The Guindo (theguindo) wrote in little_details,
The Guindo

German vs. American idioms

So the story that I ask almost all of my questions for is narrated by a boy who comes from a place that is the equivalent of his world's Germany. However, at a young age (16, specifically) he runs away from it to the other major power which is equivalent to America.

It's first person, and the way it's written implies that he originally wrote it in his native language and it has been translated to English. Of course, this leaves room for different idioms. He doesn't use many himself (probably because I don't know any good German ones), but he enjoys hearing the "American" ones that people use because they're so different from what his people say.

My German textbook in high school had these really cool random little sections on idioms, but unfortunately I can't remember any of them. It gave the German phrase, the direct translation (which usually didn't make sense) and the Americanized translation. That's the way I'd like my responses, if you could.

So, I'd like to know some German idioms and their translations. Things like "thick as thieves," "cat got your tongue," "you look like death warmed over," "it's a bitch" (as in, "life's a bitch" but not necessarily using life as the subject). Those are specific ones that he quotes as unfamiliar or interesting in the story so far. If you have others they're certainly much appreciated.

Also, I'd like you to point out any random notions you may have of anything that he might be likely to get confused over when he hears the English and the direct German doesn't make sense to him.

Just in case it may be important, he was raised entirely on German, learning English in his school for two years (and we all know how proficient high school languages makes you). When he first immigrates there, he has a very low-level mastery of it (2nd or 3rd grade at best) but he learns and improves on it quickly. I feel he's still very likely to get confused about slang, however, but I know no decent slang for him to get confused by. Hence this post.
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