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Celebrating flavours of English

English is of course the best candidate to a true international language; mandarin and espanol claims notwithstanding. This of course is very convenient to english speakers but, tanj! - whoever told you the universe has to be fair? Now, that being said, not all is lost for those of you who want your silent and cold revenge in the best tradition of a truly ancient recipe. How can you get the upper hand after being force-fed english grammar and vocabulary (let’s amiably agree to leave phonetics be, for the moment)? By blithely translating your native language idioms into english!

Self-righteous miscommunication

You see, there is perhaps no better way to convey the frustration one gets as a non-native speaker than to slap the other speaker with an idiom. Idioms are by definition tricky because translating them literally gets you immediately into trouble. Sweet, then, is your revenge when you tell someone in perfect english: “Don’t stand in my ribs!” (Romanian-flavoured english), “You are popping my liver!” (Arabic flavoured english), or “Go salt yourself!” (Slovenian-flavoured english). At which point you will be able to see the glazed look of someone struggling to piece together your words into a coherent whole.

ke Solutions has it’s own contingent of non-native english speakers. We are not talking about our brainy colleagues the programmers who sort of use english as their second language at work; they are a special case indeed… No, we are talking about genuine non-english speakers that make our life so much more interesting and fun when they automatically translate their native idioms into english. Interestingly, some of those idioms are quite trendy and you can see your average american relishing the sound of a foreign idiom so much that he or she employs it frequently.

To celebrate our “bio-diversity” here is a selection of romanian idioms our european office reports is getting viral there:

1. A Romanian is not “surprised” ...his “face has fallen off”

2. A Romanian didn’t just “do so much with so little” ... he “made a whip out of shit”

3. A Romanian won’t “lose temper” ... his “mustard will jump off”

4. A Romanian hasn’t just “screwed up” ... he “threw his boogers in the beans”

5. A Romanian won’t “try to fool you” ... he’ll “throw vapours at you”

7. A Romanian doesn’t “suddenly get it” ... his “coin drops”

8. A Romanian is not “extremely tired” ... he’s “cabbage.” His life is not “chaotic” ... it’s “cabbage.” And his room is not “a complete mess” ... it’s also “cabbage”

9. A Romanian doesn’t simply deem an effort “useless” ... he says it’s “a rub on a wooden leg”

10. You don’t “drive a Romanian nuts” ... you “take him out of his watermelons”

13. A Romanian is not “crazy” ... he’s “gone on a raft”

14. A Romanian won’t tell you to stop “wasting time” ... he’ll tell you to stop “rubbing the mint” 15. A Romanian won’t say that something is “cool” ... he’ll say it’s “concrete”

16. A Romanian is not “nervous” ... he “has a carrot (in his ass)”

20. A Romanian won’t “call it quits” ... he’ll “stick his feet in”

24. A Romanian doesn’t have “unusual ideas” ... he has “a curly mind”



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