There are no two ways about idioms: either tak’m or leav’em, but do not try to change or figure them out, in any language.
attended the universities of Duquesne and Pittsburgh, PA. He holds a Ph.D. from the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. He has compiled ten bilingual dictionaries, a four-volume English grammar for speakers of Spanish; a total of 34 published titles.
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Literal translations of idioms – don’t try to figure it out
Posted on September 21, 2012By D. Carbonell BassetEducation
Language is not logical, and does not have to be: it is an art, not a science. An idiom, for example, is an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements.
If we hear that someone has kicked the bucket we know he has died, and we never stop to think about kicking or buckets. We hear the words together, the idiomatic expression, and we react to them with a meaning that has nothing to do with its constituent elements, bucket, kick.
Language is not logical, and does not have to be: it is an art, not a science. An idiom, for example, is an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements. (Shutterstock)
We are mostly oblivious to the literal meaning of idioms and we do not consider dogs and cats in it’s raining cats and dogs, but rather the fact that it is pouring, raining very hard.
However, this is not the case when we study a foreign language, or when we compare two languages. Different languages have different idioms, which mostly escape us when translating literally.