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Re: Common World Idioms

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Thursday, February 5, 2004, 20:06
En réponse à Steve Cooney :

>I disagree with Mark (was it) that "red handed" >does'nt mean anything in say, Esperanto. Though >Esperanto speakers come from an entirely different >planet (different "planet"=idiom?:)), they can still >make out the meaning of "the red hand" and "getting >caught" with one.
And I agree with Mark and disagree with you here. Before I learned through a book about idioms and their translations from English to French, I had no idea what it meant (I didn't even know it had anything with actually being caught. It's an idiom after all!). And even after I learned it meant: "être pris la main dans le sac": "to be caught with the hand in the handbag", I still couldn't imagine what logic would make it possible to guess this meaning from such an idiom as "red handed". Another idiom that mystified me for years was "to kick the bucket". I only learned the meaning of this idiom a year ago, after more than 10 years of English classes... Idioms are about the most difficult things to translate from language to language, any translator will tell you that. Using them in an international means of communication is a bad idea. Metaphor is extremely culture-centric ad thus not very fit for international communication, and common idioms are for that reason extremely rare, and must be considered as coincidences only. Christophe Grandsire. You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.


Steve Cooney <stevencooney@...>Common World Idioms - Christophe, Gary
Ph. D. <phild@...>
Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>
Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>