Say it in your language
  • In this game we will exchange sayings from our languages. Every (lets say) Monday we will set a new phrase, saying, proverb, idiom or expression, and then we will try to find if the same is said in other languages.

    To begin, I would like to share a Greek proverb with you:

    Κύλησε ο τέντζερης και βρήκε το καπάκι.
    (The kettle rolled down and found the lid).

    We say this when we want to imply that two people are good friends, they match, they are good together.

    Do you have a proverb or saying like this in your country?

    ~ Check our wiki for an English phrase finder, under English Language Resources ~
  • 30 Comments sorted by
  • I think it could be this:
    Αν δεν δουλέψεις την αυγή, γυμνός θα είσαι τη Λαμπρή.
    If you don't work early in the morning, you will have no clothes in Easter.
  • Isiliel, quite useful game, I think. In Russian this proverb would sound like:

    Мы с Тамарой ходим парой.

    Два сапога пара (usually with negative connotation)
  • In Dutch: "Op elk potje past een dekseltje" (literally: to every kettle there's a lid that fits).
  • I think this is similar in Hungarian:

    Mondd meg, ki a barátod megmondom ki vagy.

    Tell me who your friend is, I'll tell you who you are.
  • And in Romanian:

    Cei care se potrivesc, lesne se împrietenesc.

    Those who match, get to be friend easily.
  • <blockquote class="UserQuote"><div class="QuoteText"><p>Wikipedia has a good article about translations of "Greek to me":</p></div></blockquote>

    In Greece when we want to say something makes no sense to us, we say "It's all Chinese to me"
  • In Spanish: "A quien madruga dios le ayuda"
    Literally: "God helps those who get up early"
    English equivalent: "The early bird catches the worm."
  • I am curious about what is "Chinese" to Chinese people.
  • In German, we say "Das hört sich Chinesisch an," "It sounds like Chinese to me," just like in Spanish. But when we don't understand the meaning of something, we rather say "Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof," literally "I only understand train station," which is rather the equivalent to "It's all Greek to me" according to my online dictionary.

    The train station metaphore goes back to WWI when the train station would become the symbol of going home for tired soldiers. Every conversation not related to going home would be interrupted by saying "I only understand train station."
  • "Dobrali się jak w korcu maku," literally "they picked one other out as if from a tubfull of poppyseed." But I think it's usually used a little negatively, like you see these two people who are buddies but are also annoying ;)
  • We also say "Našao lonac poklopac" which means "The kelltle found the lid".
    "Našla krpa zakrpu" is the same, can sound negatively though, because "krpa" means "a rag". Translated literally it means "the rag found it's patch".
  • In Hungarian we also have "Megtalálta a zsák a foltját" , meaning "the bag found it's patch", similar to Serbian. And it sounds negatively, mostly.
  • Would someone like to set a new phrase for discussion?
  • Here's one:
    Ko rano rani, dve sreće grabi.
    It's - Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
    But literally translated it would be something like "He who rises early grabs double luck".. or something like that :)
  • I think this is
    "Ki korán kel, aranyat lel"
    in Hungarian.
    Meaning literally: "Who gets up early, finds gold"
    Or "The early bird catches the worm" in English.
  • It seems that we don't have that in Greek. I cannot find anything relevant except of this:
    Η καλή μέρα απ' το πρωί φαίνεται - (The good day shows from the morning) which is not exactly the same.
  • In Dutch: De morgenstond heeft goud in de mond.
    Literally: The morning has gold in the mouth.
    It means that getting up early is valuable.
  • Same in German as in Dutch:
    Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund!

    And we also have the early bird: Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm!

  • I can not find a match for that in Armenian :)

  • "Kto rano wstaje, temu Pan Bóg daje" - "to the one who rises in the morning, the Lord gives" :)
  • In Turkish "The kettle rolled down and found the lid." is same "Tencere yuvarlanmış, kapağını bulmuş." :)
  • Wikipedia has a good article about translations of "Greek to me":
  • Funny. In Germany, things we don't understand "sound Spanish" or they are like "Bohemian villages".
    Das kommt mir spanisch vor. Für mich sind das böhmische Dörfer.
  • :D This is soooo interesting!!! I am anxious to hear what other people say in their language!!
  • In Serbian, we say something similar when we don't understand or something makes no sense - "špansko selo" - literally "Spanish village". Katja, this seems like a mix of the two German sayings ;)
  • In Polish, you say "to dla mnie czarna magia," literally "it's black magic to me," to mean that you can't understand something, with the suggestion that it's too complicated (used about "rules" so about instructions, a system for doing something - so not really about the way something is phrased, just the meaning).
  • In French we say "C'est du chinois" and I remember reading that it came up in the 18th century with the big fashion for trade with the Far-East and how the non latin writing was confusing to merchants
  • In Italy, we say "Per me è arabo" (it's Arabic to me) , "Il mattino ha l'oro in bocca" (The morning has gold in mouth) and also "Chi si somiglia si piglia" (more or less, Those who are similar choose each other) Cheers!
  • In Spanish; "Me suena a chino"
    Literally: "It sounds "Chinese" to me"
    English equivalent: "It's all Greek to me"
  • you can also say "tureckie kazanie" (Turkish sermon)
    albo "czeski film" (Czech movie).
    Isn't it funny how they all involve some other language's name?