I once had a tree house. My father and my best friends’ father built it into the majestic fir tree in our garden. I still picture them, fathers of two six-year old girls, wearing chequered flannel shirts and old jeans. They worked the entire summer weekend: sawing, drinking sips of beer, hammering together boards of wood. At the end of the weekend they had created an impressively large wooden platform, hidden under the wide branches of the fir tree.
Though the languages we use may differ, the things we try to express are similar. Idioms are present in all languages, but most of the time our choice of words differs widely. Understanding an idiom requires more than just an understanding of the words. Below you will find 25 Finnish idioms and their literal English translations. See how many meanings you can guess with just the literal translation. The answers are found at the end of the article.
Buongiorno in the morning
Dazed waiting for coffee to brew
Breadcrumbs on the windowsill
Crunchy but soft focaccia just out of the oven
Red geraniums looking out from balconies
She is religious
She is strong
She is brave
She is humble
In a royal white mantle all gleaming,
waves and flames: It is the Bookworm.
Of all the animals that live between the pages of books, the Metathetical Worm is surely the most destructive. None of its ilk can equal it. Not even the Capital Phagebug, which eats the capital letters, or the Mooth, a small hymenopteron, which eats the double letters with a preference for the M’s and the N’s, and gluttonously devours words such as “millennium” and “mammary.”