Monday, January 14, 2013

Mix-Up Monday: Proverbs

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This past week they saying "Cross your fingers" has come up a lot, except it was usually in German meaning that what really was being said was, "Press your thumbs" (Daumen drücken!).

This made us think about the various proverbs that have similar meanings in German and English but use different examples. It is especially funny when one of us tries to get our point across by directly translating what we know into the other language -- case in point -- He said, "Psh! She can lick my butt" (a too exact translation from German to English for the English saying, "She can kiss my butt." She is still laughing over that one!

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Here are some other examples:

English:  to bite the bullet
German: in den sauren Apfel beiβen (to bite the sour apple)

English: to kill two birds with one stone 
German: zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen (hit two flies with one swatter)

English: to be as old as the hills 
German: einen langen Bart haben (have a long beard)

English: strong as an ox
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German: stark wie ein Bär (strong as a bear)

English: have the fox guard the hen house (asking for trouble) 
German: den Bock zum Gärtner machen (make the goat the gardener)

English: make a mountain out of a molehill 
German: aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten machen (make an elephant out of a gnat)

English: to put one's foot in one's mouth 
German: ins Fettnäpfchen treten (to step into the grease bowl)

English: I'm not going to lose any sleep over it 
German: Ich lass mir keine grauen Haare darüber wachsen (I won't let any gray hairs grow over it)

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