Chinese New Year 2016 – Monkeys in language

Chinese New Year 2016 marks the year of the monkey in the Chinese zodiac, and as we love language, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a look at references to monkeys in language, through idioms and phrases.

Monkey idioms

Être un singe sur une brancheFrench

Literal translation:  To be a monkey on a branch

Idiomatic translation: To be at home, in one’s natural habitat

To be a monkey on a branch

 

Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpyPolish

Literal translation:  Not my circus, not my monkeys

Idiomatic translation: Not my problem

Not my circus, not my monkeys

 

Saru mo ki kara ochiruJapanese

Literal translation:  Even monkeys fall from trees

Idiomatic translation: Everyone makes mistakes

Even monkeys fall from trees

 

Bandar kya jaane adrak ka swaad – Hindi

Literal translation:  What does a monkey know of the taste of ginger?

Idiomatic translation: Someone who can’t understand can’t appreciate

What does a monkey know of the taste of ginger?

In these idioms, we’ve included the literal translation as well as the ‘localised’ translation, so that it sounds correct in your language – English.
Service Levels Leaflet
If you’re unsure on which level of localisation is best for you and your business, download our services leaflet for more information.

Fiona

As well as being a self-confessed language geek and baking fanatic, Fiona is the Digital Marketing Manager at Capita Translation and Interpreting. When she's not writing blogs, she often dreams of touring France one patisserie at a time.

Twitter LinkedIn 



Share this story

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up