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Idioms in foreign languages - and their translations

 
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 12:38 pm
BillyFalcon wrote:

Chevrolet had to have a name change for the Chevy Nova in South America.
"No va" means "It doesn't go' in Spanish.

The Grand Mercury - the Big M. " El grande emmy" or the big bowel movement.


I've read about the the Chevy Nova thing in the internet, but never heard it, even as a joke, here in Mexico.

The Big M: La Gran Eme (means "the big m", nothing else). Maybe in some other country it means "La Gran Mierda": the big sh!t- I dunno.


Sounds:

Spanish:
gun: bang bang
dog: guau guau
cat: miau miau

Italian:
gun: bang bang
dog: bau bau
cat: mau mau
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 12:45 pm
Well, I remember this having posted on another thread (here?) some time ago:

since 3 April 1999 the Chevrolet story is listed as 'Urban Legend'

snopes.com: Chevrolet Nova
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BillyFalcon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 05:05 pm
fbaezer. I got the "big m" story from my Argentinian cousin.
Also, a story connected to the word chi-chis ("toys" in Argentina.
Breasts in Mexico. According to another story.



Hinteler. I like the term "urban legend." But I think farmers are just as duped.


There's also the word "Apocryful" which means of doubtful authorship, not genuine, counterfeit.

Apocryful stories abound. They frequently have a conspiracy tinge to them:

I worked with a guy whose brother bought a Cadillac. He drove it home and drove it two or three weeks and realized he hadn't put any gas in the car. After the fourth week, he went to the dealer and asked to have the gas guage fixed. A man from GM contacted him and told him he could have a new cadillac every year for the rest of his life. All he had to do was return the Cadillac he had purchased.


These stories are possible , but highly improbable. They can never be traced to the souce.
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BillyFalcon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2003 05:10 pm
fbaezer,

I think the "Nova" and "La Grande Emmy" are apocryful stories.
Clever, almost believable, and fun.
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michellemabelle
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 02:44 pm
In Farsi, (Iranian) if you are having an arguement with someone, and you have to admit you were wrong, you say 'goh mikhoram', which literally means, I eat ****..!
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michellemabelle
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 03:00 pm
How about the sound a fire engine/ ambulance makes? In English it's me ma, in German it's to-leet to-leet.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 03:09 pm
michellemabelle wrote:
in German it's to-leet to-leet.


Indeed, it's sarcastically called "too late", but the 'official' version of that sound (named after it's inventor 'Martin's horn') is "tatü-tata".



Welcome to A2K, btw!
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 03:10 pm
Welcome, Michellemabelle . . . please do find a current thread and jump right in . . .

I'd say the 'Merican siren sounds something like woo-woo-woo . . .
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 03:11 pm
michellemabelle wrote:
How about the sound a fire engine/ ambulance makes? In English it's me ma, in German it's to-leet to-leet.


I could go on forever about teh funny differences in onamatopoeias (sp?).

I am interested in this and would love to hear more.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 03:48 pm
Slovak:
gun = pif-paf
dog= hav-hav
cat=mnau-mnau
pig= kroch-kroch (don't ask me why)
Fire engine: ho-riiii ho-riiiii


And, BillW, did you know that Mata Hari means the same as Dagmar? Dagmar in norweigan (I think) is Daylight. Origin of the word is ancient greek Damara = Morning Star.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 04:00 pm
What do y'all say for "ouch"?

There's Latin America's "Ai"...
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 04:20 pm
"Cielito Lindo", Mexican Original lyrics

"Ay ay ay ay,
canta y no llores..."

"Beautiful Heaven", English translation

"Ouch ouch ouch ouch,
sing and don't cry..."
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 04:40 pm
ok so this super intelligent cat says miaow mnau meou etc etc, but what is it actually saying ? I want to know what it means before I'm impressed with its multilingual ability.
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2003 04:44 pm
Quote:
And, BillW, did you know that Mata Hari means the same as Dagmar? Dagmar in norweigan (I think) is Daylight. Origin of the word is ancient greek Damara = Morning Star.


Means the same idiomatically, quite differently literally - in America, "Mata Hari" would mean "female spy" - from the movie Exclamation
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michellemabelle
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2003 12:44 pm
Thank you for the warm welcome Walter and Setanta, I'm touched.

This is a very interesting site. I have not visited forums online before, but something tells me I made a very lucky find!

Thanks for the tatü-tata info Walt, I remember hearing this onomatopoeia before now! ( that's how it is spelt CravendV, I checked, but that was a very good try!)

Going back to idioms, I am currently interested in idioms for 'it doesn't matter'.

In (Austrian) German 'ist Wurscht' means 'it's sausage'.

In Turkish, it is 'boş ver', meaning 'it is empty'.

Anyone know any more?
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2003 12:55 pm
C'est la vie - Such is life! - French
Tidak apa apa - Not what what! - Indonesian
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2003 12:57 pm
"it doesn't matter", in Spanish: "No importa".

Mexican Spanish idioms:
"Vale bolillo" (it's worth a piece of bread)
"Vale madres" - vulgar (it's worth a mother)

"Valemadrismo": the philosophy of not giving a damn.
"Valemadrina": a hypothetic substance one takes too much (if cynical) of or should take (if too much of a worrier).
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2003 12:58 pm
Hi michellemabelle and welcome to a2k. (In theory I'm not high enough in the hierarchy here to give you an official welcome but what the hell...)

Now a question, are you related to Paul McCartney by any chance? No? Well why is it I hear Beatles tunes?

Now to idioms


It doesnt matter

No sweat
Its no skin off my nose
no problem
sans fait rein

but I think I'll start using its sausage in future
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2003 01:00 pm
"Segurando a vela" :: "Holding the candle" It means, in Portuguese, to be the third wheel on a date.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2003 01:02 pm
"It doesn't matter", in Italian "Non importa" or, more commonly, "Fa niente".

Italian idioms:
"Me ne frego" (I rub it)

"Menefreghismo": the philosophy of not giving a damn.

There was one "menefreghista" party in early Post WWII Italy. Partito dell'Uomo Qualunque: Everyman's Party.
So another idiom developed:
"Qualunquismo", which means the same as "menefreghismo".
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