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09/15/07

Spanish phrases and words #11

After a few weeks vacation (sorry, I forgot to let you know beforehand), we're back with more Spanish sayings!

From Chris Royston, weekly collaborator here at Into Spanish Translation Blog:

In English, when someone experiences a misfortune of his own making we say "He was hoist with his own petard". The equivalent in Spanish is "Atrapado en sus propias redes", which translates to "Caught up in his own nets". Here's a saying in English that has a close counterpart in Spanish. When shoes are too loose we say "My feet are swimming in these shoes". In Spanish the feet dance, as in "Me bailan los pies en estos zapatos".

Thanks Chris! And speaking about dancing, here are some related Spanish sayings:

- "Cuando el gato no está, los ratones bailan" is "When the cat's away, the mice will play" (in English mice play instead of dancing).

- "¡Que me quiten lo bailado!" (literally, "Let them take out from me all the times I've danced!") could be translated as "I'm going to enjoy myself while I can".

- "Otro que tal baila" (literally, "Another one who dances likewise") could be translated as (depending on the context) "This one is as irresponsible/annoying/lazy/etc. as the other(s)".

Want more? Don't hesitate to visit Colloquial Spanish blog!

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08/15/07

Spanish phrases and words #10

From Chris Royston, weekly collaborator here at Into Spanish Translation Blog:

Animal related idioms

"Haberle visto las orejas al lobo" literally translates as "To have seen the wolf's ears". The idiomatic meaning is "To have had a narrow escape" or "To have had a close shave".

"Ser el gallito del lugar" literally means "To be the little rooster of the place". In English we refer to another animal: "To be top dog".

"Tener pájaros en la cabeza" or "Tener la cabeza llena de pájaros" means "To have birds in the head" and "To have the head full of birds". In English we would call such a person a "Scatterbrain" or someone who "Has bats in the belfry".

Thanks Chris! I won’t add any this time...

Want more? Don't hesitate to visit Colloquial Spanish blog!

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08/04/07

Spanish phrases and words #9

From Chris Royston, weekly collaborator here at Into Spanish Translation Blog:

Here are two sayings that are similar in Spanish and English, but not quite the same:

— "No ser ni carne ni pescado" literally means "To be neither meat nor fish". In English the saying goes "To be neither fish nor fowl".

— Ser de carne y hueso" translates to "To be of flesh and bone". In English we phrase this as "To be flesh and blood".

— The first saying brings to mind the two versions of "fish" in Spanish. When you go to buy fish in the market you purchase "pescado". A single fish is a "pez". "Pez" comes up in colloquial speech when you refer to someone as a "pez gordo" or "fat fish". In English we'd describe this person as a "big shot".

Thanks Chris! And here are a couple more “meaty” sayings that I can think of:

— "Es un cacho de carne con ojos” —literally, “He/she is a piece of meat with eyes”— may be translated as "He/she is a drip".

— “Está pez” —literally, “He/she is fish”— may be translated as “He/she has no clue” (about something in particular like geography, politics, etc.)

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07/21/07

Spanish phrases and words #7

From Chris Royston, weekly collaborator here at Into Spanish Translation Blog:

Here are some (not an exhaustive list) idioms involving hunger, "hambre" in Spanish:

"A buen hambre no hay pan duro" translates to "For a good hunger there's no such thing as hard bread". In English we might say "Hunger is the best sauce". Henry Fielding, the author of "Tom Jones" phrased it as "Hunger is better than a French chef".

"Tengo un hambre canina" literally means "I have a canine hunger". When we're this hungry in English we say "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse".

"Ser más listo que el hambre" literally translates to "To be more clever (smarter) than hunger". The equivalent in English is "To be as sharp as a tack".

Thanks Chris! I would just one more:

"Se juntaron el hambre y las ganas de comer", meaning "hunger and crave for food met", may be translated as "They're two of a kind".

Want more? Don't hesitate to visit Colloquial Spanish blog!

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07/12/07

Spanish phrases and words #6

From Chris Royston, weekly collaborator here at Into Spanish Translation Blog:

Here are some somewhat lugubrious idioms. In English, when someone is gravely ill we say "he's at death's door" or "He's got one foot in the grave". Here are some Spanish equivalents:

- "Está en las últimas" which translates to "He's in the last throes"
- "Está en los umbrales de la muerte" meaning "He's in the thresholds of death"
- "Está a dos pasos de la muerte" signifies "He's two steps away from death"
- "Tiene un pie en la hoya (huesa)" translates to "He has one foot in the grave"

Thanks Chris! I would add a few more idioms related to death:

- "Tiene los días contados" is "His days are numbered"
- "Te quedan dos telediarios" (humourous, ofen used when hearing a relative or friend coughing like mad) means "Only two news programs left for you"
- "Está de muerte" (referring to some delicious food) literally means "It's deadly good" and could be translated as "It's finger-licking good"
- "Me dio un susto de muerte" is "He scared me to death"
- "Un pueblo de mala muerte" literally means "a village of bad death" and may be translated as a dump or a hole
- There's also "Un hotel de mala muerte", literally meaning "a hotel of bad death", and it may be translated as "A grotty hotel".

Want more? Don't hesitate to visit Colloquial Spanish blog!

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