Idioms


07 Jul

I love idioms.  I find them fascinating and I particularly enjoy comparing idioms in one language to another.  Sometimes they offer insights into the culture and its values.

Earlier this week I was checking Facebook and saw a post on idioms from translators that work on TED TALKS.  I read every one of the examples listed.  There were examples in German, Spanish, Italian, and many others.  Two idioms were in Tamil, explained in English.  I took a screen shot and sent it to a good friend whose mother tongue is Tamil.  I asked her if she was familiar with this idiom. She said yes and that the translation was accurate. Take a look:

I pondered the idioms. Water seems to be a powerful and somewhat dangerous force in this culture.  Can water be someone's nemesis?  How strange you would throw water on a friendship.  Or is it strange?

If you are learning to swim, water can indeed be your nemesis.  If you are a shipwreck survivor, water poses quite a threat to you.  But on the subject of friendship, could you end a friendship with water?  In English you give someone the cold shoulder, which is the opposite of warmth. When do you throw water on something?  Well, if there is a fire, you can douse it with water.  So it makes sense if you are ending a a friendship to pour water on it.  

Idioms make my brain tingle.  They force me to stretch my thoughts to consider the image they are conveying.  What is an idiom you like?


27Aug
08Oct
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