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214

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. Spanish and Portuguese texts are longer than their English counterparts by about 1/5 to 1/4. Scandinavian languages are pretty much on par with English. Swedish is a tiny bit ...


124

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 ...


39

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have the following sizes: English: 200k Portuguese: 208k Spanish: 209k German: 219k And the translations are out of date.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 ...


37

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 ...


35

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 ...


30

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 ...


28

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 ...


26

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 ...


25

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 ...


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

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 ...


22

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, ...


19

Based on your historical narrative, it seems that an ideal counterpart would emphasize a spirit of fairness that trumps an opportunity to exploit a weakness during some struggle between two opponents. That being said, an English saying that I would offer is: Don't kick him when he's down. The saying refers to some kind of fistfight between two ...


17

One idiomatic way to refer to a measure that doesn't make much difference would be a drop in the bucket or a drop in the ocean. drop in the bucket (idiomatic) An effort or action having very little overall influence, especially as compared to a huge problem. A $100 donation from an individual is generous, but it is a drop in the bucket compared ...


17

I think the word you are looking for here is momentum, as in traveling on momentum alone. momentum n 2. (Physics / General Physics) the impetus of a body resulting from its motion


17

In addition to phrases such as "play fair" and "don't kick a man when he's down" is the concept of Chivalry. When used in a modern day context, this entails standards of conduct such as courtesy, generosity, valour and fairness towards one's antagonists. Originally (and still today, when used in a historical context) Chivalry meant the code of conduct ...


16

This isn’t really an answer to the question, but I wanted to point out that grammatical gender is but one type of noun class system, and non-Indo-European languages often have completely different and far more complex systems of noun classes. One example from the Wikipedia article on noun classes, The Dyirbal language is well known for its system of four ...


16

(Would just have left this as a comment, but don't have the reputation.) In the UK, as well as practical and theory tests, to get a driving licence you have to pass a "hazard perception" test involving watching a video of someone driving, and clicking a mouse when you see a developing hazard. ("A developing hazard is something that may result in you having ...


15

There's a joke in French that it's pretty much impossible to translate into English because of this problem: So one guy says to another "Regard, le mouche". The other guy replies "C'est la mouche". The first guy turns, impressed: "You've got good eyes." OK. It's not a great loss to the English language, but still...


15

Pioneer (often seen in adjectival form, as in "a pioneering scientist") is a reasonably close match. But I doubt you'll find an exact analogue. A pioneer or a trailblazer does something first, and a visionary thinks something first, but I don't think we have a common word for someone who thinks and does something first, or someone who does something ...


15

Two idioms would be: To crack a nut with a sledgehammer. To break a (butter)fly on the wheel. The wheel in question being a device for capital punishment of humans. So using it on a tiny fly would, quite literally, be overkill and it is also not clear if you would actually hit the fly at all or if it would be able to get away swiftly — a ...


14

Shakespeare is considered Modern English, and is almost never rendered in contemporary English. It is usually edited for spelling and other reasons, however, depending on your edition. There is no "freshness date" that triggers a translation, though. It depends in large part on which version of English is being cited. Much of Middle English (e.g., Chaucer) ...


14

First, I don't think you're actually looking for a gerund. In English, a gerund refers to using a verb as a noun, and since you don't have another conjugated verb in the last phrase, I think you're actually looking for a participle (and wikipedia tells me in Portuguese, gerúndio refers to an adverbial participle, so that makes sense) Now, as DeepYellow ...


14

A corresponding conversation in English might go something like this: ― You should get yourself a girlfriend! ― A girlfriend? What’s that?! It’s more sarcasm than irony, and the reply is often “deadpanned”.


13

Honor among enemies, seems to me to be exactly what you are looking for. The word honor has been around for a long time and can mean several things, but I think the most applicable would be: a : a keen sense of ethical conduct : integrity (a man of honor) b : a showing of usually merited respect : recognition (pay honor to our founder) c : one's word ...


13

A generic word is slime: Slime algae on backyard ponds. This could occur on the surface or on the side of tanks. slime noun 2. a. A viscous substance or fluid of animal or vegetable origin (in this sense: 13th century) [OED]


12

I'm not sure it fits exactly, but there is a phrase with similar intent in the medical profession: "life over limb". It directly mirrors your gangrene example because you might have to sacrifice part of a healthy limb to save the patient's life. It is sometimes used beyond the literal meaning as well. For instance, moving a patient with a suspected ...



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