Off topic: The equivalent of “It’s all Greek to me” in 30 languages
Thread poster: RominaZ

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 9, 2015

This thread is part of the Translator playground: a place for translators to have fun, to network, to learn, and to hone their translation or linguistic skills. See the announcement here.

Need a quick break from work? In this forum translators and language professionals can share quotes about translation, tongue twisters and word plays, translation challenges, etc.

All are welcome to participate and to add new items to this and the other areas of the Translator playground; have fun with it! If you need help or would like to propose an addition to the Translator playground, contact site staff through the online support system.


English speakers say "It's all Greek to me" when they don't understand something. This infographic shows what the equivalent expression is in 30 other ‪#‎languages‬, many of which also use Greek, while for some others "it's all Chinese" or "it's all Arabic".




(click on the image to enlarge it)

Source: Washington Post

What's the equivalent in your language(s)?


 

Madeleine Chevassus  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:41
Member (2010)
English to French
en français Apr 9, 2015

"c'est du chinois"

or, for a French translation (familiar)

"c'est du français de vache espagnole" (:


 

Valeria Ancillotti
Germany
Local time: 21:41
Member (2010)
English to Italian
+ ...
In italiano Apr 9, 2015

Questo per me è arabo!
Per me è arabo!
Pe me parli arabo!


 

Natalia Ulla  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:41
English to Spanish
En español Apr 10, 2015

"Me suena a chino"
(It´s like chinese to me)


 

Khanda
Poland
Local time: 21:41
Polish to English
+ ...
Polish Apr 10, 2015

A small correction to the Washington post graph:

"It's Chinese to me" is used in this meaning.

an alternative saying with exactly the same meaning, slightly old school, but still very popular:
"tureckie kazanie" - lit. "a Turkish sermon", usually in the form "to sit like in a Turkish sermon" (e.g. "They were discussing the details of their job, and I was sitting there like in a Turkish sermon")

"Greek" is also used, but in a different saying:
"T
... See more
A small correction to the Washington post graph:

"It's Chinese to me" is used in this meaning.

an alternative saying with exactly the same meaning, slightly old school, but still very popular:
"tureckie kazanie" - lit. "a Turkish sermon", usually in the form "to sit like in a Turkish sermon" (e.g. "They were discussing the details of their job, and I was sitting there like in a Turkish sermon")

"Greek" is also used, but in a different saying:
"To play Greek" means to pretend not to understand or to play stupid.
Collapse


 

Cilian O'Tuama  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:41
German to English
+ ...
Maybe of interest Apr 10, 2015

http://www.proz.com/forum/lighter_side_of_trans_interp/170914-its_all_greek_dutch_chinese_to_me_which_one.html

 

Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 21:41
English to Italian
+ ...
Ahh is was so good when I could say it.... Jun 17, 2015

Valeria Ancillotti wrote:

Questo per me è arabo!
Per me è arabo!
Pe me parli arabo!



Now that I graduated in Arabic I adopted "It's all Gaelic to me"


@Khanda:
in Italian "To play Greek" is "fare orecchie da mercante" (literally =to play a merchant's ears)

[Edited at 2015-06-17 12:18 GMT]


 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:41
English to German
+ ...
German Jun 17, 2015

Verstehe nur Bahnhof.
Das sind für mich böhmische/spanische Dörfer.


 

Didde Gaardsted  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:41
English to Danish
Danish Jun 17, 2015

Det er det rene volapyk.

 


There is no moderator assigned specifically to this forum.
To report site rules violations or get help, please contact site staff »


The equivalent of “It’s all Greek to me” in 30 languages

Advanced search






SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
SDL Trados Business Manager Lite
Create customer quotes and invoices from within SDL Trados Studio

SDL Trados Business Manager Lite helps to simplify and speed up some of the daily tasks, such as invoicing and reporting, associated with running your freelance translation business.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search