Idioms are words that are not used in their literal meaning, but they are rather used to express a feeling, and obviously if we look at how to translate these, they wouldn’t just need a good translator, but rather a native speaker who understand the slang and what it means in a different language. In Australia, we have got multiple cultures and backgrounds, so some people expect we would understand the idioms from around the globe, so let’s see how difficult these are to translate and how multicultural you can be.
1. Tomaten auf den Augen haben
Our first idiom is ‘You have tomatoes on your eyes’, which is the literal German translation of the common idiom. Basically, if you have tomatoes on your eyes, you cannot see as good as what everyone around you can, which makes you unaware of a specific situation or not smart enough to react in the right way.
Example: you are driving and a pedestrian is crossing the road while not paying attention, you might tell him he has got tomatoes in his eyes – but in German.
2. Buscarle la quinta pata al gato
And our second idiom is from Argentina, which is translated from Spanish and literally means someone has to look for the fifth leg of the cat, which we all know it would normally not exist. So if someone is looking for something that he thinks is hidden somewhere, he’d be looking for the fifth leg of the cat – good luck with that.
Les carottes sont cuites
Translated from French, this one literally means the carrots are cooked. As we know, once carrots are cooked, what happens? Well, they’re cooked. So, this means what’s done is done, nothing would change the current situation. You’re basically telling someone to move on or to just realise that not much can be done nor undone.
Pagar o pato
Nobody likes to take the blame, especially if it’s for something we have never done. So, this idiom is translated from Portuguese to ‘pay the duck’. This is used when someone wrongly takes the blame for something.
What would happen if you pay piano to a cow? Our idiom is translated from Chinese, to explain a situation where someone is not appreciative, no matter what you do to them. Just like when you play piano to a cow, no matter how good you are and how often you do it, the cow is not going to applaud.
6. Anna sammakon suustasi
We often say the wrong thing, but this Finnish translation tells us that it’s like letting a frog out of your mouth when you say something that is bad or let others feel bad.
7. Un cane in chiesa
Have you ever seen a dog in church? No, because it’s not a wanted guest in church. So our Italian translated idiom tells us that if you are ever described as a dog in church, you are basically asked to leave.
This article tells us it must be difficult to find a good interpreter who can do a great job when it comes to translating different languages and understanding these perfectly to provide high quality interpreting services.