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10/13/07

Permalink 06:14:46 pm, Categories: For professional translators, English-Spanish phrases of the week, 242 words  

Spanish phrases and words #14

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

Poultry get a lot of attention in Spanish idioms. Here are some involving rooster (gallo) and hen (gallina):

- "Gallo" can mean phlegm. Reminds one of the phrase in English "I have a frog in my throat" which in Spanish is "Tengo carraspera".

- In English, when we're out of our element, we say "Like a fish out of water". In Spanish the equivalent is "Estar como gallina en corral ajeno", which literally translates to "To be like a hen in a foreign coop".

- When a wife rules the roost, in English we say "The wife wears the pants in that family". A Spanish equivalent is "En casa de Gonzalo más puede la gallina que el gallo", which literally means "In Gonzalo's house more power has the hen than the rooster".

Thanks Chris! Yes, there's also a closer Spanish version with "En esa familia, la mujer lleva los pantalones", and it's used fairly often. But of course this version doesn't involve poultry... Another related Spanish saying is "Ser un gallito" —literally, "To be a little rooster"— which can be very legitimately translated as "To be cocky". And calling somebody "gallina" (hen) is the same than calling someone a chicken in English.

Actually, "pollo" (chicken) is used in many funny Spanish sayings, but that will probably be something to explore in a future post!

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

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09/29/07

Spanish phrases and words #13

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

Here are two Spanish idioms employing “tejado”, which means “roof”. “La pelota esta aún en el tejado” literally translates to “The ball is still on the roof”. The idiomatic meaning is “It's still up in the air” or “The jury's still out”. “Tiene el tejado de vidrio” means “He has a glass roof” which is very similar to “People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones”. We might also say “He's not one to talk”.

Thanks Chris! Yes, there is also a longer version of the second Spanish saying you mentioned, and it goes like this:

“El que tiene tejado de vidrio que no le tire piedras al vecino”, literally, “He who has a glass roof should not throw stones to his neighbour”.

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

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09/22/07

Spanish phrases and words #12

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

Some animal related idioms. "Ser un lince" means "To be a lynx". The colloquial translation is "To be as sharp as a tack". A related phrase is "Ojos de lince", which translates to "Lynx eyes". In English we would say "Eagle-eye" or "Hawk-eye", as in Hawk-eye Pierce of MASH. In English, when one is in a potentially lethal situation we say that the person is "In the jaws of death". In Spanish one would be in "The mouth of the wolf" as in "La boca del lobo".

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

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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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