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  5. "Li estas malriĉa kiel preĝej…

"Li estas malriĉa kiel preĝeja muso."

Translation:He is poor as a church mouse.

July 14, 2015



"He's poor as a church mouse" is an English idiom, and apparently used in Esperanto too.


Which I, as an american native speaker, has never heard before.


It might not exist in American English, but it certainly does in British English, amongst others. I believe it also exists as an idiom in German, and possibly other languages. Google should give more information on the idiom: https://www.google.com/search?q=%22poor+as+a+church+mouse%22


I've never heard this idiom before, but it reminds me of the mouse from that Robin Hood cartoon.


I think that was an intentional reference to the idiom.


Also exists in Hungarian. Probably that mouse in the Robin Hood cartoon was based on this idiom (that's what I thought when I first saw that cartoon).


Yeah, it's pretty common in German: "Arm wie eine Kirchenmaus."


It's the same in Russian


It exists in the American South. My mother is quite fond of the idiom.


I live in Arkansas and I've never heard it


In Danish it is slighty different but more gross. Here we talk about poor church RATS


Same in Swedish.


Yes, it also exists in Russian.


I agree with the British thing, we use British English here. Nobody uses that saying here but it was in our English books in primary school.


My mother has used it quite often since I can remember, and I an from Virginia


It also exists in Czech and Slovak languages.


Used to be well known in Minnesota. There are a lot of idioms fading because parents don't read the classic fairy tales to their kids any more.


I've heard it a few times, but definitely not frequently.


Yeah, thanks. Found out. :P


We use it in the UK. And we say "As quiet as church mice" :)


My question is about the omission of "as" before poor. He is "as" poor as a church mouse. Without this it just doesn't sound right to me.


It's not only that; without it, it is grammatically incorrect.


No, "as" can be omitted and still be gramatically correct.


Of course, but it would then mean "When he works as a mouse, he is poor."

"He's bad as an actor, but pretty decent as a writer". "He's poor as a church mouse but when he reincarnates as a house cat, he'll be pretty well-off."


poor, like a church mouse?


I think it's funny that so many people from England and the US think they speak for the entire country when they have never heard an expression, or heard it in a slightly different way. What is this competition?


I've only ever heard "quiet as a church mouse".


Shouldn't it be "he is AS poor as a church mouse?"


Yes, unless he actually is a church mouse, and that is the reason he is poor. I’m only halfway through the course, but I’ve come to distrust both the English and Esperanto skills of the coursemakers somewhat. Also it makes me wonder how many mistakes were in the course when it was new when after almost four years it is still full of them.


What? "He is poor as a church mouse," is perfectly good English and has the intended meaning.

You can read it to mean "As a church mouse, he is poor," if you want, I guess, but that is neither the only nor the most common reading.


Well I'm a native English speaker, and it certainly isn't grammatical to my ears. Since people on both sides are so sure of this, it must be a dialectal difference.


For some reason this is just wrong to me without the first as, and most examples online show the "as ... as" format, but there are some "was ... as" examples that also sound perfectly natural. Unfortunately, without the first "as" in english, the meaning can be completely misinterpreted as a simile (see, right here, not a simile). If someone said to me "He is poor as a church mouse" my response would be "Tell him to get another job". So while correct english, it does not translate from the intended "kiel" of Esperanto. I would either write:

  • He is as poor as ...
  • He is poor like ...


"As poor as a church mouse" is the English usage I am familiar with. Poor as a church mouse is grammatically correct, but not the the traditional saying (and doesn't mean the same thing).


Either with or without is perfectly correct English grammar. Simile vs. metaphor.


Noh, not really. There are times when "as" can be omitted; this isn't one of those times because it immediately employs the other function of "as" - signifying the state/the status. Trust me, I did a Master's thesis on similes.


I'm confused about the construct tiel ... kiel versus how kiel is user alone in this sentence. Do they both translate to as ... as* in english? If so, what is the difference?


Yes, they both translate to as…as. There is no difference, you can omit tiel if it does not make the meaning unclear.


OK. That is my confusion. I did not think one omits things in Esperanto. That is why I came to this thread to try to find out why this is not tiel...kiel.


This idiom is used in Polish as well.


I have heard it in Spanish


Wait, so does "pregxa" mean "pray"? As in, "pregxeja" is a place of praying, aka a church? In that case, does pregxeja also mean temple/mosque/synagogue/etc.?


Yes: preĝejo can mean any place of adoration, of any religion. For example, Vortaro.net defines moskeo as "preĝejo" with the symbol of Islam (http://vortaro.net/#moskeo). https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9021838$comment_id=9158446


Mi neniam aŭdis tion en francio!


Me neither !!! It's weird to be in the position where you don't know an expression and have to learn it by heart just because it exists in other languages ..... How many idiomatic expressions have been translated into esperanto ??

Well : there is 'mono ne kreskas sur arboj" , what else ?


Interesting, I didn't even know that you can say that in english. We use it in German too.


I'm from the northeast US, and grew up with both "as poor as a church mouse" and "as quiet as a church mouse." It's interesting to see that both sayings are found in other languages, too. I am going to report that "as poor as" should also be considered correct.


Interesting. My grandmother used to say that, but my family is brazilian for generations!


La pastro prendis lian monon, kaj la pastro estas lian soifan aŭton.


Li estas malriĉa simila al preĝeja muso, aŭ estanta preĝeja muso? Ĉu "kiel" estas dusenca ĉi tie?


Does anyone else have problems with sound sometimes. There are some questions that just don't have any sound and yet I am supposed to write/construct a sentence. Unfortunately, without knowing the sentence, I'm likely to get it wrong.

The "report" option does have "No sound". So reporting it doesn't really work.


I am having the same problem. When it happens, I have to close and reopen the browser to fix it. It happens only in the website, the app is working fine.


Exists in my language too.


1) For someone reason I read this quickly and thought it was "music" and not mouse which made not sense to me. 2) After seeing what it really was this still make no sense to me, I have never heard this before.


Read the other comments. This saying is common for many languages.


Surely, "AS poor as a church mouse" is more correct.

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