1. Christine Cholette
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    Christine Cholette Member

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    Million Dollar Idiom --- Transferred to other languages

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Christine Cholette, Mar 23, 2014.

    Curious about how to reword the common term "a million dollar question" or "like a million dollars". They all end in 'dollars' but if it were a British person speaking ... such as "felt like she was negogiating a million-dollar deal."

    How would I reword this? A million quid?

    Thanks!
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Idioms don't usually translate directly, rather each language has their own. There are Brits on the forum, perhaps they can tell you what the equivalent is?

    I have the same issue with 'miles'. I'm using kilometers but "kilometers apart" just doesn't flow off the tongue or have the same connotation to me as "miles apart".

    Perhaps while they're at a some Brits might also share insights on describing long distances.
     
  3. Christine Cholette
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    Christine Cholette Member

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    Yes I have noticed that it is hard for, say a Canadian english writer, to write from the perspective of a british or american character. I have definitely used 'miles apart' during regular speech and I am Canadian. Some idioms, I gather, need to stay as they are or they just sound funny. The money one I'm not so sure about though.
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I grew up Canadian, too, and I came to terms with the miles/kilometers thing long ago. I use miles. :)

    The simple fact that we formally use the metric system in Canada doesn't mean that the word "miles" no longer has meaning. It means what it always did, even if the unit has been displaced from the formal measurement system. Tradition has given "miles" a more poetic quality than "kilometers." I have no problem preferring "miles."

    I'm not British, but I have heard British people use "dollars." They might use "quid" or "pounds," but I doubt they'd use "Euros." :)
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Let's not forget that in the U.S., the phrase in for a penny, in for a pound is still very much in use and makes reference to U.K. currency, not weights. Sometimes there's just no telling how an idiom will or won't survive crossing a language. ;) Though @GingerCoffee is correct that most often languages and cultures have their own sayings to express certain things, and there simply isn't any need to borrow.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Penny wise, pound foolish comes to mind.
     

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