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Bruce’s Foreign Phrase Test – These Don’t Make Sense In Any Language

Bruce and foreign languages
bruce mikells world traveler

If you look at the words in the English language you would have to wonder how any one could learn this dreadful spoken tongue? We have words that look alike but don’t sound alike. We have words that are spelled very differently but still sound the same. We have the same word that has a myriad of meanings.

How is someone from another land supposed to know what the heck we are talking about? Then we have our strange sayings which to foreign ears must seem totally absurd.

 

How about we turn the tables (see what I mean) and put some foreign phrases up and you see if you can figure out the English meaning.

Basically you are trying to figure out the English translation of the foreign phrase, for example. In the Afrikaans language, “The jackal is getting married to the wolf’s wife” is the same as saying “it’s raining and the sun is shining” in our native tongue. The answers are at the bottom so don’t cheat unless you want to make Baby Jesus cry.

QUIZ TIME- Here We Go!

1. From the Afrikaans language- “Even a donkey would not bump his head against the same rock

2.From the Persian Language- ” I want to eat your liver

3.From Chinese Language- ” Why drop your pants to fart

4. From Greek Language-” I am writing you on my old shoes

5.From German Language- “ I think my pig whistles

6.From Italian Language-” You can’t have your wife drunk and a full bottle

7. From Swedish Language-”There is no cow on the ice

8. From Spanish Language- “ The clown has already picked you up

9.From Finnish Language-” The best man may have black socks

10.From Norwegian Language- “ We found a raisin in the sausage”

 

ANSWER TIME: You didn’t make any babies cry getting to this point did you? Good! Lets proceed.

 

1.Once bitten, twice shy. It seems a lot more funny with donkeys.

2.That is a term of endearment. You might have relatives that see a small child and say “She is so cute I could just eat her up”. In the land of the Persian language they get really specific about what they would eat.

3. The Chinese have been very wise for a long time, with this phrase they are asking “Why do something that is unnecessary?”

4.In our culture that would be the same as telling someone they are on your bad list.

5.Having a whistling pig would be pretty incredible wouldn’t it? That’s what this phrase means, “That’s Incredible!”

6.This might be the easiest one to figure out on the entire list. In our culture this is the same as “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”

7.Obviously if there is no cow on the ice, there is no need to hurry or worry. That is how our Swedish friends would tell us to just chill out.

8.I am not sure exactly how hitching a ride with a clown is a bad thing, unless you were worried about all those other passengers in the clown car but this phrase means “you are doomed”. Perhaps in the Spanish culture you should never get into a taxi that has a clown for a driver.

9.In Finland where the men have no emotion and the women have facial hair the black socks would be the same as being green with envy. A person who has black socks has a jealous heart.

10. Ahh Norway where the price of everything is too darn high comes this gem. Think of it this way, have you ever ordered french fries at Sonic and found an onion ring in the box too? What a great surprise! I guess finding a raisin in the sausage in Norway is reason to celebrate.

 

How did you do? Did you get most of the phrases figured out?  I must admit it took me a while to figure them out too. I guess if we spent more time saying what we mean instead of trying to paint a picture loosely based on life as we know it we would be better communicators. But if we did that, what fun would talking be?

 

 

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