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Game - guess Polish idioms/sayings in direct English translation


Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
11 Feb 2019 #31
to know each other like bald horses

Don't think I'm right, but is it something along the lines of ' to know each other inside out'? To know everything about each other? Although I can't think why horses in particular.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
12 Feb 2019 #32
Yes, good guess. Horses because Poles have always liked horses - winged hussars, Polish cavalry etc etc

Next -to sharpen one`s teeth for sth.
Atch 17 | 2,904
12 Feb 2019 #33
Would it be equivalent to 'gird one's loins' in English??
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
12 Feb 2019 #34
Only partly, it involves preparing yourself for sth indeed, but without the danger/difficulty context,
Ziemowit 12 | 3,592
12 Feb 2019 #35
A hand washes a hand (btw, this could be an inresting exercise for the proper use of articles; what should be the most natural version in English: either 'the hand washes a hand' or 'a hand washes the hand' or 'the hand washes the hand' or 'the hand washes the other hand' or 'hand washes hand'?). In Polish we don't need an article in front of 'hand', so it was rather difficult for me to pick up the correct version. Can anyone comment?
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
12 Feb 2019 #36
A hand washes a hand

At a guess I would say it means something along the lines of ' you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours '. Quid pro quo.

Can anyone comment?

All of those sound unnatural to me as a native English speaker, not something I would say. Better would be ' one hand washes the other '.

Others might disagree though.

Did you fall from a christmas tree?
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
12 Feb 2019 #37
Next -to sharpen one`s teeth for sth.

This one means to desire sth and get ready to accomplish it. Suggests long preparations. It can be about tasty food but also many other things.

A hand washes a hand - you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours

Yes, A similar one is a raven won`t peck out another raven`s eye.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
12 Feb 2019 #38
Not so similar to me. My first thought was ' two of a kind', that's why a raven won't peck out the eye of another, but I see this as being slightly different from ' a hand washes a hand', which I would interpret more as being something mutually beneficial to both parties.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
13 Feb 2019 #39
ee this as being slightly different from

I thought my "similar" sounded almost like "slightly different." :)

An easy one:to know sth like your own pocket.
Atch 17 | 2,904
13 Feb 2019 #40
Same as the English : to know something like the back of your hand :)
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
13 Feb 2019 #41
Next:

Did you fall from a christmas tree?

Throwing peas onto a wall
Ziemowit 12 | 3,592
13 Feb 2019 #42
Better would be ' one hand washes the other '.

Thank you very much.

a raven won`t peck out another raven`s eye

Not so similar to me.

A modern (and truly vulgar) version of this is: Kurwa kurwie łba nie urwie (sorry, but I won't attempt to translate this into English).
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
13 Feb 2019 #43
but I see this as being slightly different from ' a hand washes a hand', which I would interpret more as being something mutually beneficial

That was a very good thinking of yours indeed, I wasn`t so precise, I just meant they are similar in the cooperation context.

Did you fall from a christmas tree?

Throwing peas onto a wall

The first is to go nuts, the other is wasting time and energy for nothing. Are there more idiomatic English versions?

I was thinking of seta I galareta,

This suits this thread too - a shot of vodka with a jelly snack/appetiser.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
13 Feb 2019 #44
The first is to go nuts, the other is wasting time and energy for nothing. Are there more idiomatic English versions?

I haven't heard those definitions for either of those, maybe they can be interpreted in different ways?
"Did you fall from a Christmas tree", I've heard as meaning that someone isn't particularly well informed, not too smart, a bit tactless perhaps. I will have to think about the English version.

" Throwing peas onto a wall", I understand as trying to talk to or explain something to someone who isn't prepared to listen, so discussion is pointless. The closest English version would be something along the lines of " Falling on deaf ears ".

This suits this thread too

It does now I think about it!
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
13 Feb 2019 #45
"Did you fall from a Christmas tree"

According to pl.wiktionary.org/wiki/urwa%C4%87_si%C4%99_z_choinki, it means to display some strange unusual weird behaviour. In my understanding, one does sth stupid. First I thought of "freaking out," and then changed to "to go nuts."

Throwing peas onto a wall", I understand as trying to talk to or explain something

Yes, of course, this is the full explanation, I was too succinct, as usual. :)
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
14 Feb 2019 #46
it means to display some strange unusual weird behaviour.

Interesting. Obviously there is more than one meaning.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
14 Feb 2019 #47
No, it is still one meaning, but it applies both to sb saying sth stupid or doing sth stupid, so two situations are possible.

Today we were doing a chapter about culture and one exercise reminded me about this:

You xylophone!
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
14 Feb 2019 #48
Doesn't sound very cultural, but it's not a reference to someone who's a bit dumb or stupid is it? You'll probably laugh at my logic, but xylophones are made of mini planks of wood. In England if you call someone a plank you are basically saying they are stupid. We also have a phrase " as thick as two short planks ". It means the same thing.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
14 Feb 2019 #49
Doesn't sound very cultural, but it's not a reference to someone who's a bit dumb or stupid is it?

Yes, exactly. Those English equivalents are also worth bearing in mind.

(do sth according to) Krakow deal
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
15 Feb 2019 #50
Unless it means something along the lines of, for example, playing a game ( doing sth ) according to a certain set of rules, then I have absolutely no idea!
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
15 Feb 2019 #51
I won`t say now, let`s wait, I can only offer a hint, it is mostly used when some negotiations (any kind) are involved.

Here`s an easier one:
To shoot a bull.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
16 Feb 2019 #52
It's not easier :-(
My guesses:
To hit the centre of a target?
Chit chat, small talk etc?
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
16 Feb 2019 #53
It's not easier :-(

Ok, I will relieve you. Krakow deal means to reach a compromise during negotiations - can be connected with trade or anything else what you try to settle with somebody..

To shoot a bull is to make a mistake but more slangish: eg., blow it, slip up (informal), cock up (British, slang), foul up, drop a clanger (informal), put your foot in it (informal), drop a brick (British, informal), screw up (informal). :)

Another one with Krakow: When sb is called Krakow cent (diminutive centling in the original) ), what does it mean?
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
17 Feb 2019 #54
Thanks for the explanations Pawian, I have never heard of either of them.
I'm probably going to do just as badly with the Krakow cent one. I can only think that it means that someone is either tight-fisted, stingy, or they are short?
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
17 Feb 2019 #55
I can only think that it means that someone is either tight-fisted, stingy,

Yes, perfect. Krakowians are stereotypically considered scrooges.

Now, two about fingers.

To look at sth through fingers.
Sth is trickling through fingers.

Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
18 Feb 2019 #56
To look at sth through fingers.

All that is suggesting to me is that the something being looked at is maybe unpleasant or a bit scary. So you take a peek at it through fingers instead of full-on looking at it directly, because you don't really want to see it at all.

Either that, or maybe it means to not get a clear picture of something?

Sth is trickling through fingers.

Does it mean to not quite get a grasp of something? Maybe a missed chance or opportunity? Or money, if a person is bad with finances?

If it's that then it's similar to the English phrase 'to slip through your fingers'.
Or like sand/water slipping through fingers, you can grasp some of it if you cup hands together, but most of it will be lost.

This one will be too easy for you Pawian:

Put up a good face for a bad game
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
18 Feb 2019 #57
So you take a peek at it through fingers instead of full-on looking at it directly, because you don't really want to see it at all.

Yes, taking a peek instead of full look is a good explanation, but the reason is different - in this case you just don`t care and close an eye to sth wrong/stupid/slightly illegal etc.

Maybe a missed chance or opportunity? Or money, if a person is bad with finances?

Yes, correct. Used in the context of money, time, life and other things which humans deem important. ):

Put up a good face for a bad game

Pretend you are happy and don`t mind when they are hurting you. An informal version is: to talk about rain when they are spitting on you.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,094
19 Feb 2019 #58
in this case you just don`t care and close an eye to sth wrong/stupid/slightly illegal etc.

The English idiom for that interpretation would be ' to turn a blind eye', so the English and Polish meanings are somewhat different.

Pretend you are happy and don`t mind when they are hurting you.

Or as the English would say, ' to grin and bear it '.
Lyzko 24 | 6,682
19 Feb 2019 #59
"Put up a good face for a bad game."

Almost a literal 'translation' of the German "Eine gute Miene zum boesen Spiel machen", with precisely the same meaning:-)
Merely another instance of where two languages track identically with the other, almost like a loan phrase translation, but not
quite a pure calque!
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
20 Feb 2019 #60
What about this one:

Here the penguin`s beak is bending - in its Polish version it is nicely rhymed.


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