Lost in Translation

Even after 11 years here, I can still find myself lost in translation. Seriously.

Sometimes my colleagues will toss a joke or an idiom my way, and it flies waaaaay over my head. I don’t always almost never get the French punchline or the underlying meaning. But I always ask, because my fake pretend-I-get-it laugh is really really fake.

So I am rather enjoying the new campaign by iDBUS for their one year anniversary. They are also offering a competition on their facebook page. Contribute your story of how you’ve been #LostInTranslation and perhaps you’ll win a iDBUS ticket to a destinatin of your choice!

Lost in Translation by iDBUS

Lost In Translation – An infographic created by iDBUS coach travel


But their celebratory campaign is also a fun way to learn different idioms in French or English and their counterparts. It can get pretty funny when you translate literally!

"It's raining Cats and dogs" (French equivalent : Il pleut des cordes = It's raining ropes)
« It’s raining Cats and dogs » (French equivalent : Il pleut des cordes = It’s raining ropes)
"To have a bigger fish to fry" (French equivalent : avior d'autres chats à fouetter = to have other cats to whip)
« To have a bigger fish to fry » (French equivalent : avior d’autres chats à fouetter = to have other cats to whip)

And while you are at it, check out their super cheap prices for travel in Europe! When I used to work in study abroad, many of my students would use the bus systems to get around for less but it was always a hassle for them. iDBus makes it easier. I wish I had had that when I was 19…

Here’s some more idioms I’d like to see them illustrate :

« Être aux anges » (to be with the angles) = The be over the moon.

« Avoir un chat dans la gorge » (to have a cat in your throat) = To have a frog in your throat.

« Coûter la peau des fesses » (costs the skin off your ass) = To cost an arm and a leg.

« Se plier en quatre » ( to bend oneself in four) = To bend over backwards.

« Prendre son pied » (to take one’s foot) = To get your kicks.

Check back on their facebook page to see others!

  3 comments for “Lost in Translation

  1. 27 septembre 2013 at 22:10
  2. 20 octobre 2013 at 10:07

    I love to discover the literal translations of some French expressions. It always make me laugh so much. And there are so many!

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