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Old 27.07.2011, 18:06
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Idioms are tough...

Idioms are tough. I had to laugh today when my French colleague told me he had to go with his "butt feeling."

Which is close, but not quite the same as, his "gut feeling."
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Old 27.07.2011, 19:03
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Re: Idioms are tough...

They are tough, even for children of native speakers who are obsessed with toilet humour and think that "butt .*" is hilarious. How do you correct a small someone she says something similar while you're laughing your own ass off? The bidet will forever be referred to as the 'butt wash' no matter how old I get now.... Sometimes, getting it wrong is a lot more fun.
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Old 27.07.2011, 19:24
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Re: Idioms are tough...

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Idioms are tough. I had to laugh today when my French colleague told me he had to go with his "butt feeling."
Are you sure he wasn't just talking about his favorite pastime?

Tom
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Old 27.07.2011, 19:24
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Re: Idioms are tough...

I heard one about bullshitting in a presentation.

Apparently the term in their language was along the lines of "a bear juggling in a circus" or something like that.

but he just said: "I just made like a bear rotating his balls" during the presentation.

I chuckled
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Old 27.07.2011, 19:26
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Re: Idioms are tough...

Had a super gnocchi dinner an Italian friend made for my brother and me; my brother said, "MAN! That hit the spot!".

The Italian raised his eyebrows and leaned toward my brother,"Ware ees theess... spote?".
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Old 27.07.2011, 19:43
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Re: Idioms are tough...

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he had to go with his "butt feeling."
That can be a good indicator that you need to go...
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Old 27.07.2011, 19:44
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Re: Idioms are tough...

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Idioms are tough. I had to laugh today when my French colleague told me he had to go with his "butt feeling."

Which is close, but not quite the same as, his "gut feeling."
Well anatomically speaking they are attached...
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Old 27.07.2011, 19:46
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Re: Idioms are tough...

An English student in Munich was asked to translate "If you put the flowers on the radiator they will die"

He came up with "If you turn up the heat they will push up the daisies"
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Old 27.07.2011, 19:48
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Re: Idioms are tough...

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An English student in Munich was asked to translate "If you put the flowers on the radiator they will die"

He came up with "If you turn up the heat they will push up the daisies"

Very poetic, I'm impressed!
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Old 27.07.2011, 19:52
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Re: Idioms are tough...

Friends turned up for dinner and they didn't know I was pregnant. He said, hmmm you've got a bun in the oven. I was a bit surprised and replied 'no we are having chicken'.
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Old 27.07.2011, 22:36
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Re: Idioms are tough...

Not an idiom, but worth mentioning. A Hungarian friend of mine went on a date with a new guy she had just met. The next day I asked her how the date went. She said she really liked him, but when he kissed her goodnight his whiskers were scratchy; she said "When he kiss me, he irrigates my face".
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Old 27.07.2011, 22:45
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Re: Idioms are tough...

A French friend of mine in UK is married to a Doctor. She ordered a fridge-freezer and when they delivered it just fitted, with mm to spare, in the alcove in the kitchen 'the delivery man said, perfect, just what the doctor'd ordered'. She was amazed ad asked ' how do you know my husband is a doctor?'

Not an idiom, but I couldn't understand why there were so many 'French models' in Soho. Then a parent complained about the homework set for their son 'bring French letter' was written in his homework diary! Mind you, the French call them 'capotes anglaises'!

Another French friend was caught out by this badly. She had post natal depression (2 babies in quick succession in the UK, no family support) and she decided to put an add to teach some French for a bit of pocket money. She put an ad in the local paper and nobody warned her- sadly it tipped her over the edge. Ad read : Private French lessons in your home or mine + tel number. Not funny that one, as she ended up in psychiatric hospital having ECT.

My absolute favourtie British sign is 'heavy plant crossing - I always swore I would do it one April 1st, dress up as a daisy and bounce in front of cars, but never dared.
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Old 27.07.2011, 22:56
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Re: Idioms are tough...

I was discussing something with an Argentinean/Italian friend of mine this evening and I used the expression 'fair and square'. She understood it, which was a relief as I'd have struggled to explain the 'square' part.

I work at a francophone Christian organisation one day a week. This morning during the Bible reading I caught the phrase 'prunelle de ses yeux'. I suppose it's a literal translation of the sense of the phrase (I discovered 'prunelle' means pupil), but I think I prefer 'apple of his eye' better. Sounds more poetic!

Now, can someone help me with the French translation of the phrase 'hollow legs'? Myself and several Swiss, but practically bilingual friends have discussed it several times but we have been able to find a good translation. They suggested 'jambes vide', but I don't think that conveys quite the same shade of meaning...
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Old 27.07.2011, 23:00
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Re: Idioms are tough...

prunelle means little plum - but yes in this sense, pupil.

Hollow legs - I am stumped- will think about it and get back to you, lol.

Edit. yes hunch was right, it is just one of those without a clear equivalent. Google is your friend :

to feel hollow [hungry] avoir le ventre or l'estomac creux
you must have hollow legs!
a. (informal) [able to eat a lot] tu dois avoir le ver solitaire!
b. [able to drink a lot] qu'est-ce que tu peux boire!, tu as une sacrée descente!
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Old 11.08.2011, 23:43
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Re: Idioms are tough...

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Now, can someone help me with the French translation of the phrase 'hollow legs'?
"Il boit comme un trou" = "he drinks like a hole" has something of the same feeling to it, but I admit it isn't perfect.
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Old 12.08.2011, 00:08
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Re: Idioms are tough...

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Now, can someone help me with the French translation of the phrase 'hollow legs'? Myself and several Swiss, but practically bilingual friends have discussed it several times but we have been able to find a good translation. They suggested 'jambes vide', but I don't think that conveys quite the same shade of meaning...
For food: avoir une faim de loup (fr) , avoir la fringale (fr) , avoir une dent creuse (fr) , être un gargantua (fr)

For booze: avoir la dalle en pente (fr) , avoir le bec salé (fr) , être un boit-sans-soif (fr) , être un poivrot (fr) , être une éponge (fr), boire comme un trou (fr) , boire comme un polonais (fr)
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Old 12.08.2011, 00:17
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Re: Idioms are tough...

This wasn't in Switzerland, but when I was in Montréal I took a ride up to the top of the observation deck at Olympic Stadium. One of the attendants noticed that I was wearing an Expos cap and asked me about the Washington Nationals. His English wasn't perfect, but he understood me until I said that as far as the Nats were going, we fans were "waiting for the other shoe to drop." Is there another idiom in French that means the same thing as expecting bad news to come?
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