Funny translations - Mothering Forums
Multicultural Families > Funny translations
AllisonR's Avatar AllisonR 05:26 AM 05-28-2008
What kind of words / expressions does your language have, that are just so funny when translated into another language? Danish is a VERY LITERAL language. Most everything is called exactly what it is. Some funny examples:

nipple is "breast wart"
placenta is "mother cake"
umbilical cord translates as "belly button rope"
midwife is "earth mother"
brow/face presentation at birth is "star gazing"
penis is "peeing man"
yoni is "peeing wife"
airplane is "flying machine"
morning rolls are "round pieces"
.... I could go on forever, but I'll stop here. Please share.

~sweet pea~'s Avatar ~sweet pea~ 11:36 AM 05-28-2008
I don't have time for a whole list, but I remember the crest-fallen look on my then BF's (now DH) face when I translated his favorite Italian veal dish, Osso Buco, to it's literal meaning: bone (with a) hole. Not so exotic anymore.....
MetasMom's Avatar MetasMom 04:20 PM 05-28-2008
That's a lot like German!

I also love:
gloves = shoes for the hand
Katica's Avatar Katica 10:57 PM 05-28-2008
English isn`t my first language but as best as I can translate:

vacuum cleaner = dust sucker
fridge = cooling closet (or wardrobe)
airplane = also flying machine

I`ll try to think of more... love this thread
muttix2's Avatar muttix2 06:49 AM 05-30-2008
Das ist doch nicht mein bier.

It is an "older" kind of saying but basically it means "that's none of my business." literally it means "that is not my beer." My cousin (Turkish, lives in Germany) and I use this as a "joke" saying between the two of us all the time.
emmasmommy's Avatar emmasmommy 12:34 PM 05-30-2008
This is a fun thread! Swedish is a lot like Danish in that it is very literal. I just can't think of anything from Sweden to add right now though. We go to Sweden in a couple of weeks, and I know I will think of tons of examples then!
cotopaxi's Avatar cotopaxi 11:24 PM 06-04-2008
Oh, see, and when I lived in Chile they accused English of being too literal.
They asked how to say "guatero" and I was like "hot water bottle" and they thought that was boring.
superstella's Avatar superstella 11:34 AM 06-05-2008
I know there are a lot in Greek too, but I am too tired this morning to think properly! HOpefully by subbing I'll see this thread on my list later when I'm more awake.

I can think of only one which is
knees = corners