Idioms are, whether we realize it or not, a huge part of everyday life. A penny for your thoughts? Idiom. Ball is in your court? Idiom. Kill two birds with one stone? Yet another idiom. Just as there is no direct way of saying these phrases in other languages, when we try to translate idioms from other countries, the results can be quite amusing.
“Tomaten auf den Augen haben.” This is a German idiom that means that you’re just not seeing the objects that everyone else is seeing. However, when translated to English, it means, “You have tomatoes on your eyes.”
“Att glida in på en räkmacka” is a popular Swedish phrase that refers to someone that didn’t have to put in the work to get to where they are. Translated to English, it means, “To slide on a shrimp sandwich” or “To slide on a shrimp bag.”
A popular French phrase goes, “Les carottes sont cuites!” This phrase means that the situation cannot be changed, but it translates to, “The carrots are cooked.”
In Germany, “Die Katze im Sack kaufen” is a way of saying that you bought something without first inspecting or checking in. The English translation is, “To buy a cat in a sack,” but the more commonly-used equivalent is “buying a pig in a poke.”
There is a Portuguese idiom that goes, “Empurrar com a barriga.” This translates to, “Push with the belly,” but is used to refer to postponing something important that needs to be done.