguesemeter no mesmo saco.
(to) tar with the same brush in Catalan: posar en el mateix sac.
(to) tar with the same brush in Irish (Gaelic): caitheamh leo uilig mar aon aicme amháin.
(to) tar with the same brush in Basque: zaku berean sartu.

A storm in a teacup / A tempest in a teapot in many languages

a storm in a teacup

It seemed to me an unimportant detail, but it set off a tempest in a teapot during the debate.

A tempest in a teapot  / A storm in a teacup in other languages:

A tempest in a teapot in Spanish: Una tormenta en un vaso de agua.
A tempest in a teapot in French: tempête dans un verre d’eau
A tempest in a teapot in German: Sturm im Wasserglas
A tempest in a teapot in Italian: tempesta in un bicchiere d’acqua
A tempest in a teapot in Portuguese: tempestade em copo d’água
A tempest in a teapot in Romanianfurtună-n pahar de apă.
A tempest in a teapot in  Russian: бу́ря в стака́не воды́
A tempest in a teapot in Chinese (Mandarin):  小題大做 (zh), 小题大做
A tempest in a teapot in Catalan: una tempesta en un vas d’aigua.
A tempest in a teapot in Danish: storm i et glas vand c (storm in a glass of water)
A tempest in a teapot in Icelandic: veður út af engu, ys og þys út af engu

(to) rack one’s brains in many languages

 

devanarse los sesos en inglés

Alternative forms: (to) wrack on’es brain. (to) rack one’s brain. = Struggle to remember something.

He’s been racking his brains all day, but he can’t remember her telephone number.

(to) rack one’s brain in other languages:

(to) rack one’s brains in Spanish: devanarse los sesos.
(to) rack one’s brains in French: se creuser le cervelle / la tête.
(to) rack one’s brains in German: sich den Kopf zerbrechen.
(to) rack one’s brains in Italianscervellarearrovellarsi
(to) rack one’s brains in Portuguese: quebrar a cabeça.
(to) rack one’s brains in Mandarin Chinese絞盡腦汁 (zh)绞尽脑汁
(to) rack one’s brains in Basque: garnak urtu.
(to) rack one’s brains in Catalan: escarrassar-s’hi.
(to) rack one’s brains Finnish: miettiä päänsä puhki.
(to) rack one’s brains Icelandic: brjóta heilann.
(to) rack one’s brains Japanese: 脳漿を絞る.

A chicken and egg situation / a catch 22 in many languages


A chicken and egg situation / a catch 22 in other languages:

A chicken and egg situation (or a catch 22) in Spanish: Un pez que se muerde la cola
A chicken and egg situation (or a catch 22) in French: serpent qui se mord la queue.

idiomes, dictons et expressions familières
A chicken and egg situation (or a catch 22) in German: Zwickmühle (de) f, Dilemma (de) n, Teufelskreis (de) du, Sackgasse (de) f, ausweglose Situation f
A chicken and egg situation (or a catch 22) in Italian: non c’è via d’uscita. (There’s no way out).

A chicken and egg situation (or a catch 22) in Portuguese: Se ficar o bicho pega, se correr o bicho come  (‘if you run the bug takes (catches), if you stay the bug eats’.)
A chicken and egg situation (or a catch 22) in German: eine Zwickmühle.
A chicken and egg situation (or a catch 22) in Catalan. un peix que es mossega la cua.
 la pescadilla que se muerde la cola
It’s a chicken and egg question: if he stays, there’ll be  trouble for sure, but if he leaves, they will be mad at him.

(to) have a finger in every pie in many languages

en misa y repicando

Meaning: to be involved in many -often too many- things or activities.

Alternative form:  (to) have one’s fingers in many  pies; I cannot be in York and London at the same time

George, you can’t have a finger in every pie. It’s too stressful.

(to) have a finger in every pie in other languages:

(to) have a finger in every pie in Spanish: a misa y repicando (go to Mass and chime) ; estar en todos los fregaos; estar en todos los saraos.
(to) have a finger in every pie in French: être mêlé à tout ; on ne peut pas être à la fois au four et au moulin (one can’t watch over the oven and at the mill at the same time)
(to) have a finger in every pie in German: man kann nicht auf zwei Hochzeiten (zugleich/gleichzeitig) tanzen (one can’t dance in two weddings at the same time); seine Finger überall drin haben; überall seine Hand / Hände im Spiel haben
(to) have a finger in every pie in Italian: avere le mani in pasta dappertutto. (to have the hands in every pasta); Non si può cantare e portar la croce (one can’t sing and carry the cross).
(to) have a finger in every pie in Portuguese: Quem toca o carrilhão não vai na procissão (He who plays the chime doesn’t participate in the procession)
(to) have a finger in every pie in Catalan: No es pot ésser al plat i a les tallades.
(to) have a finger in every pie in Basque: Jenteek nahi lükee ekia ta argizagia junta ditean. (people wish that the Sun and the Moon would merge)
(to) have a finger in every pie in Galician: no se puede repicar e ir en la procesión. (You can’t go to Mass and chime)
(to) have a finger in every pie in Russian: На двух свадьбах сразу не танцуют (one can’t dance in two weddings at the same time).

A monkey on your back in many languages

idioms in Spanish and French

Now that they have finally closed the business, the mortgage is a real monkey on their back.

Alternative form: Chinaman on one’s back .

A monkey on your bag in other languages:

A monkey on your back in Spanish: un peso sobre las espaldas.
A monkey on your back in French: un fardeau sur les épaules.
A monkey on your back in German: ein ernsthaftes Problem.
A monkey on your back in Italian:  fardello sulle spalle .
A monkey on your back in Portuguese: carregar um fardo pesado aos ombros.
A monkey on your back in Catalan: un pes sobre les espatlles.

A bundle of nerves in other languages

un saco de nervios

A bundle of nerves in other languages:

A bundle of nerves in Spanish: un manojo de nervios (a bunch of nerves).
A bundle of nerves in French: un paquet de nerfs (a packetof nerves).
A bundle of nerves in German: ein Bündel Nerven (a bunch of nerves).
A bundle of nerves in Italian: un fascio di nervi (a beam of nerves).
A bundle of nerves in Portuguese: uma pilha de nervos  (a stack of nerves).
A bundle of nerves in Mandarin Chinese: 紧张不安的人 (a nervous person).
A bundle of nerves in Russian: клубок нервов (a tangle of nerves).
A bundle of nerves in Basque: Buru gabeko oiloak bezala gabiltza (We’re like unpainted chickens).
A bundle of nerves in Catalan: un sac de nervis (a bag of nerves).
A bundle of nerves in Gaelic Irish: bheith an-neirbhíseach

A bundle of nerves in

Amid much fanfare in many languages

a bombo y platillo

Amid much fanfare, the new bridge was finally opened on 5 June 2018.

Amid much fanfare in other languages:

Amid much fanfare in Spanish: a bombo y platillo (with bass drums and cymbal); con pompa (with pageantry).
Amid much fanfare in French: en fanfarre (in fanfare)
Amid much fanfare in German: die Werbetrommel für etw rühren   (to stir the drum of sth)
Amid much fanfare in Italian: con molta enfasi.
Amid much fanfare in Portuguese: com pompa e circunstância (with pageantry and circumstances)
Amid much fanfare in Catalan: (a so de) bombo i platerets (to the sound of bass drums and cymbals)
Amid much fanfare in Basque: zalaparta handiz (with great bustle)

As happy as a clam in many languages 

Alternative forms: as happy as a clam at high water; as happy as at high tide; as happy as a dog with two tails;as happy as a lark; as happy as the day is long; as happy as a pig in muck…

As happy as a clam (at high water) in other languages:

As happy as a clam in Spanish: feliz como una perdiz (happy as a partridge)
As happy as a clam in French: heureux comme un poisson dans l’eau (happy as a fish in the water).
As happy as a clam in German: glücklich und froh (wie der Mops im Haferstroh) ~ (happy and happy (like the pug in oat straw).
As happy as a clam in Italian: va in brodo di giuggiole (to swim in jujube soup).
As happy as a clam in Portuguese: feliz como um passarinho (happy as a bird);  feliz como um molusco. (happy as a mollusk)

As happy as a clam in Russian: доволен, как слон (satisfied as an elephant)
As happy as a clam in Catalan: Més content que un gínjol (happier than a jujube).
As happy as a clam in Finnish onnellinen kuin koiranpentu (happy as a puppy).
As happy as a clam in Scottish Gaelic: cho sona ri bròg (so happy with a shoe); cho sona ri caimeanach an t-sruth (as happy as the giant of the stream); cho sona ri luch ann an lofa (as happy as a mouse in a loaf).
feliz como una perdiz en inglés y francés

Knowledge is no burden in many languages

El saber no ocupa lugar en inglés y francés

Alternative form: One can never know too much.

Knowledge is no burden in other languages:

Knowledge is no burden in Spanish: El saber no ocupa lugar (Knowledge does not take up space)
Knowledge is no burden in French:  On ne sait jamais trop (One never knows too much).
Knowledge is no burden in German: Wissen nimmt keinen Platz ein (Knowledge does not take up space).
Knowledge is no burden in Italian: Il sapere non è mai troppo (One never knows too much)..
Knowledge is no burden in Portuguese: O saber não ocupa lugar (Knowledge does not take up space).
Knowledge is no burden in Basque: Akiteak ez dauka kalterik; jakiteak ez dau ogirik jaten (Knowledge does not eat any bread).
Knowledge is no burden in Catalan: El saber no ocupa lloc (Knowledge does not take up space).
Knowledge is no burden in Galician: O saber non ocupa lugar
Knowledge is no burden in Greek: Όσο ζει κανένας, τόσο μαθαίνει.

The icing on the cake in many languages

la guinda del pastel

Alternative forms: cherry on the cake; cherry on top.

The icing of the cake in in other languages:

The icing on the cake in Spanish: la guinda del pastel (literally, the cherry on the cake)
The icing on the cake in French:  la cerise sur le gâteau  (literally,  the cherry on the cake)
The icing on the cake in German: das Sahnehäubchen auf dem Kuchen  (literally,  the cherry on the cake)
The icing on the cake in Italian: la ciliegina sulla torta  (literally, the cherry on the cake)
The icing on the cake in Portuguese:  a cereja do bolo (literally,  the cherry on the cake)
The icing on the cake in Swedish: grädde på moset (literally,  the cream on the mash)
The icing on the cake in Hungarian: hab a tortán (literally, whipped cream on the cake)
The icing on the cake in Finnish: sokerina pohjalla (literally,  sugar at the bottom)
The icing of the cake in Catalan: la cirereta del pastís (literally,  the little cherry on the cake)

Sayings

A saying is any concisely written or spoken sentence or expression which conveys a piece of advice or folk wisdom about life or experience.

A leopard can’t change its spots in many languages

la cabra tira al monte

A leopard can’t change its spots in other languages:

A leopard can’t change its spots in Spanish: La cabra tira al monte (literally,  the goat tends to go head for the hills); Genio y figuta hasta la sepultura (literally,  Genius and ace until the grave).
A leopard can’t change its spots in French:  Le loup apprivoicé rêve toujours de la forêt (literally,  the tame wolf always dreams of the forest); chassez le naturel, il revient au galop (drive out the natural, it returns at full gallop).
A leopard can’t change its spots in BasqueHaitzean jaioak haitzera nahi (literally,  Who was born among hills, tends to go to the hills).
A leopard can’t change its spots in Catalan: Cabra avesada a saltar, fa de mal desvesar (literally,  A goat used to jump is difficult to unveil).
A leopard can’t change its spots in Czech: starého psa novým kouskům nenaučíš, zvyk je železná košile (literally,  an old dog does not learn new things, customs are an iron shirt).
A leopard can’t change its spots in Finnish: jäljistään jäniskin tunnetaan (literally, a hare is known by its tracks).
A leopard can’t change its spots in German: Niemand kann aus seiner Haut heraus (literally,  Nobody can get out of their skin)
A leopard can’t change its spots in Greek: ο λύκος κι αν εγέρασε κι άσπρισε το μαλλί του, μήτε τη γνώμη άλλαξε, μήτε την κεφαλή του (o lýkos ki an egérase ki ásprise to mallí tou, míte ti gnómi állaxe, míte tin kefalí tou, literally “Even though the wolf got old and his hair became white, he changed neither his opinion nor his head”)
A leopard can’t change its spots in Hungarian: kutyából nem lesz szalonna (hu) (literally , out of a dog there will be no lard)
A leopard can’t change its spots in Irish: briseann an dúchas trí shúile an chait, is treise dúchas ná oiliúint (literally,  The city breaks through the eyes of the cat, the pride of indigenousness)
A leopard can’t change its spots in Italian: il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio ( literally,  the wolf can lose its fur but not its bad habits)
A leopard can’t change its spots in Russian: Russian: волк ка́ждый год линя́ет, а всё сер быва́ет  (volk káždyj god linjájet, a vsjó ser byvájet (literally,  each year the wolf molts its fur, but it continues to be grey), ско́лько во́лка ни корми́, он всё в лес смо́трит (skólʹko vólka ni kormí, on vsjó v les smótrit, literally (literally,  however good you feed the wolf, it still looks onto the forest), горба́того моги́ла испра́вит (ru) (gorbátovo mogíla isprávit), (only the grave can straighten the hunchback”), чёрного кобеля́ не отмо́ешь добела́ (čórnovo kobeljá ne otmóješʹ dobelá, (you can’t wash a black dog to make it white), зарека́лась лиса́ кур не ворова́ть (zarekálasʹ lisá kur ne vorovátʹ, (the fox promised not to steal chickens).
A leopard can’t change its spots in Scottish Gaelic: an car a bha san t-seana mhaide ‘s duilich a thoirt às (literally, the twist which is in the old stick is difficult to take out).
A leopard can’t change its spots in Serbo-Croatian: vuk dlaku mijenja, ali ćud nikada (literally, , a wolf sheds his coat, but never his temper).
A leopard can’t change its spots in Yiddish: אַ חזיר בלײַבט אַ חזיר‎ (a khazer blaybt a khazer, l(iterally, a pig remains a pig)

 

A watched pot never boils in many languages

QUien espera desespera en inglés

Alternative forms: a watched kettle never boils; watched toast never burns.

A watched pot never boils in other languages:

A watched pot never boils in Spanish: Quien espera, desespera (He who waits, despairs)
A watched pot never boils in French: Tout vient à point a qui sait attendre (Everything comes at the right time to those who wait); Qui attend s’ennuie (He who waits, gets upset).
A watched pot never boils in German: Hoffen und Harren macht manchen zum Narren (hoping and waiting is foolish); Wer viel hofft, täuscht sich oft (He who waits for a long time, often makes mistakes).
A watched pot never boils in Greek: πόλλ᾿ ἐλπίδες ψεύδουσι βροτοὺς (Hopes very often deceive mortals).
A watched pot never boils in Italian: ‘La pentola troppo sorvegliata non bolle mai’ from Geonese dialect:  ‘A pugnatta aggueita a no bogge mai.’ (The overmolded pan never boils); Chi di speranza vive disperato muore (He who lives hoping, dies hopeless).
A watched pot never boils in Portuguese: Panela vigiada não ferve (Watched panela does not boil); Quem espera, desespera (He who waits, despairs).
Romanian: Timpul trece mai încet pentru cine aşteaptă (Time is slower for those who are waiting)
A watched pot never boils in Russian: Ждать да догонять — нет хуже (There is nothing worse than wait to catch somebody).
A watched pot never boils in Catalan: qui s’espera, desespera (He who waits, despairs)
A watched pot never boils in Basque: Begira dagoenari, denbora luze (time seems longer to those who wait).
A watched pot never boils in Galician: El que espera desespera (He who waits, despairs).
A watched pot never boils in Irish: ní fiú feitheamh le fiuchadh (not even wait for it to boil)

 

typical Spanish idioms translated into English

Alternative form: (to) get blood from a stone; It’s like Squeezing water from a stone.

(to) get blood out of a stone in other languages:

(to) get blood out of a stone in Spanish: Pedirle peras al olmo (to ask for pears to an elm tree).
(to) get blood out of a stone in French: c’est comme se heurter à un mur (It’s like bumping into a wall).
(to) get blood out of a stone in German : verlorene Liebesmüh  (Love’s Labour’s Lost).
(to) get blood out of a stone in Italian:  come picchiare un cavallo morto (It’s like flogging a dead horse)
(to) get blood out of a stone in  Portuguese: tirar nabos da púcara (to throw prickly turnips).
(to) get blood out of a stone in Catalan : D’on no n’hi ha, no en raja  (It doesn’t flow from where there’s nothing).
(to) get blood out of a stone in Irish: is doiligh olann a bhaint de ghabhar (it’s hard to get wool off a goat).

The early bird catches the worm in many languages

quien madruga Dios le ayuda

The early bird catches the worm in other languages:

The early bird catches the worm in Spanish: a quien madruga, Dios le ayuda (God help those who get up early).
The early bird catches the worm in French: l’avenir appartient a ceux qui se lèvent tôt (the future belong to those who get up early)
The early bird catches the worm in German: Morgenstunde hat Gold im Munde (the morning has gold in its mouth).
The early bird catches the worm in Italian: Chi si aiuta Dio l’aiuta. Also ‘Il mattino ha l’oro in boccaat’ (the morning has gold in its mouth).
The early bird catches the worm in Portuguese: Deus ajuda quem muito madruga (God helps the ones who get up early)
The early bird catches the worm in Greek: Θες πλούτη και τιμή, μην κοιμάσαι την αυγή.
The early bird catches the worm in Catalan: Qui matina, fa farina (He who wakes up early makes flour);la feina matinal per tot el dia val (the early work is worth for the rest of the day)
The early bird catches the worm in Norwegian: den som kommer først til mølla, får først malt (The first to come is the first served)
The early bird catches the worm in Swedish: först till kvarn får först mala (The first to come is the first served)

God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb in many languages

Dios aprieta pero no ahoga

What can be cured must be endured in many languages

What can’t be cured must be endured (English) ~ Al mal tiempo, buena cara (Spanish)

What can’t be cured must be endured in other languages:

çWhat can’t be cured must be endured in Spanish: Al mal tiempo, buena cara (Against bad weather, good face).
What can’t be cured must be endured in Arabic: دواء الدهر الصبر عليه (The remedy for bad weather is patience).
What can’t be cured must be endured in French: Il faut faire contre mauvaise fortune bon cœur (Against misfortune, strong heart).
What can’t be cured must be endured in German: Man muss gute Miene zum bösen Spiel machen (You have to put a brave face to the bad game).
What can’t be cured must be endured in Italian: Bisogna far buon viso a cattivo gioco (You have to make the best of a bad game).
What can’t be cured must be endured in Russian: Делать хорошую мину при плохой игре (put a brave face to the bad game).
What can’t be cured must be endured in Basque: Ekeetan, irria ezpainetan (against life’s adversities, a smile on your lips).
What can’t be cured must be endured in Catalan: Al mal temps, bona cara (Against bad weather, good face).
What can’t be cured must be endured in Galician: A mal tempo, boa cara

A man is known by the company he keeps in many languages

Disclaimer > Don’t try this at home… In fact, don’t try this anywhere at all.

idioms in many languages

A man is known by the company he keeps in other languages: see picture.

(to) carry coals to Newcastle in many languages

(to) carry coals to Newcastle in other languages:

(to) carry coals to Newcastle in Spanish: Llevar leña al monte (to take wood to the mountain).
(to) carry coals to Newcastle in French: Porter de l’eau à la rivière  (to carry water to the river)
(to) carry coals to Newcastle in German: Eulen nach Athen tragen (Carrying owls to Athens).
(to) carry coals to Newcastle in Italian: portare acqua al mare (to carry water to the sea).
(to) carry coals to Newcastle in Irish Gaelic: bheith ag tabhairt cloch go Conamara (to give stones to Conamara); bheith ag cuimilt saille ar thóin na muice méithe (to take fat off the mice’s asses).
(to) carry coals to Newcastle in Polish: niepotrzebnie się trudzić wozić drzewo do lasu (there’s no point in carrying a tree to the wood).
(to) carry coals to Newcastle in Portuguese: lançar água no mar (to throw water to the sea) ensinar o padre nosso ao vigário (to teach the Lord’s Player to a vicar).

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in

A chicken and egg situation / a catch 22 in many languages

 

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in other languages:

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in  Latin: Noli equi dentes inspicere donati (D’ont look at the dentition of a gift horse).

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in Spanish: A caballo regalado no le mires el dentado (D’ont look at the dentition of a gift horse).
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in  German : Einem geschenkten Gaul sieht man nicht ins Maul.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in Italian : A caval donato non si guarda in bocca
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in Polish: Darowanemu koniowi nie zagląda się w zęby (D’ont look at the dentition of a gift horse).
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in Portuguese: A cavalo dado, não se olha o dente. (don’t look at the dentition of a gift horse).
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in Serbo-Croatian: Ajándék lónak ne nézd a fogát (don’t look at the dentition of a gift horse).
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in Greek: Του χάριζαν ένα γάιδαρο κι αυτός τον κοίταζε στα δόντια.(D’ont look at the teeth of a gift horse).
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in Basque: Dohainik edan behar duenak, hitz gutti (Free drink, few words).

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth in Catalan: A caball regalat, no li miris el dentat

 

God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb in many languages

sayings illustrated

God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb in other languages:

God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb in Latin: Deus probat, sed non suffocat (God puts you to the test, but doesn’t smother you)
God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb in Spanish: Dios aprieta pero no ahora (God puts pressure on you, but doesn’t smother you).
God tempers the wind to the shornlamb in French: Dieu ne veut pas la mort du pécheur (God does not wish the death of a fisherman).
God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb in German: Gott lässt uns wohl sinken, aber nicht ertrinken (God let us sink, but not drown)
God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb in Italian: Dio non manda se non quel che si può portare (God doesn’t give more than it can take away).
God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb in Portuguese: Deus escreve certo por linhas tortas (God writes straight with crooked lines).
God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb in Basque: Munara eroaten dau Jaungoikoak, baina muna bera eztau botaten (God takes you up to a hill, but doesn’t let you fall down).

Eenie meenie miny moe in Spanish and French

Pito pito gorgorito

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket in many languages

no pongas todos los huevos en la misma cesta

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket in other languages:

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket in Spanish: No pongas todos los huevos en la misma cesta.(Don’t put all your eggs in one basket).
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket in French: Il ne faut pas mettre tous les oeufs dans le même panier (Don’t put all your eggs in one basket).
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket in German: Setze nicht alles auf eine Karte (Don’t bet everything on one card).
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket in Italian: non puntare tutto su una sola carta (Don’t bet everything on one card).
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket in Portuguese: não ponhas todos os ovos no mesmo cesto (Don’t put all your eggs in one basket).
Don’t put all your eggs in Mandarin Chinese: 孤注一掷;在一棵树上吊死 (to depend on a single person or strategy).

Monkey see, monkey do in many languages

culo veo culo deseo en inglés

Monkey see, monkey do in other languages:

Monkey see, monkey do in Spanish: ¿Dónde va Vicente? Donde va  la gente. (Where is Vincent going? To the same place where people is going)
Monkey see, monkey do in French: Tout ce que je fais, mon âne le refait (My donkey mimics everything I do); À la presse vont les fous (The madmen go to the press).
Monkey see, monkey do in German: Das Schaf folgt der Herde (The sheep follows the flock)
Monkey see, monkey do in  Greek: Ό,τι κάνει ο αρκουδιάρης, το κάνει και η μαϊμού του (what the lion tamer does, his monkey does too.)
Monkey see, monkey do in Italian: La gente fa come le pecore: dove va una vanno tutte People do as sheeps: where one goes, all the other go)
Monkey see, monkey do in  Portuguese: Maria vai com as outras (Mary goes with the others).

In every country dogs bite

polyglot sayings

 

Don’t bite off more than you can chew in many languages

el que mucho abarca poco aprieta en inglés
Don’t bite off more than you can chew (EN) ~ El que mucho abarca poco aprieta (SP)

Don’t bite off more than you can chew in other languages:

Don’t bite off more than you can chew in Spanish: Quien mucho abarca, poco aprieta.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew in French: Qui trop embrasse, mal étreint.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew in German: Wer zu viel fasst, lässt viel fallen
Don’t bite off more than you can chew in Italian: Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew in Portuguese: Quem muito abarca pouco abraça.

There is no accounting for tastes in many languages

sobre gustos no hay nada escrito en inglés

There is no accounting for tastes in other languages:

There is no accounting for tastes in Spanish: Sobre gustos no hay nada escrito.
There is no accounting for tastes in French: Des goûts et des couleurs il n’en faut point parler.
There is no accounting for tastes in German: Über (den) Geschmack lässt sich nicht streiten.
There is no accounting for tastes in Italian: Ognuno ha i suoi gusti.
There is no accounting for tastes in Portuguese: Gostos não se discutem.

Old wine in new bottles in many languages

Old wine in different bottles

Alternative form: Old wine in new bottles.

Old wine in new bottles in other languages:

Old wine in new bottles in Spanish: El mismo perro con distinto collar (the same dog with different collar).
Old wine in new bottles in French: Bonnet blanc, blanc bonnet (White bonnet, bonnet white).
Old wine in new bottles in German: alter Wein in neuen Schläuchen (de) (old wine in new wineskins);  dasselbe in grün (literally “the same thing in green”).

The squeaky wheel gets the grease  in many languages

el que no llora no mama

Akternative form: The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease in other languages:

The squeaky wheel gets the grease in Spanish: el que no llora, no mama (He who doesn’t cry, isn’t breastfed).
The squeaky wheel gets the grease in French: Le rouspéteurs obtiennent toujours satisfaction (Grumblers always get satisfaction).
The squeaky wheel gets the grease in German: Ein Rädchen, das nicht quietscht, wird (auch) nicht geschmiert (a cog that does not squeak is not (even) lubrivated).
The squeaky wheel gets the grease in Portuguese: quem não chora, não mama  (He who doesn’t cry, isn’t breastfed).

Variety is the spice of life in many languages

Variety is the spice of life in other languages:

Variety is the spice of life in Latin: Varietas delectat (Variety is appealing)
Variety is the spice of life in Spanish: En la variedad está el gusto (The taste is in variety).
Variety is the spice of life in French: La variété est le sel de la vie (Variety is the salt of life); il faut de tout pour faire un monde (you need all kinds of things to make a world); La variété ravive les plaisirs Variety revives pleasure)
Variety is the spice of life in German: Abwechslung ist die Würze des Lebens (Variety is the spice of life); In der Abwechslung liegt das Vergnügen (pleasure is in variety).
Variety is the spice of life in Italian: la varietà dà sapore alla vita (Variety flavours life); Il mondo è bello perché è vario (The world is beautiful because it is diverse).
Variety is the spice of life in Portuguese: A variedade deleita (variety delights).
Variety is the spice of life in Finnish: vaihtelu virkistää (varierty is the spice).

Every cloud has a silver lining in many languages

Every cloud has a silver lining in other languages:

Every cloud has a silver lining in Spanish: No hay mal que por bien no venga (there is not a bad thing that does not come for a good one).
Every cloud has a silver lining in French: À quelque chose malheur est bon (to any thing bad luck is good).
Every cloud has a silver lining in German: kein Unglück ist so groß, es hat sein Glück im Schoß (No misfortune is so great; it comes with luck in the lap).
Every cloud has a silver lining in Italian: non tutto il male vien per nuocere (Not all evil comes to harm).
Every cloud has a silver lining in Portuguese: há males que vêm para o bem (there are bad things that come for the best).
Every cloud has a silver lining in Mandarin Chinese: 瘦死的駱駝比馬大, 瘦死的骆驼比马大 (The dead camel is worse than the horse).
Every cloud has a silver lining in Russian: нет ху́да без добра́ (There is no evil without good).
Every cloud has a silver lining in Basque: gaitz asko, onerako (many diseases, for good)
Every cloud has a silver lining in Scottish Gaelic:  tha a’ ghrian air cùlaibh gach sgothan (The sun is behind each boat).

Every dog has its day in many languages

Cada perro tiene su día en inglés

Every dog has its day in other languages:

Every dog has its day in Spanish: cada perro tiene su día (every dog has its day).
Every dog has its day in French: À chacun son heure de gloire (To each his glory hour).
Every dog has its day in Finnish: paistaa se päivä risukasaankin (literally “the day will shine to a pile of brushwood, too”).
Every dog has its day in German: ein blindes Huhn findet auch einmal Korn (even a blind hen sometimes finds a grain of corn).
Every dog has its day in Italian: ognuno ha il suo momento di gloria (everyone has his moment of glory).
Every dog has its day in Portuguese: um dia é da caça, outro do caçador (one day hunted, the next day hunter)

If my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle in many languagesSi mi abuela tuviera ruedas, sería una bicicleta en inglés

Alternative forms: if my uncle had tits, he’d be my aunt; if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a streetcar; if my grandmother had balls, she’d be my granddad; if my sister had balls, she’d be my brother; if I had wheels, I’d be a wagon

If my aunt had balls, he’d be my uncle in other languages:

If my aunt had balls, he’d be my uncle in Spanish: Si mi abuela tuviera ruedas, sería una bicicleta (If my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a bicycle)
If my aunt had balls, he’d be my uncle in French: avec des si on mettrait Paris en boutelle (as if we put Paris in a bottle);  si ma tante en avait, on l’appellerait mon oncle  (if my aunt had any, she would be called my uncle).
If my aunt had balls, he’d be my uncle in German:  wenn das Wörtchen “wenn” nicht wär, wär mein Vater Millionär (if it weren’t for the little word “if”, my father would be a millionaire); hätte der Hund nicht geschissen, hätte er den Hasen gefangen (if the dog hadn’t shit, he would’ve caught the hare).
If my aunt had balls, he’d be my uncle in  Italian: con i se e con i ma la storia non si fa (with if(s) and  but(s) the story is not made)
If my aunt had balls, he’d be my uncle in
If my aunt had balls, he’d be my uncle in  Esperantose la ĉielo falus al tero, birdokapto estus facila afero (If the sky dropped to earth, bird skills would be an easy thing)

If you want something done right, do it yourself in many languages

Alternative forms: if you want a thing done well, do it yourself; if you want a thing done right, do it yourself; if you want it done right, do it yourself

If you want a thing done right, do it yourself in other languages:

if you want a thing done right, do it yourself in Spanish: Si quieres algo bien hecho, hazlo tu mismo (if you want something done right, do it yourself).
if you want a thing done right, do it yourself in French:  On n’est jamais mieux servi que pas soi-même (One is never better served than by oneself)
if you want a thing done right, do it yourself in
if you want a thing done right, do it yourself in Finnish: kun itse tekee, tietää mitä saa (when you do it, you know what you get)
if you want a thing done right, do it yourself in GermanSelbst ist der Mann (himself is the man)
if you want a thing done right, do it yourself Italian: se vuoi una cosa fatta bene fattela da solo  (if you want something done right, do it alone).
if you want a thing done right, do it yourself in Portuguese: O olho do dono é que engorda o gado (The eye of the master fattens the cattle)
if you want a thing done right, do it yourself in Catalan: Si vols estar ben servit, fes-te tu mateix el llit (if you want to have a good service, make the bed yourself)

No pain, no gain in many languages


on n'a rien sans peine

No pain, no gain in other languages:

No pain, no gain in Chinese (Mandarin): 不入虎穴,焉得虎子  (if you don’t enterthe tiger’s den, you don’t get a tiger).
No pain, no gain in Czech: bez práce nejsou koláče (cs) (There are no pies without work).
No pain, no gain in Danish: hvo intet vover, intet vinder (he who dares nothing wins nothing).
No pain, no gain in French: qui ne risque rien n’a rien (who risks nothing, gains nothing), qui ne tente rien n’a rien (who risks nothing, gains nothing), on n’a rien sans rien
No pain, no gain in German: von nichts kommt nichts (nothing comes from nothing), wer nicht wagt, der nicht gewinnt (who doesn’t risk, doesn’t win), Schmerz vergeht, die Ehre bleibt (pain goes away, honour stays), Schmerz vergeht, der Stolz bleibt (pain goes away, pride stays).
No pain, no gain in Korean: 불입호혈 부득호자 (buriphohyeol budeukhoja) (if you don’t enter the tiger’s den, how will you get the tiger’s cub?).
No pain, no gain in Portuguese: sem dor, sem ganho (no pain, no gain), quem não arrisca não petisca (who does not risk does not snack/eat)
No pain, no gain in Spanish:  El que algo quiere, algo le cuesta (He who wants something, must make some effort).
No pain, no gain in

It never rains but it pours in many languages

It never rains but it pours  in other languages:

It never rains but it pours  in Chinese (Mandarin): 屋漏偏逢連夜雨 (zh), 屋漏偏逢连夜雨 (zh) (wū lòu piān féng liányè yǔ, literally “when the roof is leaking, that’s when you’ll get several continuous nights of rain”), 禍不單行 (zh), 祸不单行 (zh) (huòbùdānxíng, literally “disasters do not come alone”)
It never rains but it pours  in Dutch: een ongeluk komt zelden alleen (literally “a misfortune seldom comes alone”), een ongeluk komt nooit alleen (literally “a misfortune never comes alone”)
It never rains but it pours  in German: ein Unglück kommt selten allein (literally “a misfortune seldom comes alone”)
It never rains but it pours  in Italian: i guai non vengono mai da soli (literally “misfortunes never come alone”)
It never rains but it pours  in Japanese:  踏んだり蹴ったり (ふんだりけったり, fundari-kettari, literally “we often tread on and we often bump off”), 泣きっ面に蜂 (なきっつらにはち, nakittsura ni hachi, literally “a wasp on a tearful face”), 弱り目に祟り目 (よわりめにたたりめ, yowari me ni tatari me, literally “in times of weakness, evil eyes”), 降れば土砂降り (ふればどしゃぶり, fureba doshaburi, literally “if it rains, it pours”).
It never rains but it pours  in Portuguese: Portuguese: um mal nunca vem só, uma desgraça nunca vem sozinha, uma desgraça nunca vem só (literally “a misfortune never comes alone”).
It never rains but it pours  in Russian: Russian: пришла́ беда́ — отворя́й воро́та(prišlá bedá — otvorjáj voróta, literally “when the trouble comes, open the gate”), беда́ одна́ не хо́дит (bedá odná ne xódit, literally “trouble does not come alone”).
It never rains but it pours  in Scottish Gaelic: nuair a thig air duine, thig air uile (literally “when it befalls one, it befalls all”).
It never rains but it pours  in Spanish: las desgracias nunca vienen solas (literally “misfortunes never come alone”)

Jack of all trades, master of none in many languages 

aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada

Jack of all trades master of none in other languages:

Jack of all trades master of none in Czech: devatero řemesel, desátá bída
Jack of all trades master of none in Dutch: twaalf stielen, dertien ongelukken
Jack of all trades master of none in Finnish: jokapaikanhöylä, jokapaikan höylä
Jack of all trades master of none in French: bon à tout, propre à rien (Good at everything, good at nothing)
Jack of all trades master of none in Japanese: Japanese: 器用貧乏 (きようびんぼう, kiyōbinbō)
Jack of all trades master of none in Spanish: aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada (“apprentice of everything, teacher of nothing”)

Too many cooks spoil the broth in many languages

Too many cooks spoil the broth  in other languages:

Too many cooks spoil the broth  in Danish: for mange kokke fordærver maden.
Too many cooks spoil the broth  in Dutch: veel koks bederven de brij, veel koks verzouten de brij
Too many cooks spoil the broth  in Finnish: mitä useampi kokki, sitä huonompi soppa
Too many cooks spoil the broth  in French: Trop de cuisiners grâtent la sauce.
Too many cooks spoil the broth  in German: German: (zu) viele Köche verderben den Brei
Too many cooks spoil the broth  in Polish: gdzie kucharek sześć, tam nie ma co jeść (pl)
Too many cooks spoil the broth  in Portuguese: quem não ajuda não atrapalha, muita cera queima a igreja, a cera sobeja queima a igreja
Too many cooks spoil the broth  in Spanish: muchas manos en un plato causan arrebato
Too many cooks spoil the broth  in Swedish: ju fler kockar, desto sämre soppa

All that glitters is not gold in many languages

sayings dichos

All that glitters is not gold  in other languages:

All that glitters is not gold in Latin: nōn omne quod nitet aurum est.
All that glitters is not gold in Czech: není všechno zlato co se třpytí.
All that glitters is not gold in Danish: det er ikke alt guld som glimrer.
All that glitters is not gold in French: tout ce qui brille n’est pas or .
All that glitters is not gold in German: es ist nicht alles Gold, was glänzt.
All that glitters is not gold in Greek: ό,τι λάμπει δεν είναι χρυσός.
All that glitters is not gold in Hungarian: nem mind arany, ami fénylik.
All that glitters is not gold in Icelandic: ekki er allt gull sem glóir.
All that glitters is not gold in Russian: не всё то зо́лото, что блести́т.
All that glitters is not gold in Slovene: ni vse zlato, kar se sveti.
All that glitters is not gold in Spanish: no es oro todo lo que reluce.

Once in a blue moon in many languages

Muy de vez en cuando en inglés y francés

Once in a blue moon  in other languages:

Once in a blue moon in Spanish: Muy de vez en cuando (literally very occasionally); cada muerte de obispo (literally, every  time a bishop dies)
Once in a blue moon in French: Tous les trente-six du mois (literally , on every thirty-sixth day of the month)
Once in a blue moon in German: alle Jubeljahre (literally, all Jubilee years)
Once in a blue moon in Italian:  a ogni moerte di Papa (literally, on every death of a Pope)
Once in a blue moon in  Polish: raz na ruski rok   (literally, once in a Russian year)
Once in a blue moon in Portuguese: de vez em nunca (hardñy ever)
Once in a blue moon in Finnish: todella harvoin (very rarely)
Once in a blue moon in Scottish Gaelic: uair san ràith (literally, hour in the season)

Rome wasn’t built in a day in many languages

Rome wasn’t built in a day  in other languages:

Rome wasn’t built in a day in Latin: Roma non uno die aedificata est
Rome wasn’t built in a day in Spanish: Roma no se contruyó en un día
Rome wasn’t built in a day in French: Rome ne s’est pas faite en un jour.
Rome wasn’t built in a day in German: Rom ist auch nicht an einem Tag erbaut worden. Also: Gut Ding will Weile haben
Rome wasn’t built in a day in ItalianRoma non fu fatta in un giorno
Rome wasn’t built in a day in Portuguese: Roma não se fez em um dia

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar in many languagessayings illustrated

Se atrapan más moscas con miel que con hiel

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar  in other languages:

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar in Spanish: Se atrapan más moscas con miel que con hiel (literally, You can catch more flies with honey than with gall)
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar in French: on n’attrape pas des mouches avec du vinaigre (literally, One can’t catch flyes with vinegar)
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar in German: Mit einem Löffel Honig fängt man mehr Fliegen (literally, With a spoonful of honey you catch more flies).
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar in Italian: si pigliano più mosche in una gocciola di miele che in un barile d’acete (literally, more flies are caught in a drop of honey than in a barrel of vinegar)

Colloquialisms

Colloquialisms are informal words, phrases, or even slang that people use in a conversational style.

(to) sleep it off in many languages

to sleep it off

to sleep it off

(to) sleep it off  in other languages:

(to) sleep it off in Spanish: dormir la mona (literally,  to put the monkey to sleep).
(to) sleep it off in French : cuver son vin (literally,  to boil one’s wine)
(to) sleep it off in German: Rausch ausschlafen (literally,  to sleep off the noise).
(to) sleep it off in Italian: smaltire la sbornia (literally,  to get rid of the hangover)
(to) sleep it off in Portuguese: curar a bebedeira (literally, to heal the drunkenness)

(to) be as mad as a hornet in many languages

 

estar cabreado en inglés y francés

Alternative forms: angry as a bull, angry as a bear,  (to) hit the ceiling, (to) see red…

(to) be as mad as a hornet  in other languages:

(to) be as mad as a hornet in Spanish: estar muy cabreado (to be pissed off); estar hasta las narices (literally,  to be up to the nose).
(to) be as mad as a hornet in French: être furieux comme pas deux (to be furious as not two); sortir de ses gonds (literally,  to get out of one’s hinges).
(to) be as mad as a hornet in German: fuchsteufelswild (literally,  hopping mad).
(to) be as mad as a hornet in Italian: sconvolto (upset); ne ho le palle piene (literally,  my balls are full, vulgar)
(to) be as mad as a hornet in Portuguese: estar zangado (literally,  to be upset) estar de saco cheio (literally,  to have the sack full).

(to) skip school in many languages

skip school

(to) skip school in other languages:

(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in Spanish: (see picture)
(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in French: faire l’école buissonnière (truancy); sécher les cours  (to skip classes); faire le mur (to do the wall).
(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in German: Schule schwänzen (to skip school); schwänzen (literally, tails), blaumachen (literally, leaflets)
(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in Italian: marinare la scuola(to skip school); bigiare.
(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in Portuguese: fazer gazeta (literally, to make a gazette); matar aula (to kill classroom), cabular aula, cabular (to chant) (Brazil)
(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in  Dutchspijbelen (truancy)
(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in Catalan: fer campana (literally, to do the bell)
(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in Norwegian: skulke (to avoid)
(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in Thai: โดด (th) (dòot)
(to) skip school / ditch school  / play hooky / skive off in Turkish: Turkish: asmak (to hang), kaçmak (to escape), kaytarmak (to slack), kırmak (to break)

 

(to) snog in many languages

morrearse

Alternative forms:  (to) smooch; (to) make out (AmE); (to) pash (Australia)

(to) snog  in other languages:

(to) snog in Spanish: morrearse (literally, to snout)
(to) snog in French: rouler une pelle  (literally, to roll a shovel)
(to) snog in Chinese (Mandarin): 舌吻  (pronounciation:  shéwěn)
(to) snog in German: knutschen
(to) snog in Portuguese: beijar-se en la boca

Mixed bag in many languages

Alternative forms: catch-all, ragbag, mixed bad, hodgepodge,  hotchpotch (BrE)

Mixed bag in other languages:

Mixed bag in Spanish: cajón de sastre (literally, tailor’s drawer)
Mixed bag in French: fourre-tout (literally, catchall), un mélange (literally, mixture, blend), fatras (mess), pot-pourri
Mixed bag in German: Durcheinander , Mischmasch (literally, Confusion, mishmash)
Mixed bag in Italian: guazzabuglio (literally, jumble),  calderone (literally, cauldron), pot-pourri
Mixed bag in Portuguese: manta de retalhos (literally, patchwork)
Mixed bag in Catalan: poti-poti , pot-pourri
Mixed bag in Russian: Russian: вся́кая вся́чина (vsjákaja vsjáčina) (literally, all sorts of things), мешани́на (ru) (mešanína) (literally, jumble)
Mixed bag in Scots: pran
Mixed bag in Welsh: cybolfa

Nerd in many languages

colloquialisms illustrated

Empollón en inglés

Nerd is a very international and widespread slang word and it is used in many languages. However, some languages have their own word(s) to label an intellectually outstanding but introverted individual.

Nerd  in other languages:

Nerd in Spanish: empollón
Nerd in French: boutonneux / boutonneuse
Nerd in Danish: nørd
Nerd in Esperanto: nerdo
Nerd in Estonian: tuupur
Nerd in Finnish:  nörtti
Nerd in Greek: σπασίκλας (el) m (spasíklas), φυτό (el) (fytó)
Nerd in Icelandic: nörd
Nerd in Italian: secchione
Nerd in Malay: nerda
Nerd in Portuguese: nerd (pt) (Brazil), CDF (pt) (Brazil), totó (pt) m, f (Portugal, colloquial)
Nerd in Russian: зану́да бо́тан , нерд (slang), бота́ник (ru) m (botánik)

 

Dirty old man in many languagesvieux cochon en anglais et espagnol

Dirty old man  in other languages:

Dirty old man in Spanish: viejo verde (literally, green old man).
Dirty old man in French: Vieux cochon (literally, old pig).
Dirty old man in German:  alter Lustmolch (literally,  old pig)
Dirty old man in Portuguese: velho sujo (literally, dirty old man)
Dirty old man in Italian: vecchio porco (literally, old pig)

No way in hell in many languages

Not a way in hell

No way in other languages:

Not a chance / No way in hell in Spanish: ¡Ni de coña! (literally, Not even as a joke)
Not a chance / No way in hell in French: Même pas en rêve (literally, not even in dreams!)
Not a chance / No way in hell in German: ch besteht nicht die geringste Chance (literally, There is not the slightest chance)
Not a chance / No way in hell in Italian: Non esiste al mondo (che…) (literally, There is no such thing in the world…)
Not a chance / No way in hell in Portuguese: De jeito nenhum ( no way!)

(to) pig out in many languages

to pig out in Spanish

(to) pig out in other languages:

(to) pig out in Spanish: ponerse las botas (literally, to put on one’s shoes), comer hasta rebentar (literally, to eat until one bursts), comer como un cerdo (literally, to eat like a pig)
(to) pig out in French: s’empiffrer (literally, to stuff oneself)
(to) pig out in Catalan: endrapar, (literally,devour, to soak up)
(to) pig out in German: sich vollstopfen  (literally, to stuff oneself)
(to) pig out in Italian: abbuffarsi (literally, totuck in)
(to) pig out in Russian: жрать (literally, to eat)

(to) blow someone off in many languages

tomar por el pito del sereno en inglés

(to) blow someone off  in other languages:

(to) blow someone off  in Spanish: Pasar de alguien (literally, to ignore someone); tomar por el pito del sereno (literally, to treat as the  whistle of the watchman).
(to) blow someone off  in French: Mettre / Foutre un vent à quelqu’un (literally, to throw a wind to someone).
(to) blow someone off  in German: auslassen (literally, (to) skip).
(to) blow someone off  in Italian: mettere in disparte (literally, (to) put aside), snobbare (literally, (to) snub)
(to) blow someone off  in Portuguese: ignorar (literally, (to) ignore)

Wet blanket in many languages

Wet blanket  in other languages:

Wet blanket in Spanish: aguafiestas (literally,  parties waterer).
Wet blanket in French: rabat-joie (literally, joy killer).
Wet blanket in Italian: guastafeste (literally,  mood breaker).
Wet blanket in German: Spielverderber, Spaßbremse (literally,  spoil-sports, fun brake).
Wet blanket in Basque: hondatzaile (literally, destroyer).
Wet blanket in Catalan. Aixafaguitarres (literally, Guitars chrusher); esgarriacries (a person who hampers projects, hinders people from having conversations, games…) > Idioms in Catalan
Wet blanket in Czech : suchar (?)
Wet blanket in Danish: lyseslukker (spoil-sport).

What the fuck in many languages

Cool! in many languages 

Cool in European Spanish

Cool in Danish: Danish: ok, fint 👍
Cool in Finnish: Finnish: okei, ookoo 👍
Cool in French: Cool 👍
Cool in German: akzeptabel 👍
Cool in Italian: accettabile 👍
Cool in Polish: fajny 👍
Cool in Portuguese: aceitável 👍
Cool in Russian: в поря́дке (v porjádke), норма́льный (normálʹnyj), ничего́ (ničevó)
Serbian and Croatian: kul 👍
Cool in Spanish: Guay 👍 (Spain); chévere (Caribbean Islands, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela); choro (Chile); 👍 mostro (Peru) 👍; lindo (Argentina) 👍; padre (Mexico) 👍



The best movies featuring translators and interpreters

Translators and interpreters in the movies

Though it hasn’t been plain sailing, I have finally created a list of movies featuring translators and interpreters. From thrillers to sci-fi, rom-coms to comedies, there’s something for every taste. Have you seen these films? If you have any suggestions, queries, or just comments regarding this collection, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

    Películas educación

Arrival

Original title: Arrival  Country: USA  Release: 2016 Director:  Denis Villeneuve  Screenplay by Eric Heisserer. Based on “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang  Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma

Denis Villeneuve directs this outstanding sci-fi movie that will delight translators, interpreters, philologists and linguists. The movie revolves around communication with an alien species, that has suddenly arrived, seemingly out of nowhere.

The hypothesis of this sci-fi movie states that language alters the way we think and the way we see the world. This theory, which contradicts Noam Chomsky’s ‘universal grammar’, is known as linguistic relativity or Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

The military, in order to work out whether the aliens come in peace or not, hire a linguist (Amy Adams) who, in turn, will experience important changes as she deepens in communicating with the extra-terrestrials.

It is a highly recommendable movie that will appeal to both linguists and good sci-fi lovers.

Also Known As (AKA)> Albania (complete title): Kontakti i Parë; Argentina: La Llegada; Brazil: A Chegada; Bulgaria (Bulgarian title): Първи контакт; Canada (French title): L’arrivée; Canada (English title): Arrival; Chile: La Llegada; Croatia: Dolazak; Czech Republic: Příchozí; Estonia: Saabumine; France: Premier contact; Germany: Arrival; Greece: Η άφιξη, Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title): I Afixi; Hungary: Érkezés; Israel (Hebrew title): Ha’mifgash; Italy: Arrival; Japan (English title): Message; Lithuania: Atvykimas; Mexico: La Llegada; Peru: La Llegada; Poland: Nowy początek; Portugal: O Primeiro Encontro; Romania: Primul contact; Russia: Прибытие; Serbia: Dolazak; Slovenia: Prihod; South Korea (working title): Contact; Spain: La llegada; Turkey (Turkish title): Gelis; Ukraine:  Прибуття; USA (working title) Story of Your Life, USA: Arrival; Uruguay:(original subtitled version) La Llegada; Vietnam: Cuoc Do Bo Bi An.

Chuck Norris Vs Communism

Original title: Chuck Norris Vs Communism  Director: Ilinca Calugareanu  Country: Romania Writer: Ilinca Calugareanu  Cast: Irina Margareta Nistor, Ana Maria Moldovan, Dan Chiorean

A great documentary which is worth mentioning is Chuck Norris Vs Communism. In a miserable Romania set in the eighties, a young radio newscaster, Irina Nistor, dubbed thousands of smuggled movies which allowed Romanians to learn about the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Chuck Norris vs Communism

The Interpreter

Original title: The Interpreter  Country: United Kingdom  Release: 2005  Director: Sydney Pollack Cast: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Sydney Pollack, Jesper Christensen,Yvan Attal, Earl Cameron.

 An African-born UN interpreter, a widowed Secret Service agent and a plot to kill the genocidal leader of Matobo are the key elements of this engaging movie. Both Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman nail their respective characters in this intelligent thriller. Catherine Keener, the supporting actress and winner of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, deserves a special mention. The Interpreter isn’t a light and fun thriller; the viewer needs to be focused to keep track of the plot by Sydney Pollack. Recommended for any translator or interpreter fond of intrigues and unexpected turns.

Also Known As (AKA)> France:  L’intèrprete; Spain, Argentina, Chile: La intérprete; Germany: Die Dolmetscherin; Greece: Η Διερμηνέας; Portugal and Brasil: A Intérprete; Russia: Переводчица; Turkey: Çevirmen;

The Terminal

Original title: The Terminal  Country: USA  Release: 2004   Director: Steven Spielberg  Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci, Chi McBride, Diego Luna, Eddie Jones, Barry Shabaka Henley, Zoe Saldana, Kumar Pallana.

This movie is based on facts. An immigrant from the Balkans is caught up at the New York JFK Airport just after the war breaks out in his country. Soon, he starts experiencing communication difficulties. Despite the leading actor and director’s tendency towards unnecessary corny scenes, it is certainly an entertaining movie.

Also Known As (AKA) > Brazil: O terminal; Germany: Terminal; Greece: The terminal; Argentina, Chile, Spain, Urugay: La terminal; France and Canada (French title): La terminal; Portugal: Terminal de Aeroporto; Russia: Tерминал.

Stargate

Original title: Stargate  Country: EEUU  Release: 1994 Genre: Sci-fi  Director: Roland Emmerich  Cast: James Spader, Kurt Russell, Jaye Davidson, Viveca Lindfors, Mili Avital, Alexis Cruz,Djimon Hounsou, Richard Kind, Erick Avari, John Diehl.

A linguist is given a curious assignment to translate some whimsical tables from Ancient Egypt. His translation will become the key that will open a fascinating but threatening world. Strongly recommended for translators and interpreters who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy films.

Also Knwon as (AKA) > Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay: Stargate: la puerta del tiempo; Brazil: Stargate, a Chave para o Futuro da Humanidade; Canada (French title) and France Stargate: La porte des étoiles; Germany: Stargate; Russia: Звёздные вратa; Spain: Stargate: puerta a las estrellas

Windtalkers

Original title: Windtalkers  Country: EEUU  Release: 2002  Director: John Woo  Cast: Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Christian Slater, Peter Stormare, Noah Emmerich, Mark Ruffalo, Brian Van Holt, Martin Henderson, Roger Willie, Frances O’Connor, Jason Isaacs, Kevin Cooney.

A messenger man uses native American languages to send messages during War War II. The army, despite counting on anthropologists to try to decipher communications, can do very little. Although at times it can seem somewhat repetitious and far-fetched, translators and linguists may still enjoy it.

Also Known As (AKA) > Argentina, México: Códigos de guerra; Brazil and Portugal: Códigos de guerra; Canada (French title): La voix des vents; France: Windtalkers – Les messagers du vent; Germany: indtalkers; Russia: Говорящие с ветром; Spain: Windtalkers; Ukraine: Ti, що говорять iз вiтром

***

Charade

Original title: Charade  Country: USA  Release: 1963   Director: Stanley Donen  Cast: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy,Ned Glass, Jacques Marin, Paul Bonifas, Thomas Chelimsky.

Audrey Hepburn is a UN translator and interpreter whose husband is murdered for no apparent reason. This event triggers a plot that reminds us of Hitchcock. The grace that Hepburn boasts when getting in the interpreter’s booth has gone down in cinema history. It is a must-see for all Audrey Hepburn fans.

Also known as (AKA) > Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Spain: Charada; Brazil and Portugal: Charade; Denmark: Charade – tre mand frem for en enke; Finland: Charade – ett farligt spel;  France: Charade; Greece: Ραντεβού στο Παρίσι; Hungary: merikai fogócska; Italy: Sciarada; Norway: Hvem svindler hvem?; USSR: Шарада; Turkey: Öldüren süphe; West Germany: Scharade


La Traductrice

Original title: La Traductrice (The translator)  Country: Switzerland/Russia   Release: 2002  Genre: Drama  Director: Elena Hazanov Cast: Alexander Baluev Julia Batinova Sergei Garmash Elena Safonova Bruno Todeschini

Ira, a young Russian woman in her twenties, lives in Geneva with her mother and doesn’t know much about her home country. Tashkov is an alleged member of the Russian mafia in jail waiting for his trial. Ira, who is a translator working for Tashkov’s defence attorney (defence lawyer) quickly succumbs to Tashkov’s charm, who is a powerful and learned man and seems to have the gift of reading her thoughts. But Tashkov will soon manipulate the young lady who wants to find her roots and her own way in life. When it dawns on her that danger can be hidden where least expected, it may be too late. 

películas sobre traductores

 

Fresh Suicide

Original title: Fresh Suicide  Country: India Release:  Director: Anupam Barve

Short film shot in a very realistic style. A young Indian translator works for an American journalist who is creating a photo feature on farmers’ suicides in rural India. Strongly recommended.

Full movie:

Lost in Translation

Original title: Lost in Translation  Country: USA  Release: 2003 Director: Sofia Coppola  Cast: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris.

An actor in hard times and a photographer’s wife meet in Tokyo. The language and cultural barriers work as a metaphor for the character’s isolation… something more than just a friendship will develop in this crossroads. Although it is not directly related to translation, it strikes me as an inescapable reference.

Also known as (AKA): Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay: Perdidos en Tokio; Brazil: Encontros e desencontros; Germany: ost in Translation – Zwischen den Welten; Greece: Xαμένοι στη μετάφραση; Italy: ost in Translation – L’amore tradotto; Portugal: O Amor É um Lugar Estranho; Turkey: Bir konusabilse…

Everything is illuminated

Original title: Everything Is illuminated  Country: USA Release: 2005  Director: Liev Schreiber  Cast: Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Leskin

Rare and interesting movie telling the story of a young Jewish man who endeavours to find the woman who appeared in the picture his grandfather was holding in his deathbed. It also features the character of a translator/interpreter. The soundtrack by Paul Cantelon is also a great asset to this movie.

Everything is illuminated

Also known as (AKA): Argentina; Mexico, : Una vida iluminada; Germany, Austria: Alles ist erleuchtet; Brazil: Uma Vida Iluminada; France: Tout est illuminé; Italy: Ogni cosa è illuminata; Poland: Wszystko jest iluminacja; Portugal: Está Tudo Iluminado; Russia: Cвет вокруг; Spain: Todo está iluminado; Sweden: Allt är upplyst

Spanglish

Original title: Spanglish  Country: EEUU Release: 2004  Director: James L. Brooks  Cast: Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni, Paz Vega, Cloris Leachman, Shelbie Bruce, Sarah Steele, Ian Hyland, Victoria Luna, Cecilia Suárez.

A Mexican woman with a low level of English migrates to the US to work in a wealthy family’s house. The language barrier is soon evident. The best part is during the end credits, though some people will dislike this movie, and others may even find it fun.

Películas sobre traductores e intérpretes

Also known as (AKA) > Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela : Espanglish; Brazil, Portugal: Espanglês; Canada (French title): Spanglish – J’en perds mon latin!; Croatia: Španjolski engleski; Denmark: Næsten helt perfekt – Spanglish; Greece: Iσπαγγλικά; Hungary: Spangol – Magamat sem értem; Poland: Trudne słówka; Romania: Cum sa nu devii american; Russia: Испанский-английский; Spain: Spanglish

La niña de tus ojos

Original title: La niña de tus ojos (The Girl of Your Dreams)  Country: Spain  Release: 1998  Director: Fernando Trueba  Genre: Tragicomedy  Cast: Penélope Cruz, Antonio Resines, Jesús Bonilla, Jorge Sanz, Loles León, Rosa María Sardà, Neus Asensi, Santiago Segura.

A group of Spanish filmmakers are invited to Nazi Germany to shoot the German-Spanish production ‘La niña de Tus Ojos’ (The Apple of Your Eye) at the UFA studios in Berlin.

As Carmina points out, the character of the interpreter shows up, playing a rather humorous role due to the embarrassing situations in which he gets involved in the making of the musical drama.

ALso Known As (AKA) > Brazil:  Garota dos Seus Sonhos; France: La fille de tes rêves; Germany: Das Mädchen deiner Träume; Italy: La Niña dei tuoi sogni; Russia: Девушка твоей мечты; Turkey: Rüyalarin kizi; USA: The Girl of Your Dreams

Desert Flower

Original title: Desert Flower  Country: United Kingdom   Release: 2009  Genre: Drama / Biopic  Director: Sherry Horman  Cast: Liya Kebede (Waris Dirie), Sally Hawkins (Marylin), Timothy Spall (Terry Donaldson), Soraya Omar-Scego (Waris as the kid)

Waris Dirie (Liya Kebede) is in the hospital and needs an interpreter. Much to her dismay, she comes across a Somali translator who is giving personal opinions instead of accurately translating what she says.

Also Known As (AKA) > Austria: Mädchen aus dem Goldland; Brazil: Flor do Deserto; Denmark: Tøsen fra Texas

 

cursos para traductores intérpretes y redactores

Zero Dark Thirty

Original title: Zero Dark Thirty  (2012 )  Genre: Thriller   Director: Kathryn Bigelow   Cast:Jessica ChastainJoel EdgertonTaylor KinneyKyle ChandlerJennifer EhleMark StrongChris PrattMark DuplassHarold PerrineauJason ClarkeÉdgar Ramírez,Scott AdkinsFrank GrilloLee Asquith-CoeFredric LehneJames GandolfiniReda KatebFares FaresStephen DillaneHomayoun Ershadi

Instead of featuring only one interpreter, there is a collection of interpreters, who help trace Osama Bin Laden. 

Also known as (AKA): Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Spain : La noche más oscura; Brazil: A Hora Mais Escura; Canada (French title): Opération avant l’aube; Hungary: Zero Dark Thirty – A bin Láden-hajsza; Iraq: Si daghighey-e bamdad; Italy: Operazione Zero Dark Thirty; Japan: Zero Dâku Sâti; Lithuania: Taikinys #1; Poland: Wróg numer 1; Portugal 00:30 A Hora Negra; Romania: Misiunea: 00.30 A.M.; Russia: Цель номер один; Ukraine: Tридцять хвилин по пiвночi

Babel

Original title: Babel  Release: 2006  Genre: Drama  Director: Alejandro González Iñárruti Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal, Kōji Yakusho, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi

Directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu, with a script by writer Guillermo Arriaga, Babel premiered at Cannes on May 23, 2006 and completes Iñárritu’s “Trilogy of Death”, which started with Amores Perros.

This film was the Golden Globe winner for the best drama in 2007 and candidate for seven Oscars, among them best film and best director (though it only got the best soundtrack award).

The film narrates three intertwined stories which take place in different parts of the world: Japan, the United States and Morocco. It features four different languages with some hindrances related to language barriers (such as the American couple that suffers an accident in Morocco) or the communication skills (the story that takes place in Tokyo focuses on a deaf teenager).

Also Known As (AKA) > Sweden: Jakten på den magiska stenen; Bulgaria: Бабел

Blood Diamond

Original title: Blood diamond (2006)  Director: Edward Zwick Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Djimon Hounsou, Arnold Vosloo, David Harewood, Caruso Kuypers, Michael Sheen, Basil Wallace, Ntare Mwine, Stephen Collins, Chris Petoyan (AKA Chris Astoyan), Jimi Mistry

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of a white Rhodesian arms dealer in Sierra Leone. He sports an amazing accent and he also speaks krio and many times acts as an interpreter.

Also Known As (AKA) > Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Spain: Diamante de sangre; Brasil, Portugal: Diamante de Sangue; Canada (French title): Le diamant de sang; Greece: Ματωμένο διαμάντι; Italy: Blood Diamond – Diamanti di sangue; Romania: Diamant insangerat; Russia: Кровавый алмаз

The Interpreter (TV Series)

Original title: 亲爱的翻译官 (The Interpreter)  Genre: Workplace rommance  Country: China  Director: Wang Ying  Cast: Yang Mi, Huang Xuan

This list wouldn’t be complete without a special mention of this Chinese series starring Qiao Fei (Yang Mi), who studies French and dreams of becoming a professional interpreter. His mentor whilst studying in Paris is Cheng Jia Yang (Huang Xuan), the son of a foreign minister and an outstanding interpreter of French to Chinese. This series is based on the novel “Les Interprètes” by Miao Xuan. It was a commercial hit in China.

películas sobre traductores e intérpretes

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Top 10 actors who can pull off foreign accents



Comprehensive List of Texting and Chat Abbreviations

Texting and Chat Messages

Whatsapp, WeChat, Telegram, Facebook, Twitter… Messaging Apps are changing the way we write and communicate with one another. In the 90s and early 2000s, when people texted SMSs (Short Message Service) and were charged for each one they sent, abbreviations and acronyms were a way to save money. With  primitive chats and SMS we saw the firsts emoticons smile emoticon, which not only have survived the Apps revolution, but play an important role in our day-to-day communications since, as the saying goes, “an image is worth a thousand words”.

Today, such abbreviations  have become a way of saving time and space, rather than money. More often than not, it is difficult to keep track of the overwhelming amount of new expressions, acronyms and even neologisms new generations such as millennials are constantly coming up with.

To help ease the haze that this flood of new terms may cause, here is a list of the most common ones I’ve been able to collect so far. Hope that helps!

Complete List of Messaging Abbreviations and acronyms

1NAM One In A Million
2MORO Tomorrow
2nte Tonight
2N8 Tonight
404 No Clue
5N Fine
A3 Anywhere, anytime, any place
AAB Average At Best
ADL All Day Long
AEAP As Early as Possible
AKA Also Known As
ALAP As Late as Possible
ANY1 Anyone
ASAP As Soon as Possible
ASL Age / Sex / Location?
ATM At the moment
B3 Blah, Blah, Blah
B4 Before
B4YKI Before You Know it
BA3 Battery
BB Bye Bye
BBS Be Back Soon
Bc or B/C Because
BD Big Deal
BF Boyfriend or Best Friend
BFN Bye For Now
BG Big Green
BFF Best Friends, Forever
BM&Y Between Me and You
BOT Back On Topic
BRB Be right Back
BRT Be right There
BTAM Be that as it May
BTW By The Way
B/W Between
C-P Sleepy
CTN Cannot talk now
CTS Changing The Subject
CUA See You Again
CU See You
CUL See You Later
Cuz/Coz/Cause Because
CUS See You Soon
CWOT Complete Waste of Time
CYA See You Again
CYL Call You Later
CYT See You Tomorrow
DIY Do It Yourself
Dunno Don’t Know
E123 Easy as 1, 2, 3
EM Email
EM? Excuse Me?
EOD End of Day
F2F Face to Face
FB Facebook
FC Fingers Crossed
FOAF Friend of a Friend
FWD Forward
FWIW For What Is Worth
FYEO For Your Eyes Only
G2B Going To Bed
GBTW Get Back To Work
GF Girlfriend
GFY Good For You
GM Good Morning
GTG Got To Go
GTH Go To Hell
GN Good Night
GR8 Great
HAK Hugs and Kisses
HBY How about you
HF Have Fun
HU Hugh You
IC I See
ICYDK In Case You Didn’t Know
IDGI I don’t Get It
ILY I Love You
IYDMMA If You Don’t Mind Me Asking
IS I’m Sorry
IACL I Am Currently Laughing
IDC I Don’t Care
IDK I Don’t Know
ILU / ILY I Love You
IMU I Miss You
IMO In My Opinion
IRL In Real Life
J/K Just Kidding
JC Just Checking
JIC Just In Case
JJ Just Joking
JK Just Kidding
JOOC Just Out Of Curiosity
JTLYK Just to Let You Know
KFY Kiss for You
KMP Keep Me Posted
KMN Kill Me Now
KPC Keeping Parents Clueless
KU Kiss You
KYP Keep You Posted
LAM Leave A Message
L8 Late
L8R Later
LMHO Laughing My Head Off
LMK Let Me Know
LMAO Laughing my a*s off
LNG Long
LOL Laughing out loud
LTNS Long Time No See
LU Love You
M8 Mate
MoF Male or Female
MSG Message
MTFBWY May the Force be with You
MU Miss You
MYOB Mind Your Own Business
N-A-Y-L In a While
NAZ Name, Address, ZIP
NC No Comment
NE1 Anyone
NIMBY Not in my Backyard
NOYB None of Your Business
NM Never Mind / Nothing Much
NP No Problem
NSFW Not Safe for Work
NTIM Not that it Matters
NVM Never Mind
OATUS On a totally Unrelated Subject
OIC Oh, I See
OMG Oh My God
OMW On My Way
ORLY Oh, Really?
OTL Out to Lunch
OTP On the Phone
P911 Parent Alert
PAL Parents are Listening
PAW Parents are Watching
Pic Pîcture
PIR Parent in Room
PLZ Please
PMSL Pi*song myself laughing
POS Parent over Shoulder
PPL People
PROP(S) Proper Respect / Proper Recognition
Q4Y Question For You
QT Cutie
R8 Right
RN Right Now
RU Are You
Sec Second
SEP Someone else’s Problem
SITD Still in the Dark
SLAP Sounds like a Plan
SMIM Send Me an Instant Message
SO Significant Other
SS So Sorry
SRY Sorry
SUP What’s Up
SWW Sorry Wrong Window
TC Take Care
TG That’s Great
Tho Though
THX Thanks
TMI Too Much Information
TTYL  Talk To You Later
TTYS Talk To You Soon
TU Thank You
TXT Text
TYT Take Your Time
UR Your / You are
W8 Wait
WB Welcome Back
WTF What The Fuck
WTH What The Hell
WYCM Will You Call Me?
WYWH Wish You Were Here
XOXOXOX Hugs, Kisses, …
YT Youtube
YW You’re Welcome
W8AM Wait A Minute
WAPP Whatsapp
WD Well Done
WP Word Perfect

 

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Etymology of “Translation”

What is the origin of the word “Translation”?

It is the process of translating and adapting words or a piece of writing from one language into another. It is also a full-time career and the main source of income for many translators and interpreters all over the world.

Throughout history, civilizations have required translators and interpreters to share their culture, wisdom and works with the rest of the world. Almost every historical register, religious book, masterpiece of world literature,  invention patent, major agreement or international treaty has been through the hands and eyes of translators. The translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek in the 3rd century BC is regarded as the first major translation in the Western world.

origin of the word translation
Translator addressing his master. Unknown Flemish artist. Late 15th Century.

This work has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.

In a way, translators are the bridge not only between different languages, but also between periods of history, helping people all over the world break the language barrier. Translators and interpreters spend a lot of time transferring and adapting texts and speeches from the source to the target language. So it goes without saying that the origin of the noun translation —and, by extension, (to) translate and translator—, deserves to be analyzed on this blog.

Thomas Eakins
The Translator, Portrait of Monsignor Hugh T. Henry (1902), by Thomas Eakins, American Catholic Historical Society,

This work has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.

Etymological root of the word Translation

Translation derives from the Latin word Translatio, meaning “to carry across“:

trans, (“across”)

+

ferre, (“to carry” or “to bring”).

Latin> We can find the word trānslātiō in the nominative and vocative cases.

Case Singular Plural
nominative trānslātiō trānslātiōnēs
genitive trānslātiōnis trānslātiōnum
dative trānslātiōnī trānslātiōnibus
accusative trānslātiōnem trānslātiōnēs
ablative trānslātiōne trānslātiōnibus
vocative trānslātiō trānslātiōnēs

As it seems, there was an intermediate step, when English adopted the word from Old French translacion (traduction in modern French).

So, not surprisingly, the origin of Translation is Latin… But what about Greek?

The Ancient Greek term for “translation”, μετάφρασις (metaphrasis, “a speaking across”), has supplied  English with “metaphrase”, which, despite having a similar meaning, is not exactly the same. Metaphrase means a literal, verbatim translation, as opposed to a paraphrase. It is also is also the translation of poetry into prose.

origin of the word translation translate translating

With regards to the use of the word in the sense of  “rendering an expression or speech into another language”, Leonardo Bruni, a Tuscan humanist, historian and statesman, was the first to use the verb tradurre to refer to the art of translation and Robert Estienne, a 16th-century printer and classical scholar in Paris, was the first to use the noun traduction (French for translation) in the sense of rendering of a message or text into another language.

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Etymology of “Economy”

What is the origin of the word Economy?

We learned earlier about the origin of the word finance. Today we will focus on the etymology of the term economy, which at the beginning had a somewhat different connotation from the one we are used today.

Nowadays, Economy refers to the management of resources, such as money, materials, or labor… or the system or range of economic activity in a country, region, or community, whereas Economics refers to the social science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, and with the theory and management of economies or economic systems.

Economist, economize, economical… all these terms stem from the same word. So, let’s have a closer look.

Etymology of the word Economy

origin of the word Economy

The first part of the term Economy, Eco, is derived from Ancient Greek Oikos (οἶκος, plural  οἶκοι), which meant “house, abode, dwelling”. The Ancient Greeks used the word Oikos to refer to three related but different in nature household categories, namely,  the family, the family’s property (slaves, farmland…), and the house.

origin of the word economy

Nemo (νέμω, némō), the second part of the term, also stems from the Ancient Greek and means “(to) manage, distribute;(to) deal out or dispense”.

Hence, the word Oikonomia (οἰκονομία) meaning “the management  and administration of a household”.

origin of economy

The first recorded sense of the word “economy” is in the phrase “the management of œconomic affairs” , which was found in a monastic work possibly drawn up in 1440. “Economy” is later recorded in a variety of senses, such as “thrift” or “administration”. The most generally used current sense, meaning “the economic system of a country or an area”, as it seems, did not appear until the 17th century.

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Most Expensive and Cheapest Countries in Europe

Most Expensive and Cheapest Countries in Europe

Which are the most affordable countries in Europe? Which are the most expensive ones? In this post I am going to analyze such issues using a number of sources  and items (see below) that  can help solve this conundrum.  We saw earlier which are the most expensive and cheapest cities in Europe. Today I am going to focus on each country as a whole. The main parameters used to list the countries in this ranking are GDP per capita, place in the UN Human Development Index, the Big Mac Index, the price of the shopping basket in each country compared to the European average, the price of 1 Kg of rice (as representative of staple food) and then, within each country, you can even check the most expensive and cheapest cities.  As we all know, everything is relative (e.g., the market basket in a given country may be more expensive but taxes may be lower), but I think it can offer an overview of the current state of affairs.

While it is true that living standards tend to be lower in Eastern European countries, they are also generally cheaper, or more affordable, if you like, for tourists, expats or people teleworking online (such as freelance translators, copywriters, writers or graphic designers) for, say, western companies or agencies.  Portugal, Latvia and Bulgaria feature among the cheapest countries regarding income tax for self-employed or freelancers.On the other hand, Scandinavian countries are considered to be expensive  and have high taxes, but they also rank among the countries with the highest living standards not only in Europe, but in the whole world. They are undoubtedly an example of good governance for others to follow.

Today I won’t go into qualitative aspects, since many would argue —not without reason— that weather conditions, the nutritional quality of local food, the social fabric, the quality of social services, gender-equality policies, even the so-called Happiness Index… are key elements for a good quality of life. I fully share this view, but it is a different kettle of fish.

Below the list of the cheapest countries you can find a description of the main concepts and benchmarks I have used to draw up the ranking as well as the sources consulted.

Most expensive countries in Europe

suiza-pais-mas-caro-de-europa

Most expensive countries in Europe (starting with the most expensive one)

Switzerland

cost of living in Switzerland

Population: 8,544,034
Currency: Swiss Franc
GDP per capita: 80,590 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 3
Big Mac Index: 6.59
Cost of the market basket: 163% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.52 USD
Most expensive cities in Switzerland: Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne and Bern
Cheapest cities in Switzerland:Neuchatel, Aarau and St. Gallen
Taxes in Switzerland
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: low

Norway

Cost of Living in Norway

Population: 5,312,343
Currency: Norwegian Krone
GDP per capita: 74,940 USD (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 1
Big Mac Index: 5.51
Cost of the market basket: 137% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.98 USD
Most expensive cities in Norway:
Cheapest cities in Norway: Bodo and Kristiansand
Taxes in Norway
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: High
VAT rate: High

Iceland

Iceland

Grocery shopping prices in Iceland

Youtube channel: Iceland with a view

Population: 350,710
Currency: Icelandic Krona
GDP per capita: 70,332 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 16
Big Mac Index: ——
Cost of the market basket: 125% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 3.47 USD
Most expensive cities in Iceland: Reykjavik
Cheapest cities in Iceland: —
Taxes in Iceland
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: High

Denmark

Slovakia most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe
most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe

Population: 5,745,547
Currency: Danish Krone
GDP per capita: 56,444 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 4
Big Mac Index: 4.44
Cost of the market basket: 137% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.05 USD
Most expensive cities in Denmark: Silkeborg and Copenhaguen
Cheapest cities in Denmark: Horsens, Odense and Vejle

Taxes in Denmark
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: High
VAT rate: High

Luxembourg

ranking most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe
Cost of living in Europe

Population: 602,000
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 105,803 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 19
Big Mac Index: —
Cost of the market basket: 119% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.05 USD
Puesto en el índice de desarrollo humano: 19
Most expensive cities in Luxembourg: Luxemburgo
Cheapest cities in Luxembourg : —-
Taxes in Luxembourg
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Low

United Kingdom 

cost of living in the UK, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Population: 66,040,229
Currency: Pound sterling
GDP per capita: 39,734 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 14
Big Mac Index: 3,94
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.70 USD
Most expensive cities in the UK: London, Oxford, Portsmouth, Aberdeen and Bristol
Cheapest cities in the UK: Sheffield, Sunderland y Dundee
Cost of the market basket: 131% of the European average
Taxes in UK
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Average

Finland

ranking most expensive and cheapest countries in Finland
most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe

Population: 5,517,887
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 46,016 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 24
Big Mac Index: 5.06
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.20 USD
Most expensive cities in Finland: Helsinki and Tampere
Cheapest cities in Finland: Lapeenranta, Kuopio
Cost of the market basket: 120% of the European average
Taxes in Finland
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: High

Belgium

cost of living in Belgium
countries ranking

Population: 11,469,204
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 43,582 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 21
Big Mac Index: 4.35
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.74 USD
Most expensive cities in Belgium:Mons, Bruselas and Namur<
Cheapest cities in Belgium: Leuven and Liege
Cost of the market basket: 107% of the European average
Taxes in Belgium
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Average

Netherlands

most expensive and cheapest countries in the Netherlands
European Union

Population: 17,254,086
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 48,345 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 5
Big Mac Index: 3.8
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.62 USD
Most expensive cities in the Netherlands: Zwolle and Amsterdam
Cheapest cities in the Netherlands: Groningen and Enschede
Cost of the market basket: 109% of the European average
Taxes in the Netherlands (Holland)
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Low

France

cost of living in France
EU most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe

Population: 67,297,000
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 39,869 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 22
Big Mac Index: 4.51
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.90 USD
Most expensive cities in France: Perigueux, Paris, Lyon and Toulouse
Cheapest cities in France: Saint-Étienne, Montpellie, Marseilles and Perpignan
Cost of the market basket: 105% of the European average
Taxes in France
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Average
id=”Map_of_sovereign_states_in_Europe_by_2017_GDP_nominal_per_capita_based_on_USD_exchange_rate” class=”mw-headline”>GDP nominal per capita based on USD exchange rate

map Europe GDP per capita

Cheapest countries in Europe

most expensive and cheapest countries Moldavia cost of living in Moldavia

Cheapest countries in Europe (starting with the cheapest one):

Moldavia/ Moldova

Moldavia cheapest cities cost of living in Moldavia

Population: 3,564,000
Currency: Moldovan leu
GDP per capita: 2,279 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 107
Big Mac Index: 1.75
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 0.95 USD
Most expensive cities in Moldavia: Tiraspol
Cheapest cities in Moldavia: Chișinău
Cost of the market basket: 40% of the European average

Ukraine

cost of living in Ukraine

Population: 42,895,704
Currency: Hryvnia
GDP per capita: 2,582 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 81
Big Mac Index: 1.57
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 0.99 USD
Most expensive cities in Ukraine: Kiev, Lutsk, Lviv, Kirovoghrad, Dnipro and Kharkiv
Cheapest cities in Ukraine: Simferopol and Zaporizhzhya
Cost of the market basket: 45% of the European average
Taxes in Ukraine
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: Average

Macedonia

Cost of living in Macedonia

Population: 2,075,301
Currency: Macedonian Denar
GDP per capita: 5,474 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 81
Big Mac Index: 1.90
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.26 USD
Most expensive cities in Macedonia: Veles
Cheapest cities in Macedonia: Prilep, Ohrib
Cost of the market basket: 48% of the European average
Taxes in Macedonia
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: Low

Serbia

cost of living in Serbia

Population: 7,040,272
Currency: Serbian Dinar
GDP per capita: 5,899 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 66
Big Mac Index: 2.08
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.08 USD
Most expensive cities in Serbia: Belgrade, Valjevo
Cheapest cities in Serbia: Zrenjanin, Nis
Cost of the market basket: 49% of the European average
Taxes in Serbia
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Average

Albania

cost of living in Albania

Population: 2,887,000
Currency: Albanian Lek
GDP per capita: 4,582 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 85
Big Mac Index: —–
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.08 USD
Most expensive cities in Albania: Korçë
Cheapest cities in Albania:Tirana, Vlorë and Elbasam
Cost of the market basket: 47% of the European average
Taxes in Albania
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: Average

Bosnia and herzegovina

cost of living in Bosnia

Population: 3,750,000
Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible Mark
GDP per capita: 5,148 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 86
Big Mac Index: ——
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.23 USD
Most expensive cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Zenica
Cheapest cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bihac
Cost of the market basket: 51% of the European average
Taxes in Bosnia and herzegovina
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: Low

Romania

cost of living in Romania
European ranking countries

Population: 19,622,000
Currency: Leu
GDP per capita: 12,523 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 5
Big Mac Index: —-
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.04 USD
Most expensive cities in Romania: Focșani, Bucarest
Cheapest cities in Romania: Târgu Mureș
Cost of the market basket: 52% of the European average
Taxes in Romania
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: Low

Bulgaria

cost of living in Bulgaria
Europe ranking list countries

Population: 7,050,034
Currency: Lev
GDP per capita: 8,064 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 59
Big Mac Index: 1,88
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.22 USD
Most expensive cities in Bulgaria:Pleven
Cheapest cities in Bulgaria: Burgas
Cost of the market basket: 47% of the European average
Taxes in Bulgaria
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: Average

Poland

cost of living in Poland
paises-mas-caros-y-mas-baratos-de-europa

Population: 38,433,600
Currency: Zloty
GDP per capita: 13,822 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 36
Big Mac Index: 2.42
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 0.82 USD
Most expensive cities in Poland: Warsaw, Kraków and Bielsko-Biala
Cheapest cities in Poland:Rzeszów, Radom and Gorzów Wielkopolski
Cost of the market basket: 55% of the European average
Taxes in Poland
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: High

Belarus

cost of living in Belarus

Population: 9,452,113
Currency: Belarusian Ruble
GDP per capita: 5,760 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 50
Big Mac Index: —–
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 0.95 USD
Most expensive cities in Belarus: Minsk
Cheapest cities in Belarus: Maladzyechna
Cost of the market basket: —
Taxes in Belarus
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: High

Montenegro

cost of living in Montenegro

Population: 642,550
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 7,647 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 49
Big Mac Index: —-
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.25 USD
Most expensive cities in Montenegro: Budva
Cheapest cities in  Montenegro: Podgorica
Cost of the market basket: 55% of the European average
Taxes in Montenegro
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: Low

Hungary

cost of living in Hungary
paises-mas-caros-y-mas-baratos-de-europa

Population: 9,771,000
Currency: Forint
GDP per capita: 15,531 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 44
Big Mac Index: 2.71
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 01.06 USD
Most expensive cities in Hungary : Budapest, Szombathely y Györ
Cheapest cities in Hungary: Kaposvár, Szolnok y Kecskemét
Cost of the market basket: 57% of the European average
Taxes in Hungary
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: High
***

Top 10 European countries by GDP 2019

  1. Germany
  2. United Kingdom
  3. France
  4. Italy
  5. Russia
  6. Spain
  7. Netherlands
  8. Switzerland
  9. Sweden
  10. Poland

Source: International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook

Top 10 European countries by GDP per capita 2019

  1. Luxembourg
  2. Ireland
  3. Norway
  4. Switzerland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Iceland
  7. Germany
  8. Denmark
  9. Sweden

Source: International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook

Best European countries for self-employed workers or freelancers

Denmark

You can easily and swiftly register online as a self-employed worker. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee. Income tax ranges from 25% to 50% depending on the type of self-employed worker. Besides, you can benefit from one of the best welfare states in the world, which includes a wide range of social benefits and access to free education.

United Kingdom

If your income is less than £600 (7031€), you are free from the obligation to contribute. If you exceed this amount you pay a percentage depending on your profits. There is no such thing as a minimum capital to register a Limited Liability Company, in case you want to start up your own business.

Germany

Self-employed workers have to pay a compulsory health insurance. If your turnover is ≥ 1,700€ net per month, you must pay a 140€ monthly fee. Those who are under 30 years old and those who make less than 1,700€ don’t need to pay VAT. The downside is that if you want to start up your own company, it is not cheap (you need to pay 25,000€)

Portugal

In Portugal, self-employed workers don’t have to pay a monthly fee. They are not obliged to pay VAT either. It is one of the best countries to be a self-employed worker in Europe.

France

Even though you don’t pay anything during your first year as a self-worker, you are entitled to health care, pension contributions and temporary disability. After the first year, there is a scale stipulating how much a freelancer must pay depending on its income and  work activity. There is no minimum capital required to register a Limited Liability Company.

👕 European Countries T-shirts 👕

Here is a collection of some t-shirts representing European countries. Some of them are amazing and some of them really fun! Click on the shirt or the description below for further details. This section will be regularly updated with new t-shirts.

👕 European Union EU T-shirts

👕 Europe and World map t-shirts

World map t-shirt
World Map Europe t-shirt. Click here!

👕 Germany t-shirts

👕 France t-shirts

👕 UK t-shirts

👕 Italy t-shirt

👕 Spain t-shirt

👕 Russia t-shirt

👕 Poland t-shirt

👕 Sweden t-shirt

👕 Switzerland t-shirt

👕 Norway t-shirt

👕 Portugal t-shirt

👕 Iceland t-shirt

👕 Denmark t-shirt

👕 Luxembourg t-shirt

👕 Finland t-shirt

👕 Belgium t-shirt

👕 Netherlands t-shirt

👕 Greece t-shirts

👕 Ireland t-shirts

👕 Romania t-shirt

👕 Chech Republic t-shirt

👕 Slovakia t-shirt

👕 Croatia t-shirt

👕 Moldavia t-shirt

👕 Ukraine t-shirt

👕 Bulgaria t-shirt

👕 Belarus t-shirt

👕 Serbia t-shirt

👕 Albania t-shirt

👕 Montenegro t-shirt

👕 North Macedonia t-shirt

👕 Bosnia and Herzegovina t-shirt

👕 Austria t-shirt

👕 Hungary t-shirt

👕 Kosovo t-shirt

👕 Slovenia t-shirt

👕 Malta t-shirt

👕 Estonia t-shirt

👕 Latvia t-shirt

👕 Lithuania t-shirt

👕 Cyprus t-shirt

👕 Vatican city t-shirt

👕 Andorra t-shirt

👕 Isle of Man t-shirt

👕 San Marino

Explanation of the parameters used in this ranking

Most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe Cost of living in Europe
In red: most expensive countries    In blue: cheapest countries
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GDP per capita is a measure that divides the country’s gross domestic product (its economic output) by its total population.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite index of life expectancy, educational standards, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.

Big Mac Index: The Big Mac Index, published by The Economist magazine, althought not perfect, is useful to measure the purchasing power parity (PPP) between countries and currencies. It uses the price of the famous hamburger as a benchmark. It somehow replaces the shopping basket with the famous hamburger.

Market basket: In an economic sense, a market basket is a permanent set of goods and services that are bought and sold as staples in a functional economy.  So it is is a fixed list of items, in given proportions, used specifically to track the progress of inflation in an economy.

I picked one kilo of white rice among  all the products which are representative of the cost of living because it is a minimally-processed staple food, so there is no need for a large number of productive factors as, for instance, a car.

Sources: Eurostat, Forbes, The Economist, statista.com, preciosmundo.com, Expatistan, bigmacindex.org, Numbeo.com

See also:

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10 most “useful” languages according to the World Economic Forum

Most useful languages

First of all, it is important to highlight the difference between the most spoken languages in the world and those more likely to provide career and job opportunities, since the economic and strategic weight of a language depends on many factors, not only on how many people speak it.

Top 10 languages in the world by number of native speakers

* The top 10  languages in the world by number of speakers are: 1. Mandarin Chinese 2. Spanish 3. English 4. Hindi 5. Arabic 6.French 7. Portuguese 8. Bengali 9. Russian and 10. Indonesian.

The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF) establishes , among other things, the link between the Power Language Index (PLI) and the competitiveness of a country or region.

From a merely utilitarian viewpoint, today we’ll have a look at the most “useful” or, if you like, “profitable” languages in terms of job prospects and future income that they may yield.

Needless to say, there are a number of reasons why you may want to study a language, many of them even more important than the working future or economic return. Of course, we all have our personal goals and preferences. Nonetheless, in this post I’m going to focus on the most practical side.

Not surprisingly, as Latin language or French did before , the English language takes the lead (see the ranking below) as the world’s lingua franca. But… Who knows? If current growth trends continue, Spanish may well take first place within the next decades, since, as it seems, Mandarin Chinese has proved too difficult to learn for non-native speakers. In the current scenario, though, the truth is that four out of the ten more competitive economies in the world have English as an official language and, except for Japan, the other listed countries have an acceptable level of English.

10 most competitive economies

The most competitive economies, according to the World Economic Forum are: 1. United States, 2. China 3. Japan 4. Germany 5. United Kingdom 6. France 7. India 8. Italy 9. Brazil and 10.  Canada.

The EU paradox

languages EU

An important fact which we should not neglect is that, after Brexit, even though English is co-official in Ireland and Malta and it is an official language of the EU, no European country will be represented by English as  its official language in the Community institutions and bodies —the language representing Ireland in the EU is Irish Gaelic. Taking into account that the European Union —where French and German seem to play a major role— is one of the three world’s biggest economies (according to some specialists, the first one in many aspects), Brexit might change the balance of power in the Old Continent,  at least as far as languages are concerned.

RANKING OF THE MOST USEFUL LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD

According to the Power Language Index (PLI) produced by the World Economic Forum, the 10 most useful languages in terms of competitiveness are:

Language Score Native (MM) Geography Communication Media Diplomacy
1 English 0,89 446 1 1 1 1
2 Mandarin 0,44 960 6 2 3 6
3 French 0,34 80 2 5 5 1
4 Spanish 0,33 470 3 3 7 3
5 Arabic 0,27 295 4 6 18 4
6 Russian 0,24 150 5 10 9 5
7 German 0,19 92,5 8 7 4 8
8 Japanese 0,13 125 27 22 6 7
9 Portuguese 0,12 215 7 13 12 9
10 Hindi 0,12 310 14 8 2 10

The Power Language Index (PLI) uses 20 indicators to measure the influence on language, such as number of speakers, geographical coverage, the percentage of world GDP it accounts for, or cultural influence (notably through the diplomatic and media use).

Not without reason, some would argue that the commercial significance of a language depends strongly on where you are (e.g. if you are in Australia, German may be virtually useless from a business perspective, but Japanese will be central, as they are a major trading partner), or that Spanish is now more powerful than French and has much better prospects as a language on a global basis. Anyway, when you take a closer look at the benchmark, you realise that Spanish is hard on its heels. Be that as it may, these are the conclusions drawn by the WEF.

 

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How can we avoid the next financial meltdown?

How the rich get richer – money in the world economy

I strongly recommend this excellent and thorough TV report produced by Germany’s public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

The starting point is the map of the current situation: exploding real estate prices, zero interest rate and a rising stock market – the rich are getting richer. What danger lies in wait for average citizens? The fiscal policies of the central banks are causing an uncontrolled global deluge of money. For years, the world’s central banks have been pursuing a policy of cheap money. The first and foremost is the ECB (European Central Bank), which buys bad stocks and bonds to save banks, tries to fuel economic growth and props up states that are in debt. But what relieves state budgets to the tune of hundreds of billions annoys savers: interest rates are close to zero.

This substantial piece of work goes beyond the surface and makes concrete and logical suggestions on how to remedy the situation.

The bottom line is that the interests of the financial industry have determined developments in politics and society for far too long and it’s high time we did something about it.

Two things are for certain:

  • The sick financial system is going to cost us a lot of money.
  • The current deregulated financial system is very likely to lead to the next disaster.

As the report states, we need a different system, but it would be enough if we just returned to what we had: highly regulated financial markets and a banking sector under control and whose purpose was to serve people and companies.

It reminds us that we have to reign in the world’s financial system, but exactly the opposite is happening in the United States under Donald Trump.

To make the system safer for people like that envisaged by the Swiss initiative —the report you can watch below provides further details about it— could be one building block.

It moots that states have to reduce their massive debts since it’s the only way we can curb this deluge of money and break through the spiral of loans. The presenter goes on saying that we need international debt conferences where states mutually waive their debts. At the end of the day, It’s us, the people, who foot the bill.

The report also puts new ideas forward, namely, that big banks must cover their loans with more of their own capital than they do today, that we need to have a global tax on financial transactions and that money needs to go to places where it benefits society… for our future’s sake.

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Wörgl: the miracle of a local currency

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Wörgl: the miracle of a local currency

The Miracle of Wörgl

Legend has it that in the midst of the Great  Depression, the mayor of the city of Wörgl, in Austria, issued a new currency… which depreciated every month by 1% due to the so-called rate of oxidation! That currency was a “Certified Compensation Bill”, a form of local currency best known by Stamp Scrip, or Freigeld.

What followed was wonderful: the currency got into circulation, unemployed people got back to work, local businesses reopened, and in order to avoid losing money a high percentage of citizens spent the currency very fast, local government projects could be all completed … The implementation of the currency resulted in a growth of employment and prosperity, creating a virtuous circle. More surprisingly, inflation and deflation were not detected during the experiment…. Believe it or not, it all happened during the worst economic crisis of the century!

The Wörgl currency was an application of the monetary theories of the economist Silvio Gesell by the town’s then-mayor, Michael Unterguggenberger

Legend has it that in order to reverse the crisis, other cities tried to replicate the Wörgl model, but the National Bank of Austria decided to terminate the experiment on September 1, 1933.

Oracle has it that someday, a developer will find the code that will make the worldwide issue of a Wörgl-like digital currency possible. This day will change economy as we know it, forever. It will mean a complete turnabout. Just imagine a currency that rewards you —or can even make you rich— for spending it quickly! (see the last paragraph of this post).

Wörgl currency

A significant problem about cryptos is that holders prefer to keep them as a store of value in the hope that their price will eventually increase.  As a result, they are not brought into circulation to conduct transactions between consumers and businesses. Whereas it is true that potential buyers wouldn’t find a depreciating crypto particularly  appealing, it is also true that an additional reward for spending it quickly —e.g., the quicker you spend it the highest refund you get— could solve the question.

To be honest, I’ve actually published this post as if it were a message in a bottle. Maybe someone will be able to put the puzzle together and come up with a fundamentally different crypto based on the Wörgl experiment. I really think it would make a difference.

PS: It is necessary to modify the source code of a suitable crypto (or else create a new Blockchain from scratch incorporating a rate of oxidation ) so that the resulting currency both depreciates each month and offers an added incentive to encourage people to spend it. An extra motivation for those who spend it faster could be to participate in a daily lottery or raffle, so that you could actually win a small fortune every day by spending  your currency quickly! Such process could be automated through a Smart Contract. Please, share. We need to find that coder 😉

For further information visit Coinsweekly

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Marcel Solé