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  • Writer's pictureprimetronx1

The Romance Languages and English

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

Has it ever happened to you that you want to say an idiom or any colloquial expression in English the same way you say it in your mother tongue? It just doesn't make sense. It occurs all the time, especially when you speak Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, or Romanian. Remember, idioms aren't going to be expressed literally in English. What's the reason? Even though English comes somehow from Latin, it has a unique form of expressing the core of the statement to be said; it makes the English language a challenging one.

Let's talk about an idiom that in Portuguese and Spanish are expressed the same way: "Cão que ladra não morde" and "Perro que ladra no muerde." If we tried to say this idiom literally in English, we would say: "Dog that barks never bites" If you say it like this, it doesn't make any sense.

As you can read, this idiom is said very similarly both in Portuguese and Spanish. However, in the English language, the way you say this is different; we say: "All bark and no bite." Notice that in the English language, you never mention a dog. It occurs because you never say anything literally from any other language to English (there may be some exceptions). It's so unlikely that you can express an idiom or proverb from your language to English.

Never try to translate something literally to English.

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