Friday, March 26, 2010

Fun language tools

If you will recall my "mushroom" post, I discussed the difficulties of translating idioms into another language.

There is a great little book of Russian idioms with English counterparts. Part of what makes the book great are its illustrations. In fact, it's a fun exercise to cover up the words and try to see what the idiom is supposed to convey.

Can you guess the one to the left?*

I don't currently own the book, but it turns out that there is an online version, the source of the picture (which I don't own the rights to.) You can read the entries and look at the accompanying illustrations. Each entry has the Russian idiom, an approximate English translation, and a related idiom in English.

The book is called Русские фразеологизмы в картинках (A Book of Russian Idioms Illustrated) by M. I. Dubrovin, illustrated by V. I. Tilman. It was published in 1987 in Moscow by Russky Yazyk Publishers.

Check out the book online

*Look at the text that accompanies the picture/-


[sid'et' slozha ruki]
To sit with one's arms folded.
To be idle; to sit still doing nothing.
Cf. To sit twiddling one's thumbs.

(from the site

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