There’s no cow on the ice, languages are a roll with butter!

August 18, 2016 11:04 am


Learning new languages is tough.
If you could commit ten hours a day to mastering a foreign language, it would take you between 48 and 72 days for very difficult languages. Imagine you are almost there – dictionary at the ready, grammar book tucked under your arm, left hemisphere fully engaged. You have reached the glorious level where ordering a pizza in Italian or buying a baguette in French is no longer a treacherous linguistic sojourn. You might not yet be a native speaker, but after all, he who doesn’t have a dog, hunts with a cat, right? (Quem tem cão, caça com gato Portuguese).

Confused? Do you feel like you only understand the train station? (Ich verstehe nur BahnhofGerman) But people say languages are such a roll with butter! (Bułka z masłem Polish). Those who do must clearly have fallen from a Christmas tree! (Z choinki się urwałaś? Polish)

Don’t worry, there’s no cow on the ice (Det är ingen ko på isen Swedish). Getting your head around all of these idioms is not the balls of a swan (Muda Labudova Croatian). The key is to make sure you don’t do it with the French whipsplash (Iets met de Franse slag doen Dutch), you must not try galloping across Europe (Галопом по Европам Russian).

There’s no way to slide in on a shrimp sandwich (Att glida in på en räkmacka Swedish) when it comes to learning languages. But tear yourself together! (Sich zusammenreißen German) When you finally get there, who knows what linguistic wonders you will discover!

If you are eager to know what on earth is going on here, take a look at this list of 40 brilliant idioms compiled by some inspiring volunteers who translate Ted Talks into 105 languages.


Written by Iweta Kalinowska

Communication Trainee at TermCoord

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