1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. "Li estas malriĉa kiel preĝej…

"Li estas malriĉa kiel preĝeja muso."

Translation:He is poor as a church mouse.

July 14, 2015

59 Comments

Sorted by top post

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StefanoSolgreno

What?!

July 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

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

July 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RomajiAmulo

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

August 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/talideon

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

August 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drakovyrn

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

October 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StrangaStrigo

I think that was an intentional reference to the idiom.

February 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RonKirschl

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

January 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpet

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).

June 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shadowofthemoon

It's the same in Russian

November 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scadwyn

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

March 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VenturerWild

I live in Arkansas and I've never heard it

November 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaArakido

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

June 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AANickFan

Same in Swedish.

March 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GEOvanneGEO

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.

November 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul.Schwarzwald

Yes, it also exists in Russian.

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JBHayven

Also in Polish.

February 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blueandnerdy

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

October 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scadwyn

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

March 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/randomlinguist

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.

November 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StefanoSolgreno

Yeah, thanks. Found out. :P

July 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kbalara

Unfortunately it is just one drop of this new giant wave of anglicisms into esperanto. It is so sad.

July 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shady330

Well Esperanto is about uniting the world regardless of belief/race/ethnicity I think it's using this sentence is as fair as using any other.

August 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kbalara

Ok it's ok that eo is taking knowledge from the national langs, but if you look at it slowly, you will see that there is a kind of notwritten rule for only take English terms in. If a person tries to make it from Spanish, Japanese, Swahili or others langs everybody gets crazy. There are even new anglicisms for already existing esperanto words! (t-ŝirto instead of plaĝĉemizo, paradi instead of defili).

If eo community will accept words and terms they should come freely from any language, not only from English.

August 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shady330

With that I totally agree, truth is I don't like national languages being international as it says that this nation is the best and that you should learn it's tounge and slang it's sort of like placing your nation under theirs, but languages like esperanto are perfect for being an international language, it's simple doesn't take too long to master and have clear rules, no slang and treats everyone equally a perfect language to make international!

August 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lyubomirv

I agree with you generally, but we have this particular saying in Bulgarian too, so I would assume it may also be present in other Slavic languages.

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BryanCreer

Really? Usage seems t me to be overwhelmingly Usona. For instance, in the UK a bathroom is a room with a bath in it.

March 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noisytoot

What‽

December 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLw150yTOC

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

August 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Niewand

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.

July 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/camcamcam753

poor, like a church mouse?

November 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lingjoe

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

June 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/randomlinguist

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

November 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/niamhwitch

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

March 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amikigisto

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?

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lyubomirv

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

March 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sdtrask1

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.

March 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DominicSal294966

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

October 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/randomlinguist

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

November 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HokonoSerejdo

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.

October 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KillTheFuture

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.

May 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yulex

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.

July 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patty13647

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?

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulioR25

I have heard it in Spanish

January 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonathan702819

Mi neniam aŭdis tion en francio!

May 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleanthe3

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 ?

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Henroriro

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

April 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/voidIndigo

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

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SavvyAdam

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.

April 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lyubomirv

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

April 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AcerMapleB

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.?

May 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danielqsc

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

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeFenger

This idiom is used in Polish as well.

March 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Voynich1024

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

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HokonoSerejdo

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

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VirgilSchmidt

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.

September 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/voidIndigo

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.

September 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenMLee

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.

July 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OwlTine

Exists in my language too.

August 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JakubK666

So this is a Polish lesson, but in Esperanto. Great!

September 19, 2018
Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.