Determining English equivalents for words or phrases in other languages (that is, translation into English)

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0
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1answer
366 views

I was able to re-introduce the process that had not been done anymore. Past perfect?

I am not sure whether or not there should be past simple or past perfect: I was able to re-introduce the procedure that had not been being followed anymore. I was able to re-introduce the ...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

Is there an equivalent for French “CQFD”

In French, when concluding a demonstration, we say "CQFD", which stands for "Ce Qu'il Fallait Démontrer". Do English has an equivalent for this ?
2
votes
1answer
146 views

The instrument that measures the consumption of water

What is the English name of this instrument, that measures the consumption of water? In Hebrew we call it "Sheon Mayim" (literally: "water clock"), but in English, water clock is a clock for ...
3
votes
3answers
643 views

deity / divinity / god

I'm translating some Buddhist texts to English and I'm wondering if there are any subtle differences in usage between the words deity, divinity, and god (in the lower case sense)? What is the word ...
0
votes
2answers
293 views

Past perfect/simple question in an example

Talking about the trip I did a few years ago: I have been there and it was amazing. I had not seen a frozen sea until that time! Did I use past perfect correctly or should I just say "I did not ...
0
votes
1answer
373 views

Future perfect or simple in this context

In a movie I saw, a young boy told to an old man that he would be gone for a long time when something happens. I'm trying to figure out what the boy actually said and what tense should have been used ...
2
votes
5answers
21k views

English equivalent of the French custom “l'apéro”

In France, when gathered with friends, it is customary to drink beers or other light alcohol around 7pm, and this time is called apéritif (or apéro). Does this custom have an English (UK and/or US) ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there such a word as “lightweightness”?

Is there a good translation for the German word "Leichtgewichtigkeit" (lit. "lightweightness")? According to leo.org and dict.cc, there is none, but according to these translations, there are ...
1
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2answers
239 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). ...
4
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14answers
5k views

The meaning of “blue canoe” in the lyrics of “Where to Now, St. Peter” sung by Elton John

In his song Where to Now, St. Peter, Sir Elton John sings: I took myself a blue canoe, And I floated like a leaf Dazzling, dancing half enchanted In my Merlin sleep. Crazy was the ...
1
vote
1answer
161 views

“heart advice” - jarring or beautiful?

I'm translating a Tibetan text written in verse into English. The style is one of direct advice rather than learned philosophy. My aim is for the translation to have the same down-to-earth quality as ...
3
votes
3answers
590 views

Does “alter” means “change into something worse”?

In French, the verb altérer means change into something worse or degrade. As a non-native English speaker I wonder whether the English verb alter has necessarily this negative meaning or in the ...
2
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5answers
476 views

English equivalent of Greek saying

My Greek friend has told me a Greek saying, which roughly translates to: The thief screams to frighten the landlord Effectively it means: You are only making a fuss so that nobody accuses you, ...
5
votes
5answers
281 views

Translation of « débrayable » for camera modes and automatic software processing

I am French and I am looking for how to express the concept of the French word débrayable: Something débrayable is able to be manually configured as opposed of something which is always automatically ...
5
votes
6answers
744 views

Do we have an equivalent for Persian's proverb “to stretch one's leg more than one's rug”?

In Persian we have this proverb which translated literally becomes: To stretch one's leg more than one's rug which means that you go beyond the circle of your authorities, or the circle of your ...
3
votes
3answers
106 views

Does the term “Postal Authority” Make sense?

I have received a parcel today, from Israel, and the box is branded "Israel Postal Authority". In Hebrew the same body has the word "Reshut" in its name, a term I believe originated from the Hebrew ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the difference between maintenance, upkeep & sustenance [closed]

Question: I was translating the term Wartung, Instandhaltung und Unterhalt in our software. I came up with Maintenance, Upkeep & Sustenance And I was just thinking. Is somebody actually ...
0
votes
2answers
213 views

If we use “fairy” in our band name, will people think of sprites or gay men?

Seems like a really weird question but here's what it's about: Me and my band are currently searching for a bandname which seems to be very hard. We recently (finally) found one name that we all ...
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votes
1answer
111 views

I read the dictionary as if it were a novel [closed]

In my mother tongue, we have an expression that I have translated to I read the dictionary as if it were a novel. I think the meaning is easy to grasp by I wonder if there a more suitable ...
87
votes
13answers
8k 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
136 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) ...
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votes
3answers
261 views
1
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3answers
88 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
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3answers
392 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
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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 ...
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votes
1answer
2k 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
189 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
487 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
719 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
209 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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
2k 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 ...
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votes
1answer
102 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
372 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
7k 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
370 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
7answers
1k 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
2k 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
322 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
142 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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
3k 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 ...
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votes
2answers
1k 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
5k 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
581 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
910 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: ...
6
votes
1answer
308 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. ...
37
votes
10answers
10k 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
686 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 ...