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240

Speaking as a translator, I can share a few rules of thumb that are popular in our profession: Hebrew texts are usually shorter than their English equivalents by approximately 1/3. To a large extent, that can be attributed to cheating, what with no vowels and all. Spanish, Portuguese and French (I guess we can just settle on Romance) texts are longer than ...


130

In the US, the most common term is defensive driving The standard Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations, ANSI/ASSE Z15.1, defines defensive driving as "driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others." It is a form of training for motor vehicle drivers that goes beyond mastery of the ...


65

In English, we would usually use the word play. That covers both the act of performing the song on an instrument (perhaps while singing, if the instrument permits) and the act of playing a recording of the song. If you give an a cappella rendition, live, you would use the word sing.


43

A point of reference from the website I maintain. The files where we store the translations have the following sizes: English: 200k Portuguese: 208k Spanish: 209k German: 219k And the translations are out of date. That is, there are strings in the English file that aren't yet in the other files. For Chinese, the situation is a bit different because ...


43

We speak of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.


40

I don't know anything about Maltese grammar, but I want to guess that nurik and nsemmgħek mean, respectively 'cause to look' and 'cause to listen'. Some languages have standard ways of converting one verb to a causative verb (one that means 'to cause to do'). As an example, in Classical Nahuatl the suffix -ti turns any verb into a causative verb. So the word ...


38

I would think the idiom we are looking for is closer to Provide him with a fighting chance or a level playing field As for the Don't kick a man... I would contest that the rival in the narrative might not have been down, just lacking salt... I think the saying reflects something earlier than when the enemy is down (but could possibly also be used in that ...


37

At @ermanen 's suggestion, I will promote this suggestion from a comment: to harp on about something is to continually refer to that thing to an annoying degree. There's a discussion here: http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1544 about the origin of the phrase suggesting it originally alluded to playing the same string (on a harp) ...


35

The woman is often referred to as "a new mother". P.S. I would be reluctant to advise that she be called a "postpartum mother" or a "postpartum woman" because there are bound to be readers who would take that phrase to mean "a woman with postpartum depression". Sometimes writing is much like defensive driving. The New Mother - Taking Care of Yourself ...


34

It's a matter of when and where these words were romanized. The English word Russia is a very old term for a very old country. When it was coined, the romanization of English words tended to be very English-centric. "Russia" is both (1) close enough to "Россия" that it was understandable, and (2) easy for medieval English speakers to pronounce. Once a word ...


33

One can take a moment or an instant to indicate a short amount of time; depending on context this may mean a fraction of a second, several minutes, or a period of years: The doctor will be out in a moment. Neo-swing enjoyed a moment of mainstream popularity in the 1990s. Something which is almost instantaneous is done in a flash, blink, or ...


31

The term penny-wise refers to being "careful in dealing with small sums of money or small matters". It's commonly found in the phrase penny wise, pound foolish, meaning "Someone who is penny wise, pound foolish can be very careful or mean with small amounts of money, yet wasteful and extravagant with large sums." You may also find the term bikeshedding of ...


30

For a car or a train, if you stop using the engine to propel it, you can say that you coast to a stop, or that the train (or car) is coasting. I haven't heard this used for boats (and Googling seems to indicate that if you coast in a boat, it often means that you are following the coastline), but I don't know what term would be used instead. UPDATE: As ...


30

So bad, it's good is often used in reference to movies like this, but can also apply to comedians or any other entertainment, and presumably a joke. Example usage: Troll 2 is one of those so-bad-it's-good movies. _ I just watched Troll 2 it was so bad it was good. Within the context of telling a joke you could say something like: Alvin ...


30

The pieces of wire are called leads. I've never heard them referred to as "legs" except in casual conversation. For more information, Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_(electronics)


30

If you're looking for a neutral word which doesn't carry value judgements, try "frugal". If you want a word with fairly positive connotations, try "economical" or thrifty (noun: saver; note: spendthrift is a noun, but it has the opposite meaning to thrifty). If you want a word with negative connotations, try "cheap" (nouns: skinflint, miser, cheapo). ...


29

Overkill is originally a military analysis term from the Cold War, referring to the fact that the belligerents each had far more nuclear weapons than they would need to completely destroy the other. These days it's generally used metaphorically to mean precisely the sort of excessive effort or excessive means you talk of. Bring a gun to a knife-fight is ...


28

The "rule" is really simple. The country Россия is a thing or concept that is well-established in English, and has been forever, so it has an English equivalent by now, Russia. Everyone knows it, everyone uses it. Россия as the name for a bank has no meaning in English, because it's just a name. A label. So on the (very seldom) occasion that you have to ...


27

Well, obviously you can't translate many things literally, as you would constantly end up with sentences such as "it gave it to it" in English, where in the source language with genders you have a perfectly clear "she gave it to him". However, there are usually easy ways around this, the most obvious one being: kick out the pronouns and replace them with ...


27

When referring to 'distance in time', the best word is: Interval There is also: Period Spell


26

In first-person conversation, I would generally say something like "I'll cover this one, you can get the next" or "I've got this, you can owe me." Or, going the other way, "If you could take this, I'll pick up the next one." As @Jim mentions in a comment, "fronting" is a good term too. "Bob fronted Mary a twenty so she could pick up the new release while ...


25

There are two possible interpretations of your question, and they're giving rise to two different kinds of answers which mean different things. If by "pay back" you mean the person will return the specific amount of money to you in the near future, common words (at least in my experience, in US English) would be "fronting" the money or "spotting" the money. ...


25

Try this: The straw that broke the camel’s back. This write-up traces the saying’s history back to long ago, noting that Seneca once wrote in “On Despising Death” (Letter XXIV): Counting even yesterday, all past time is lost time; the very day which we are now spending is shared between ourselves and death. It is not the last drop that empties the ...


25

There is a term, "defensive driving" which encompasses what you mention. Defensive driving is a form of training for motor vehicle drivers that goes beyond mastery of the rules of the road and the basic mechanics of driving. Its aim is to reduce the risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations, despite adverse conditions or the mistakes of ...


25

Also, wouldn't drop the subject. Or even, a less polite, wouldn't shut up about it. They both mean about what you've said.


25

Puerperal - Relating to, connected with, or occurring during childbirth or the period immediately following childbirth. FED "Puerperal women are especially vulnerable to these effects because....." The link between depression and... A tumor of the kidney in a "puerperal woman" ...to report the experience of the nursing care provided to ''a ...


24

Besides Cool's good suggestion of • slapdash (“Done hastily; haphazard; careless”, but I'd substitute not careful in place of careless) and suggestion of • slipshod (“Done poorly or too quickly; slapdash”, but I'd say slipshod work is lower in quality than slapdash work), and the suggestions in comments of • hack (“An expedient, temporary solution, ...


24

In the UK, these are generally known as "playing fields": http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/playing-field The use is not specifically for football (they are public areas that can be used for a variety of sports) although that is usually the purpose. As an example of usage, my local council's web site provides a list of facilities in my ...


23

Sure. Why not? A chamois cloth needn't be made of chamois leather. A wood golf club needn't be made of wood. In Britain, a copper (2p or 5p coin) isn't made of copper. And my glasses have plastic lenses. If you want to be pedantic about it, you can call it a clear, plastic beaker. But in that case, make sure the polymer the beaker is made from is a ...


23

I would go with repeatedly. The word exists in a file repeatedly.



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