Od :
Pre :

Slovak/English Language and Idiomatic Expressions


All languages are full of idioms and native speakers use them spontaneously without even thinking about their figurative and metaphorical nature. Language learners generally find idioms difficult to understand as their meaning cannot be usually deducted from the literal translation. They are widely assumed to be figures of speech and are not considered only to be a part of the language, but also a part of the culture itself.

Linguists used to believe that idioms were completely arbitrary but we know that many idioms can be explained after all. If they are presented as non-arbitrary features of language, learners find them much easier to understand and remember. Practically, one of the most effective ways of mastering them is to know their origins and the ways they can be varied.

Many idioms are derived from our general physical experiences: entertainment, war, history, sport, games, business, work, sailing etc., and they reflect different cultural, ethnical, political etc. backgrounds. As the culture of the language varies, so varies the origins of the idioms as well. When we compare English and Slovak idioms we can see that the great majority of these idioms differ in their expression form and sometimes it is really very difficult to find their exact counterparts and translate them correctly. To help you more easily understand these differences we have provided you with some interesting idioms and their literal meanings too.


English idioms/Literal Slovak translation

To buy a pig in a poke (Kúpiť prasa vo vreci)

To pull one´s leg (Ťahať niekoho za nohu)

Cool as a cucumber (Chladný ako uhorka)

As fresh as a daisy (Čerstvý ako sedmokráska)

It is all Greek to me (Je to pre mňa ako gréčtina)

As useless as teats on a bull (Je to užitočné ako býkovi vemeno)

To beat around the bush (Chodiť okolo kríkov)

To be in somebody else’s shoes (Byť v topánkach niekoho iného)

When in Rome do as the Romans do (Keď si v Ríme, správaj sa ako sa Rimania správajú)


Slovak idioms /Literal English translation

Kúpiť mačku vo vreci (To buy a cat in a poke)

Ťahať niekoho za nos (To pull one´s nose)

Pokojný ako Angličan (Calm as an Englishman)

Čerstvý ako rybička (Fresh as fish)

Je to pre mňa španielska dedina (It is all a Spanish village to me)

Je mi to platné ako mŕtvemu kabát (This is as useful to me as a coat to the dead)

Chodiť okolo horúcej kaše (To walk around hot porridge)

Byť v koži niekoho iného (To be in the skin of somebody else)

Ak chceš s vlkmi žiť, musíš s nimi vyť (If you want to live with wolves you have to howl with them)



By Beata Pašková
Photo: iStockPhoto

pridať komentár | zobraziť komentáre(0)

Pridaj reakciu




Všetky | Turistika | Biznis | Nehnuteľnosti | Komunita | Kultúra | Kalendár | Extra