29
votes
14answers
4k views

Is there a verb for remaining silent?

Dutch has the verb zwijgen, which means remaining silent. Ik zwijg means I remain silent or I say nothing. It is also often used as an imperative, similar to shut up. I have been discussing this ...
1
vote
5answers
106 views

The word for “professional system” or “task system”

I work with software engineering and in norwegian (I'm from Norway) we have a word, "fagsystem", which refers to a software system/application that is specialized to handle a certain kind of business ...
5
votes
7answers
251 views

What is an English word which means 'bêtement'?

Bêtement is a French word whose literal meaning is 'in the manner of an animal'. It is often used metaphorically, to describe an action carried out in a robotic fashion – without thinking. How would ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

Forms of strict reporting — what do Americans call them?

I had to deal with typographically printed sheets with some generic text and fields to fill in information by hand (dates, signatures etc.) or through printing (if you are lucky to hit the fields). ...
76
votes
12answers
5k views

Is there English counterpart(s) to Japanese old saying, “Present salt to your enemy.”?

We have a popular Japanese saying, “敵に塩を送る” — literally, “present (supply) salt to one's enemy”, meaning ‘play fair and square, not taking advantage of the weak point of your rival.’ It’s different ...
0
votes
3answers
189 views

What phrase or word can I use to describe a bad mix of action?

This is in a Saudi YouTube series that I'm subtitling; I came across a colloquial word which means literally 'a mixture of melon juice, mango juice and corn', and figuratively expresses a bad course ...
3
votes
1answer
667 views

“Trust arrives walking and departs riding.”

That is the translation (provided by Wikiquote) of the Dutch proverb "Vertrouwen komt te voet en vertrekt te paard." I don't like this translation very much for conversational use. It doesn't "feel" ...
5
votes
4answers
713 views

Is there an English equivalent for the Swedish expression “the droplet that caused the beaker to overflow”?

In Swedish, the expression "det var droppen som fick bägaren att rinna över", directly translated to "the droplet that caused the beaker to overflow", is used to express that enough is enough. Is ...
10
votes
5answers
611 views

What is the English equivalent to the Japanese word 学者バカ, “Scholar’s fool”?

I’m interested in the words “instant omniscience,” which Calvin Trillin, a former editor for Time magazine, used in a New Yorker magazine article (March 20) entitled "Time Edit": “There were some ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

English equivalent of a Kannada proverb

The saying goes like "ಬಡವನ ಸಿಟ್ಟು ದವಡೆಗೆ ಮೂಲ". When roughly translated to English it means: A poor man's anger only hurts his jaw [due to all the grinding of teeth in the process]. How to ...
36
votes
10answers
4k views

“To shoot out of cannon into sparrows”

In Russian we have idiom/saying "To shoot out of cannon into sparrows" (literal translation) which is used to convey an idea of applying too drastic measures to small problems. I believe there should ...
4
votes
5answers
371 views

Is there an English idiom “in threes and fives” to describe arriving, gathering, or leaving of people in a pair, trio, or group in succession?

We say ‘san-san-go-go – 三三五五’ in Japanese to describe the status of people coming, arriving, gathering, going, or leaving in a pair, trio, or group in succession in such a way, People gathered in the ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an idiom about wasting money and a window?

Is there an equivalent to the french idiom Jeter l'argent par la fenêtre which means throwing money through a window? (I'm not sure about the translation, especially through.)
10
votes
10answers
630 views

Equivalent expression to Spanish “cutting by the healthy part”

What would be an equivalent expression to the Spanish "cortar por lo sano", probably something like "cutting by the healthy part", to convey the idea that to solve a problem from spreading, like ...
3
votes
5answers
325 views

A case that exhibits all the possible conditions a subject can suffer from?

We have this Hungarian phrase "Állatorvosi ló", which literally translates to "Veterinarian horse". It originated in 19th century Hungarian literature, when someone created an illustration of a horse ...
26
votes
9answers
2k views

“Saving on the parrot's chocolate is futile”

In Catalan there is an expression "ser la xocolata del lloro" that can be translated as "saving by not giving chocolate to the parrot is futile", conveying the meaning that when a household wants to ...
8
votes
7answers
661 views

What do British and American post boxes say when they don't want any advertising?

Advertising leaflets shoved en masse into mail boxes are one of the banes of modern society. In Germany, putting a note saying "Bitte keine Werbung" ("No advertising please") on your box protects ...
10
votes
8answers
575 views

English term for pre-thinker?

I was searching for an English translation for the German Vordenker. Basically a person, often a scientist, who began or further significantly developed a new concept or theory by contributing ...
2
votes
1answer
875 views

What is the proper name of a “line account”?

I've come across having to translate the Danish word "stregregnskab" to English. The direct translation would be "line account", but I seem to recall there being a proper name for this sort of ...