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Game - guess Polish idioms/sayings in direct English translation


Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
30 Dec 2020 #1,171
Pull the rabbit out of the hat?

Meaning?

If you do it

I would pull the hat off the rabbit. Ha!

Czubek góry lodowej
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
30 Dec 2020 #1,172
Meaning?

:):) to do sth surprising, even magical.

Czubek

Czubek is a nut, freak, mental. But connected with the iceberg, it means a small part of sth, usually of a problem.
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
31 Dec 2020 #1,173
to do sth surprising, even magical.

Yes, quite often as an unexpected solution to a problem.

it means a small part of sth, usually of a problem.

Yes, the idiom is the tip of the iceberg. It usually relates to something that is only a small part of a much larger situation or problem.

An easy one:

Igła w stogu siana.
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
31 Dec 2020 #1,174
A needle in a haystack is sth very difficult to find. Almost impossible. You need to call a Jedi to find it for you.

To make a pitchfork out of the needle.
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
1 Jan 2021 #1,175
Sounds very much like the equivalent of 'to make a mountain out of a molehill'.
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
1 Jan 2021 #1,176
Yes!
what is mole`s work?

And when do you use: behind mountains, behind forests.....
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
1 Jan 2021 #1,177
what is mole`s work?

Snitching?

And when do you use: behind mountains, behind forests.....

As the opening to a fairy tale/story. Like 'once upon a time'.
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
1 Jan 2021 #1,178
Not exactly snitching. Try to recall what moles do our gardens.

Yes, fairy tales opening.

In t he meantime: what does this exclamation mean: for China! or for People`s China!
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
3 Jan 2021 #1,179
what moles do our gardens.

Well I did think of digging but thought it was a bit too obvious.

for China! or for People`s China!

No idea! Something to do with communism?
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
3 Jan 2021 #1,180
Well I did think of digging

Of course, it is digging. So, that is also the meaning of the idiom. What exactly?

Something to do with communism?

Not exactly, apart from the fact it originated in communist times, indeed. We used it in kindergarten and later on.
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
3 Jan 2021 #1,181
Two new ones I just heard:
watch your nose.

to lose ground under one`s feet.

mafketis 24 | 9,161
4 Jan 2021 #1,182
watch your nose.

shouldn't that be 'watch your own nose'?

mind your own beeswax! (informal version of 'mind your own business')
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
4 Jan 2021 #1,183
shouldn't that be 'watch your own nose'?

Nope, it shouldn`t. My version is very correct. :):) You want to add "own" from the English equivalent but there is no need for it. Remember, we use direct translations here, without embellishment.

Yes!
mafketis 24 | 9,161
4 Jan 2021 #1,184
You want to add "own" from the English equivalent but there is no need for it.

It's an interesting question for translation (and since I do some translation of academic texts I'm always more interested in equivalence rather than literalness...).

English has no equivalent of the common Polish practice of omitting possessives when the context is clear enough... it's very hard to translate a simple phrases like

"A co na to mąż?"

"Z bratem rozmawialiśmy"

because in English you really have to have possessives (we'll leave aside occaional use of 'the' instead of a possessive "I spoke with the brother" which is highly... restricted).

So when a possessives do occur in Polish they seem more... salient....

how would you distinguish

pilnuj nosa

and pilnuj sw(oj)ego nosa ?
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
4 Jan 2021 #1,185
I'm always more interested in equivalence rather than literalness...).

Yes, of course, you are right, and I can tell you I was thinking about adding own but I decided not to in order to make it harder to guess. When I know I deal with intelligent people, I prefer not to make it too easy for them.

Now, an idiom which has come to my mind after you had made certain thread disappear for cleaning:

What black pudding!!!
Ziemowit 13 | 4,257
4 Jan 2021 #1,186
"A co na to mąż?"

I'd say it is non uncommon to hear "A co na to twój mąż?".

pilnuj nosa

Me thniks it is always "Pilnuj swojego nosa".
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
4 Jan 2021 #1,187
What exactly?

Tunnels?

We used it in kindergarten and later on.

No idea.

to lose ground under one`s feet.

To be out of your depth, lose your grip? Be on shaky ground?
mafketis 24 | 9,161
4 Jan 2021 #1,188
'd say it is non uncommon to hear "A co na to twój mąż?".

Maybe I mean jej mąż..
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
5 Jan 2021 #1,189
Tunnels?

Yes, of course, but the idiom focuses on further effects. What happens as a result of digging tunnels in your garden?

No idea.

That ia an equivalent to : Never! For example: I won`t give up riddles for People`s China!

lose your grip? Be on shaky ground?

Yes, but that1`s too literal. How do you feel when it happens?

Maybe I mean jej mąż..

No, you mean the Husband of His Wife - a popular comedy.
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
6 Jan 2021 #1,190
What happens as a result of digging tunnels in your garden?

The ground will be unstable and prone to collapse?

I won`t give up riddles for People`s China!

Aha! We would say ' for all the tea in China'.

How do you feel when it happens?

Anxious? I'm not sure if it means the same thing exactly, but we have an idiom ' to have the rug/carpet pulled out from under somebody's feet'. It means to suddenly have help and support removed, thereby creating problems and uncertainty.
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
7 Jan 2021 #1,191
The ground will be unstable and prone to collapse?

Yes, and the idiom applies to people, not gardens. In what way?

Tea in China? We also have for no treasure in the world.

Anxious?

Nope, insecure coz when the ground collapses under your feet, you lose balance.
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
9 Jan 2021 #1,192
In what way?

Mental instability, breakdown?
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
9 Jan 2021 #1,193
Nope, it means a furtive activity by your enemies which is supposed to undermine your position. A mole is such an enemy and its tunnels will collape one day, causing the deformation of the previously smooth surface.

So, there is still one idiom pending in post 1185.
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
11 Jan 2021 #1,194
it means a furtive activity by your enemies which is supposed to undermine your position

I see. Thanks for that.
Unless it means that the black pudding has disappeared, I have no other ideas about the idiom.
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
11 Jan 2021 #1,195
that the black pudding has disappeared,

That exclamation (ale) kaszana!is used to comment negatively on a bad situation or state of sth.

Shyt. Tomorrow is Monday black pudding.



OP pawian 176 | 14,723
12 Jan 2021 #1,196
What does pee in sb/sth with warm urine mean?
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
12 Jan 2021 #1,197
Shyt. Tomorrow is Monday black pudding.

Ok, got it. The negative connotation only serves to reinforce my view that black pudding is disgusting!

pee in sb/sth with warm urine mean?

Does it mean to very easily defeat somebody in an argument?
OP pawian 176 | 14,723
12 Jan 2021 #1,198
No, although it sounded like that in another thread. hahaha
It means to ignore sb/sth.

A new one: go into the sand.

And : to hang dogs on sb
Chemikiem 7 | 2,568
16 Jan 2021 #1,199
It means to ignore sb/sth.

I wouldn't have got that one...

go into the sand.

I can only think of 'to bury one's head in the sand' or 'to draw a line in the sand', but both of those meanings don't really fit. Is it something along the lines of hiding away and isolating oneself from people?

to hang dogs on sb

To blacken someone's character or reputation.
Lenka 3 | 2,472
16 Jan 2021 #1,200
isolating oneself from people?

You couldn't isolate yourself any better...


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