Monday, November 12, 2007

Fun: Foreign words and phrases that have no exact English translation

English has absorbed many words and phrases from many different languages over the centuries, but there are some that haven't quite been imported yet.  A new book titled Toujours Tingo has quite a collection of very interesting, and perhaps even occasionally useful, words and phrases that exist in other languages but have no corresponding English equivalent.  The Mirror (UK tabloid) has a review.

I have no idea if the translations of these are accurate or not, but a couple that I particularly found amusing, at least the way they are presented in the book, are:

Vrane Su Mu PoPile Mozak - Croatian: crazy, literally "cows have drunk his brain"
Gadrii Nombor Shulen Jongu - Tibetan: giving an answer that is unrelated to the question, literally "to give a green answer to a blue question"

If you want a copy of the book, the details are Toujours Tingo: More Extraordinary Words to Change the Way We See the World, by Adam Jacot de Boinod, published by Penguin Books.

(Hat tip: GeekPress)


a.a said...

Updates! :) We want updates hehe

sethgreen said...

very weird stuff here. but interesting .steve marcus in the academia inglesgarantizado ..a small academia