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Spanish Animal Idioms

Let’s delve into the fascinating realm of idiomatic expressions once again with a collection of Spanish animal idioms. ¡Vamos allá!

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, idioms, phraseology, expresiones idiomáticas, fraseología, linguistics

If someone behaves in a peculiar or crazy manner, it’s safe to say that he or she “está como una cabra”. This idiom literally means “to be like a goat” and originated among farmers. If you have ever observed goats derping around, it’s easy to see how aloof they are.

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, idioms, phraseology, expresiones idiomáticas, fraseología, linguistics

The expression “estar como pez en el agua” literally means “to be like fish in the water” and is used to indicate that people are in their element. Think about it: fish feel best in their natural watery habitats.

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, idioms, phraseology, expresiones idiomáticas, fraseología, linguistics

“Estar como un pulpo en un garaje”, literally “to be like an octopus in a garage”, means being lost or feeling out of place. It’s the counterpart of “estar como pez en el agua”. Think about it, an octopus in a garage: must be pretty confusing to be surrounded by all kinds of weirdly shaped tools and discarded junk.

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, idioms, phraseology, expresiones idiomáticas, fraseología, linguistics

The idiom “tener pájaros en la cabeza”, literally “to have birds in your head”, doesn’t mean that these flying creatures built a nest inside your skull. It refers to someone who is a bit naive and has rather unrealistic ideas, expectations or goals. Although this expression has mildly negative connotations, daydreamers are happy to embrace their birds in the head, and coined the saying “Prefiero tener pájaros en la cabeza que vivir en las jaulas de vuestra mente” 1.

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, idioms, phraseology, expresiones idiomáticas, fraseología, linguistics

“Ser un pez gordo”, literally “to be one fat fish”, means being the boss or the person in charge who makes the decisions and holds the power. Other interlinguistic equivalents of “the fat fish” are “das hohe Tier” (the big animal) in German or “Важная птица” (the important bird) in Russian. You don’t want to mess around with the idiomatic fauna!

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, idioms, phraseology, expresiones idiomáticas, fraseología, linguistics

The idiom “trabajar como un burro”, literally “to work like a donkey”, means to work extremely hard. The hardworking relative in English would be the horse or the dog.

Eso es todo, amigos. If you enjoyed this post, check out these funny Spanish food idioms.

The Fallacy of the Lonely Fact

I know most of you come here for the languages, but as long as I keep witnessing these displays of egotistical ignorance, the illustrations will keep rolling.

Expat Gone Foreign, Language and culture comics, discrimination, xenophobia, fallacy of the lonely fact, faulty generalization

In logic and reasoning, the fallacy of proof by example or fallacy of the lonely fact is a conclusive statement about a given phenomenon based on one single supporting case 2.

Interestingly enough, these statements mostly come from white expats living in Europe. Yes, you are abroad. No, the fact that you haven’t experienced discrimination based on your nationality, cultural background or appearance does not mean that xenophobia and racism don’t exist. Once again, check your privilege.

If you liked this illustration, keep browsing here.

Schwyzdüütsch a.k.a. Swiss German

If you are into languages, you are probably familiar with those conversations with your multilingual friends: you take arbitrary elements from the languages you both speak, and randomly squeeze them together into sentences. That is any regular Monday for the Swiss. Schwyzdüütsch, a.k.a. Swiss German is a colorful amalgamation of German, French and Italian.

Expat Gone Foreign, language comic, Schwyzerdütsch, Swiss German, French, linguistics

Fun Finnish Words

Languages abound in peculiar compound words, and one particular language has a handful of them. Today we are taking a look at some fun Finnish words. Aloitetaan!

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, Learning Finnish, Suomi, Funny words, compounds

Lohikäärme (lit. salmon snake) is a dragon.
Fun fauna at its finest.

 

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, Learning Finnish, Suomi, Funny words, compounds

Jääkaappi (lit. ice closet) is a fridge.
It’s only logical.

 

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, Learning Finnish, Suomi, Funny words, compounds

Pesusieni (lit. wash fungus) is a sponge.
Showers just became much more fun!

 

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, Learning Finnish, Suomi, Funny words, compounds

Kattokruunu (lit. ceiling crown) is a chandelier.
Because homes also want to be pretty.

 

Expat Gone Foreign, Language comics, Learning Finnish, Suomi, Funny words, compounds

I saved my favorite for last. Tietokone (lit. knowledge machine) is a computer.
Bleepity bloopity bloop!

 

That’s it for today. If you enjoyed this article, check out Untranslatable Finnish Words and Poronkusema and the Finnish Linguistic Landscape. Näkemiin!