40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally

“Quem não tem cão.. Caça com gato”

TED Blog

Tomato_Eyes What does it mean to “have tomatoes on your eyes?” Find out below…

By Helene Batt and Kate Torgovnick May

It’s a piece of cake. You can’t put lipstick on a pig. Why add fuel to the fire? Idioms are those phrases that mean more than the sum of their words. As our Open Translation Project volunteers translate TED Talks into 105 languages, they’re often challenged to translate English idioms into their language. Which made us wonder: what are their favorite idioms in their own tongue?

Below, we asked translators to share their favorite idioms and how they would translate literally. The results are laugh-out-loud funny.

From German translator Johanna Pichler:

The idiom: Tomaten auf den Augen haben.
Literal translation: “You have tomatoes on your eyes.”
What it means: “You are not seeing what everyone else can see. It refers to real objects, though — not abstract meanings.”

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The TED Gift Guide

Interesting inspiration for Christmas gifts !

TED Blog

tedgiftguideBuying gifts? It is HARD. Especially when so many gift guides offer up ideas for what to get your dad, co-worker or sister without taking into account what actually interests those specific people in your life. A better way to locate the perfect gift? Think about what captures a person’s curiosity, and then seek ideas from people in that field. To get you started, we asked 10 members of the TED community — in a wide variety of fields — to share what they’d love to unwrap this season. Below, their gift-giving recommendations.

Gifts for travelers

Gift-Guide-travelerCurated by travel writer Pico Iyer, whose TED Book The Art of Stillness invites you to slow down, disconnect and reflect.

  1. “I’d love a year’s subscription to Monocle magazine.”
    .
  2. “A bottle of verbena-scented spray to help me feel at home — and fresh — wherever I happen to be.”
    .
  3. “ A…

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