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Can someone confirm whether this phrase can translate into it's closer literal equivalent of "one hand washes the other"?
"One hand washes the other" is a phrase in English with almost the exact same meaning as "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours", but is usually used more clandestinely. For example for corruption, "I'll give you a mensalão if you vote on my bill, one hand washes the other".
One hand washes the other is an English phrase. If you haven't seen the movie adaptation of the musical "Chicago" starring queen latifah, Richard Greer, and Renee zellwigger, you should. Mama Morton has a song, "When you're good to mama" in which the character sings, "Don't you know that this hand washes that one ([ her other hand]) too?"
Long story, sorry.
"One good turn deserves another" says that when a good deed or act (good turn) is done then it deserves to be followed by another. It's used to tell someone why you might be doing something. "No need to thank me. I helped you rake your lawn, because you helped me fix my gutters. One good deed deserves another."
For scratch "scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" (not sure they accept that answer), it indicates that if you were to do something to help me, I could do something to help you. "If you help me with my gutters, I'll help you rake your lawn. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. "
I would add, ""one good turn deserves another" is usually said when rewarding selfless acts of kindness.
"You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" is used to motivate a selfish person to do something by offering a reward. It appeals to the "What's in it for me?" attitude. It can be used in shady dealings to offer a bribe without actually speaking incriminating words. For example, a land developer who is having trouble getting required permits might tell a bureaucrat, "you scratch your back, I'll scratch yours." The land developer didn't explicitely ask for help with the permits, nor did he explicitely state the reward he would give. Regardless, the bureaucrat would understand the coded message and would know that a bribe was being offered.
"One good turn deserves another" is much less sinister. It is said when responding to another's act of unsolicited kindness by doing something equally kind.
Yes, I believe so :) I've got the definition from here: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/One+good+turn+deserves+another
"You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" is something with a more negative connotation in America, I'd say. Usually when used it's used by a bad guy helping out a good guy with no other choice and the badguy's going to use it as blackmail later. "One good turn deserves another" is more friendly here, but hardly used, as far as I know. Haven't heard it in a long time...