Interpreting Idioms

The other day one of my colleagues sent me an e-mail declaring “Holy Cow!” This expression got me thinking about idioms the we often encounter when Interpreting or Translating. Obviously a word for word translation isn’t always practical. Basically all she was saying was WOW! We need to convey the meaning not the words otherwise the following idioms might be viewed in this way.

Holy Cow!

Holy CowThis must be where Swiss cheese comes from! Cows with holes.


holycow21A Saintly Cow

How about hitting the nail on the head!

nail_headTo do or say something exactly right, which isn’t nailing your head!

The last straw

Last strawThe final of a series of problems. Perhaps this could be correct if you only have one straw at the end of a very bad day!

On the ball

-on-the-ballWhen someone is very attentive and understands the issues. Isn’t she cute?

Piece of Cake

Piece of cake Easy to do. Which by the way eating this would be totally easy for me!

Sitting on the fence

Animals___Monkeys____Monkey_sitting_on_a_fence_059395_Undecided. Unless your decision is to sit on a fence.

Do you get the Picture? No, not literally! Do you understand the point I am trying to illustrate for you? Translating word for word doesn’t always give us the true meaning.

I hope you enjoyed! I would love for you to share with me your favorite idioms!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 thought on “Interpreting Idioms”

  1. Pingback: Weekly translation favorites (Jan 16-22) | Lingua Greca Translations

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *