Hello everyone! This discussion is about Idioms. So, what I want you to do is tell me your favorite idiom in any language you want!! Here is how you write your answer in the comments

  1. Write the language of your choosing
  2. Write your favorite Idiom in that language
  3. Explain what the Idiom means
  4. Write the literal translation of that language

That's pretty much it. I hope you guys have fun telling us your favorite Idiom/s. Thanks!

November 6, 2017


Hi SamuelCristea, I often look forward to seeing what's inside new discussions you've made ^_^

A couple of years ago, I started altering idioms to make them Duolingo themed. However, where I might view the original negatively, I might view the new one positively, or vice versa and such. So, people can take what impression they will from these new iterations. I hope it's ok to share them here:

Language: English
It takes two to Tagalog. It takes two people to share a conversation. (Originally: "It takes two to tango." When someone tries to put all of the blame on one person when they both share the guilt, the person being blamed says "It takes two to tango." To point out it out.)

Barking up the wrong language tree. This one can have several interpretations. Taking one course when you should have taken another. Expecting one set of grammar that belongs to a different language. We see that happen a lot in the sentence discussion forums. Someone insists that the original sentence is wrong because when they do a direct translation into their native language, it sounds odd. I'd love to read other's interpretations of it. ^_^ (Originally: Barking up the wrong tree. "If you are barking up the wrong tree, it means that you have completely misunderstood something or are totally wrong." Source

Drastic times call for nine trees. Who hasn't signed up for another course because they were bored, procrastinating, or experiencing a life crisis? (Originally: "Drastic times call for drastic measures." When someone finds themselves in an extreme situation, sometimes they have to take extreme actions. I've usually come across this idiom when someone was trying to justify taking some unethical measure to someone else. So, it generally has a negative connotation to me. But, I can think of exceptions, such as when someone takes great personal risk to help others. Source

Every cloud has an A/B test. This was a bit tongue in cheek. Duolingo has literally a/b tested the number of tears sad Duo should cry, to see if it would make a difference in retention. And, shockingly, the number made a big difference! Every detail on Duolingo has or will be tested against a million other details. I am simultaneously frustrated and appreciative of the meticulous attention to detail. (Originally: "Every cloud has a silver lining." means that "means that you should never feel hopeless because difficult times always lead to better days. Difficult times are like dark clouds that pass overhead and block the sun." Source. I'm not fond of this Idiom along with its close relative "Everything happens for a reason." The latter I dislike magnitudes more than the former. (If someone tells me that cancer happens for a reason, I want to have a serious talk with the reasoner who felt that cancer was an appropriate route to something further down the way. This was one step along the way to why I am no longer religious.))

Climb two trees with one ladder. This is a reference to laddering between languages. Say, if I learn Spanish from English. Then, I can continue to practice Spanish while learning yet another language if I take a course that has Spanish as its base language. For instance, learning German from Spanish. That is called "laddering". (Originally: "To kill two birds with one stone." To achieve two things at once. (Those poor birds though right??)

Click for screenshots of the idiom posts

Hey Usagiboy7! Thank you joining this discussion. I really love it when you comment because you always are so descriptive and I love to read what you have to say. This is so interesting, I love these idioms so much that I'm going to start using them!!

I love these idioms so much that I'm going to start using them!!

Yesss! xD

I really, like your idioms, they are very good, My idiom is terrible compared to all of yours.....

Don't get discouraged. Practice makes a golden tree, afterall :)
  1. Romanian
  2. My favorite idiom in Romanian is: a freca menta
  3. This idiom means to waste time or to do nothing
  4. The literal translation is to rub the mint

Here is a video of more Romanian idioms:

Also, the idiom "piece of cake" in Romanian is "floare la ureche" which literally means flower behind the ear

Not 100% sure if this is an idiom, but I will add it.

Opening Pandora's box is an expression that is used in English to talk about bringing out or up a lot of stuff that is bad. That is not even just an English thing because it is from Greek folklore, but I like it, and it is an expression that is used in english.

Para el castellano,

A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda

Who gets up early will be helped by god, essentially. Wouldn't say its my favorite, wouldn't say its that interesting, wouldn't say I say it that much, but its an idiom I know in Spanish. I typically try to translate my idioms to Spanish, or just make up new ones—like for example, thinking outside the box is not an expression they use in Spain in Spanish. But I like translating them anyway and making up new ones, because it is fun.

In English,

"Hit the road." It means to leave. There's a series of books I read as a child with a protagonist named Amelia Bedelia who takes idioms and expressions literally. When told to "hit the road," she picked up a stick and started literally hitting the road, and this image has stuck with me for years.

"Bite it." It can mean to die, or it can mean to fall. It's not used very much where I live, but one of my favorite professors was from out of town and he said it a lot. I just thought it sounded folksy so I like it.

"Throw under the bus." It means to betray someone or make them a scapegoat. I have a very visual mind and every time I hear this phrase, I get a humorous g-rated mental image of this happening.

In Spanish,

"Dar papaya." I hear that this is specific to Colombia. It literally means to give a papaya (a fruit), but the expression means "don't make yourself vulnerable."

"Dar gato por liebre." I heard this from a Jesse & Joy song, and it literally means to give a cat for a rabbit. The expression means to deceive or scam someone.

In Tagalog,

"Nagmumurang kamatis." It literally means under-ripe tomato, but this is what you call an older person who tries to look younger by wearing clothes inappropriate for their age.
  1. German
  2. Glück im Unglück
  3. This means that something seemed bad at the begging but in the end you realized that it was good.
  4. Blessing in Disguise. I picked this one, because I have a habit, of thinking the worse of things, Even though in the end up positive things happen. SamuelCristea, What is your favorite idiom? If you care to share....Thanks....Sorry my response is 15 hours late....Also a lingot for another great discussion....

Ah, found it! That's not a bad go at all! ^_^

Thanks sorry my response is late tho....:)

[deactivated user]

    Language: Tagalog. Favorite Idioms:

    1. "Suntok sa buwan" and
    2. "Maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan."

    3. "Suntok sa buwan" means an attempt that is next to impossible to bring about positive results.

    4. "Maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan" means all hell will break loose if a particular thing (that someone has been warned not to do) were to happen.

    Suntok sa buwan literally means "punch to the moon." (In Tagalog, it has a mostly negative meaning, but I like it because despite the overwhelming odds that it connotes, it still offers a glimmer of hope if you're willing to take a risk (albeit, a huge one).

    "Maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan" literally means "The peel will get mixed with the thing that was already peeled." The mixing of what is clean and what is dirty alludes to how there will be complete chaos once something has been done.

    Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.