Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fun with Idioms

Learning idioms helps you understand the language, gives you insight into the culture, and it’s also a great way to impress your friends! Here are a few fun idioms to get you started:

Tirer à quatre épingles
In English this translates as "to pull with four pins", but in French it is used for "dressed to the nines." Ooh la la!

Antes que te cases mira lo que haces!
English-speakers would say, "Look before you leap!" but in Spanish you would say, "Before you marry look what you do!"

Avoir un chat dans la gorge
A French person never has a frog in their throat. It’s not that they are more eloquent, but that in French, you "have a cat in your throat"!

Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente."The shrimp that falls asleep is carried away by the current," say Spanish-speakers. Or, as we’d say in English, "You snooze, you lose!"

Coûter les yeux de la tête
If something is very expensive, it may cost you "an arm and a leg" in the US, but in France it costs "the eyes of the head".

Darle un beso a la botella.
In English we’d say "take a swig", but doesn’t "give the bottle a kiss" sound muy fun?

Être simple comme « bonjour »
If something is "as easy as pie" a French person would say it is "as simple as 'hello'". This actually makes a lot of sense – saying hello is much easier than making a pie!

Comer frijoles y repetir pollo
An English-speaker would tell you, "His bark is mightier than his bite," but a Spanish-speaker will say that the person "eats beans and belches chicken."

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