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German Idioms and Sayings
"Like English, German is rich with idioms and sayings. However, 'Don't count your chickens before they hatch' doesn't mean much when translated - German has its own version. To find out this and more have a go at this difficult, but interesting quiz."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
In English, someone who has all of life's comforts is said to 'live like a king'? In German, how is such a person said to live?
'like an actress in Hollywood'
'like God in France'
'like Caesar in Rome'
'like a fox in a rabbit hole'
In financial circles, which expression to German speakers commonly refer to as a lost cause?
an overcast day
a keg without a bottom
a nine-man team
a calf without it's mother
It's definitely true that silence is golden. In German this goes one step further. How?
Whispering is silver, silence is golden
Silence is golden, singing is platinum
Talking is silver, silence is golden.
Silence is golden, talking is dirt
In English if something is very difficult to understand, someone might say 'That's all Greek to me'. Translated, what is the German equivalent of this saying?
'I only understand railway station'
'Where does east meet west?'
'I can't read Egyptian'
'Where does the day begin and the night end?'
To go off on the wrong track is to bark up the wrong tree. What is a common equivalent in German?
to bet on the wrong horse
to look for peas in a fruit shop
to drink the wrong beer
to shoot the wrong target
According to old German weather proverbs, which month 'does what it wants'?
What do German speakers refer to colloquially as 'the upper class'?
'the kings of the realm'
'the powerful ones'
'the cream of the cake'
'the upper ten thousand'
Don't cut off your nose to spite your face ... But what shouldn't you do in German?
kill you the cow you get your milk from
knock out your tooth to spite your mouth
shoot your foe to damage his shirt
saw off the branch you are sitting on
It`s well known that the early bird catches the worm. But what happens in German?
The first light is made of gold
The sunrise has silver teeth
The morning hour has gold in its mouth
The owl cowers in the morning hour
As mentioned above, 'don't count your chickens before they hatch' wouldn't mean much directly translated. What is the German version of this idiom?
'one shouldn't praise the day before the night'
'a horse with a bridle is still a horse'
'don't drink your wine before you've harvested the grapes'
'one shouldn't look at a herring from behind'
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Compiled May 18 13