Foreign words with a strange translation and meaning

Anyone who has studied foreign languages, knows that for the automatic translation of the text and let the app useful, but sometimes tricky issue such verbal constructions that narrating. Some words and phrases in foreign languages ​​being translated word for word, immediately catch the eye of its strangeness and lack of logic.

Foreign words with a strange translation and meaning

On the other hand, literal translations, if they are done correctly, can help language learners understand the origin of the word and give an idea of ​​how different cultures perceive different objects. In this article we have tried to pick up 10 of the most interesting and unusual literal translations of foreign words.

CHUỘT TÚI // Rat with pocket

Value: Kangaroo

Language: Vietnamese

Many of the animal names in the Vietnamese language sound like a group of comedians came to the zoo and began to describe the animals as they see them. For example, the shark is "fat fish" skunk - "stinking fox", as a baboon - "a monkey with a dog's head," that is, according to the description, some creepy creature with which you are unlikely to want to meet.

SMÖRGÅS // Oil goose

Value: Sandwich


Literally translated as the word gås goose, but in the etymological dictionary, you can find a second meaning: "a piece of butter." Smör, oddly enough, also it means oil, it turns out that in a literal translation smörgås will mean either "goose oil", or "oil oil". But somehow miraculously it means a sandwich.

PAPIER VAMPIER // Paper vampire

Meaning: Stapler

Language: Afrikaans

In Afrikaans in general, there are many words that are quite funny, if literally translated into Russian. Thus, the popcorn is "jumping corn" chameleon - "walking softly," and "fly-on-the-shoulder" means annoying or unwelcome adviser.

DIAN NAO // Electric brain

Meaning: Computer

Language: Mandarin Chinese

The Chinese language is built on a completely different principle than the European languages ​​- each character in it represents a word. And now, instead of inventing a new character of the computer, the Chinese simply combined the two old - and get an electric cord.

BERGMAL // Language mountains

Value: Echo

Language: Icelandic

How poetic Icelanders themselves explain the meaning of his words: "Echo is usually reflected on the rocks and the walls as if it is their means of communication, their own language."

SCHLAGZEUG // Thing for strikes

Meaning: Drum


In German the word zeug (thing) originally meant something that can be used, in other words the tool. Now it is found in the designation of a plurality of articles, such as aircraft - flugzeug (flying thing) Lighter - feuerzeug (fiery thing), or a toy - spielzeug (thing for games).

GAESALAPPIR // Crow's feet

Value: Quotes

Language: Icelandic

Again Icelandic. The inhabitants of this country, it seems, a very peculiar view of the world - to take at least the fact that they cross the placenta called "uterine cake" and marriage "purchase of the bride."

AIN HTAUNG // Home Prison

Value: Marriage, marriage

Language: Burmese

Icelanders are not the only ones so unfriendly speaks of marriage - at least judging by the literal translation. Burmese htaung verb in the phrase ain htaung (to marry) is used in the same sense as in the phrase htaung kya, which can be translated as "go to jail".


Value: Vacuum


Danes seem to be in solidarity with the Russian in the fact that the main purpose of a vacuum cleaner - suck dust, here and named it accordingly. However, one can only wonder why their language is scrambled "egg mirror", the hose is the "garden snake" and a raccoon - "washable bear."