Determining English equivalents for words or phrases in other languages.

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79
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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

“The” before person name and context indication

I'm a native French speaker and the following is translated from French: A production still in which the beauty of the natural elements and colours evoke the Renoir of A Day in the Country (1936) ...
-1
votes
3answers
176 views
1
vote
3answers
78 views

Party organized by the students of a department

At German universities, there student councils, called "Fachshaft", which is an extracurricular representative structure for students. Each year (or semester), the student councils organize parties ...
0
votes
3answers
222 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Which one to use as general Personal Pronoun: he, she or it [duplicate]

The issue On my mother language, Portuguese, we have a lot of little differences to English on Pronouns. My question Which phrase is correct? Since I don't know if user is a man or a woman (or a ...
-2
votes
1answer
660 views

Ek kaan se suno aur dusre kaan se nikaal do in English proverb? [closed]

I know a Hindi proverb, but I would like to know translation of same in English. How will we say in form of proverb/idiom Not listening or paying attention to the words that come out of your ...
0
votes
1answer
156 views

Words like Schadenfreude or Sauerkraut [closed]

What are some composite German words such as "Schadenfreude" or "Sauerkraut" that are commonly used in English and with no English equivalents?
0
votes
1answer
257 views

How to say “he was waiting long time but not … (did not reach goal)”? [closed]

How to say "he was waiting long time but not ... (did not reach goal)"? I have problem with some translation I want express such expression that "someone" is waiting long but not finished it since ...
1
vote
10answers
620 views

Single word for “unqualified truth”

Suppose someone (let's call him Alex) is bad at playing soccer, but he does not want to hear that. Now if someone says to Alex in his face, "you are a really bad soccer player", what would be an apt ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Is the English correct? What's the best translation or interpretation? [duplicate]

I'm reading a technical IT document that can be found here. So, the question is, in the phrasebelow: A challenge password is it correct write "a" instead of "an"? Why? What is its' best ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Correct translatation of the German word “Folgeverhalten” in the technical domain of control feedback systems

I have asked various online dictionaries about the translation of the German word Folgeverhalten. At these dictionaries it is translated as "subsequent behaviour" or "following behavior". I am in ...
3
votes
1answer
808 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" ...
0
votes
3answers
986 views

I can't understand the meaning of this sentence [closed]

Her class is learning about the environment, and Judy is startled to learn about the destruction of the rainforest and the endangered species in her own back yard—not to mention her own family's ...
-1
votes
1answer
87 views

german tourist or German tourist? [closed]

I have learned that 'german' as a noun, written with upper case letter whilst 'german' as an adjective should be with lower case letter. Please guide me more by posting the rules if necessary, thank ...
3
votes
4answers
186 views

Is a “To Do List” familiar to other countries?

I'm researching if a "to do list" is a familiar term or concept to English speakers around the world. I found this related question on how to spell to do. Specifically, Hugo's answer hints that to-do ...
5
votes
4answers
811 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
191 views

permit vs cause causality

On English causality: Does the superset of permissive action always incorporate the possibility of direct causative action? That is if I translate a statement as X permitted Y but X actually caused Y ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there an English term for “L'esprit de l'escalier”?

L'esprit de l'escalier or l'esprit d'escalier (literally, staircase wit) is a French term that describes the predicament of thinking of the perfect comeback too late. Merriam-Webster dictionary ...
-3
votes
1answer
205 views

Whats the meaning of “Outta” In a song of Metallica called “ain't my bit-ch” [closed]

((Dear Native English Speakers Please Help Me.)) Metallica is my favorite band and I love them but I have some serious problems in translating and understanding the meaning of the lyric entitled ...
10
votes
5answers
726 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
992 views

Russian: nationality and ethnic groups

In Russian language there are 2 different words that are translated into English as "Russian". The first is nationality. For example (in English), Russian man (even he's Tatar or Chechen, but has ...
-1
votes
3answers
219 views

Meaning: “Any more” in context [closed]

I am not sure about the meaning of the "any more" in the following phrase and how can I spot it: Would the things I've said and done matter any more? 1) Would it matter any longer? 2) Would it ...
1
vote
4answers
132 views

Can “how not” stand for “of course”? [closed]

In Spanish, "how not" can mean "of course". I'm not sure whether one can translate literally that expression. Is the following correct English? When I went to the spa I chatted with Ann for a ...
-2
votes
2answers
687 views

Is this sentence written correctly? [closed]

Since my English is not my mother language, some English rules are still strange to me, especially when I translate. The situation is that a twitter user (Joe) clicks on the 'follow' button in ...
7
votes
13answers
2k views

Does English have words to describe the lowest rank member of society? [closed]

For example, in Indonesia we have "rakyat". In English we may have citizen but the word actually has power connotation rather than powerless connotation. Another word is peasant. But that seems to ...
-2
votes
2answers
774 views

“hanging on the rope of”

I'm looking for two single words, a verb and a noun, with similar content, which could be best inserted in these sentences: In some countries workers are entirely _______ 1 of/to/on their ...
16
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
407 views

How should a person holding a foreign military rank be addressed?

While researching how to call a person that holds a rank at a foreign (non English speaking) military, I came to very confusing results: Wikipedia is not consistent on the issue: it sometimes gives ...
8
votes
11answers
712 views

Equivalent of sarcastic song “non ti preoccupare, l'importante è partecipare” among Italian football supporters

Is there an equivalent in English or American sports culture of the sarcastic song that originated among Italian football supporters, that they sing to the losing opposition team? It's like this: ...
5
votes
1answer
200 views

Equivalent for Dutch commode?

In Holland we use commode to indicate a dressing table or lowboy specifically for changing diapers and dressing a baby: The commode is usually ditched after the babies have grown out the diapers. ...
36
votes
10answers
5k 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
425 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

English equivalent of Catalan expression “fer la senyora” for moving heavy furniture

There is an expression in Catalan: Fer la senyora Which would be translated as moving it "like a lady" defined as the action of moving a heavy piece of furniture (e.g. a wardrobe) that involves ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

'Horeca', is it English? Alternatives?

In Dutch there's a quite commonly used word that denotes the commercial sector around selling food and beverages for immediate (or near-immediate, e.g. take-out meals) consumption: horeca. (This ...
10
votes
12answers
2k views

Is there a single noun in English for 'jerry-rigged?'

Gambiarra in Brazilian Portuguese means a device, solution, or means to an end made impromptu, usually in a sloppy way and lacking care. I was wondering if there was a single word in English for ...
-2
votes
1answer
55 views

“ground occupied..” meaning

I cannot figure out the meaning of this sentence: There is a ground in between the voluntary and the involuntary occupied by expressions that were once learned but come to operate ...
0
votes
2answers
146 views

Interpretation of paragraph in Homer's Iliad Book II [56] translated by Samuel Butler

I'm having some problem understanding the phrase "but do you others go about among the host and prevent their doing so" in the context of the following paragraph: The dream then vanished and I ...
-1
votes
1answer
5k views

Meaning of “to be” in the example

I cannot get the meaning of the following: The failure to include these actions, which could be easily performed, might by their absence betray an otherwise convincing claim to be feeling fear ...
2
votes
4answers
2k 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.)
-1
votes
2answers
100 views

Is “subordinated” a good translation of the Italian legal term “subordinato”? [closed]

I've found this translation http://www.wordreference.com/iten/subordinato but I am not sure if English legals use subordinate to define a party that is subordinated to another. Any suggestion? EDIT: ...
5
votes
4answers
338 views

What would be a colloquial word for using public transport for free?

My English roommate and I were just having a conversation about what colloquial word(verb) you would use if you used public transport for free. In German we have the term "schwarzfahren." The ...
1
vote
1answer
433 views

A single word for “blind” and “slow on the uptake” [closed]

We have a word tiomny in Russian which has the meanings blind, dim, and dumb. Is there a word (possibly slang) in American English which is as close in meaning to both blind and slow on the uptake?
5
votes
5answers
311 views

Reflexive possessive pronoun

Is there a single word (similar to Russian свой for those familiar with Russian) which I could put into this sentence? By tomorrow, one of us will see the money in __ account. meaning that ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Should titles of people be translated?

Should titles of persons like (Mr., Herr, Sr...) be translated into English? For example: Herr Albert or Mr. Albert ?
5
votes
3answers
565 views

Ironic phrase like Russian’s “no, didn’t hear”

Here’s a bit of dialogue which I literally translated from Russian: ― You should get a girlfriend! ― Girlfriend? Didn’t hear. . . . The idea of the answer is to self-ironically point out ...
1
vote
0answers
70 views

“shown to produce” [closed]

I am struggling with understanding of the following: It might be shown to produce the same changes in the sound of the voice as saddness. I do not get why there is "shown to produce", it is ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

how to refer a person with undefined sex? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? The title is a little confused because I don't know how to explain in one line, ...
4
votes
4answers
528 views

Give someone advice in advance with good intent?

There is a word for this in Hungarian (my native language) 'útravaló' which literally means something like "things to be used on your journey". I couldn't find a translation yet in any dictionary. ...
3
votes
3answers
901 views

English for “À l’abordage!”?

Basically, pirates would use the term À l’abordage! as a battle cry when boarding enemy ships like described in the phrase’s Wiktionary entry. Is there a English translation for this, or is it an ...