# This is the second part of this article; the first part is available here.
An inescapable aspect of a country’s culture is its language and anyone who has already ventured into “linguae incognita” knows certainly the feeling of being lost among little (or not at all) familiar words and expressions. Or, as in Sofia Coppola’s film title, being “Lost in Translation”.
But the most amusing situations happen when, with a minimum of knowledge of the language, we are faced with misunderstandings or expressions that, after being translated, seem to us merely weird and even hilarious. Here are some examples.
When you go to Malaysia to “eat wind” (go on a vacation), “do not think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm” and remember to “prepare the umbrella before it rains” (the same as saying that prevention is better what to remedy). And if you are looking for more practical advice you know that “to fold a bamboo, it starts as long as it is just a shoot” and that “if you plant grass, you will not harvest rice.”
Already in Morocco, choose “first the neighbor, then the house” (which according to some interpretations of Islam means 40 houses in each direction). Those who live carefree should be careful because “your donkey will give birth to a concern” and it is good to know that “entering the hammam is not the same as leaving.” Finally, a pertinent question: “If a man told you that a dog ran away with your ear, should you first look for the dog or your ear?”
In Mexico, “a person does not need to study to be an idiot,” so “before you have wings you do not want to fly” (be patient) and “the sleeping shrimp is carried by the current” or, in other words, you should not ” stay throwing the egg “(do not be lazy). When things do not go well it is a case to say that “in bad weather, good face” and “when taking a false step, walk fast.”
Much by the influence of its history, Mongolia has a saying that says a lot of the mentality of its people, “it is better to suffer with its government than to play and to be governed”. That said, it is not worth “being like the rat hanged because of the state” (individual efforts do not interfere with the functioning of government) and “the rich eat carrots or candles is none of your business” you with what concerns you).
Nepal is often associated with spirituality and some of its popular sayings reflect that. There are advice on how to work “diamonds cut diamonds and iron cuts iron” and “those who work appreciate the fruits of work”; life teachings such as “an extra minute offers hundreds of options”, “acts like a tiger at home and like a jackal in the woods”; and reflections on poverty as “a hungry person can not write philosophy” and “a half slice of bread is better than no bread”.
As in other Latin countries, Peru has some typical expressions of its people, as when someone is said to be “between Pisco and Nazca” (drunk, because in this region produces a famous alcoholic beverage). In this case it can be said that “it is the same chola [woman] with a different skirt” (when someone seems to be different from what it really is), and that it can end the night “being a pineapple” (having bad luck).
As soon as you meet in any bar in Russia, you think it’s better to “pull the tail of the cat” (procrastinate) than to “spoil the wood from the stove” (get drunk and do something you regret), such as ” peel a turnip because of pepper “(hit or punch someone). And when you’re talking to someone who is “tapping their ears” (not paying attention), you can even “hang dough on their ears” (tell a lie) that everything will stop “under the dog’s tail” (the effort is in go).
In São Tomé the pace of life is “light-weight” and two languages are spoken: Portuguese and Sao Tome. Being a tropical island, everyone knows that “the sea is salty, but the fish that is there is insipid” and that “the ripe banana will never turn green.” Here it is believed that “luck is above knowledge” and that “the well-washed house is soon known by the stairs”.
In Thailand, “wasting a little is difficult, but wasting a lot is easy” (ie “cheap is expensive”) so “do not use shrimp as fish bait” (you have to spend money to make money), even if you have “A long neck” (extravagant tastes). But be careful not to “run the tiger to find a crocodile” and above all you should not “put the blame on the flute and the drum when you are the one who dances badly”.
You know you’re in Uzbekistan when “even rotten water extinguishes a fire.” And, according to popular wisdom, “it is easier to catch a horse that has escaped than to bring back a word that has run away.” It is also said that “a cat does not go out without reason”, that “if a camel needs something, he stretches his neck” and that “an empty hand does not attract the hawk.”
Welcome to Vietnam where you must “eat as in the north and dress as in the south”! Speaking of food you should “eat with the will of an elephant but in the quantity of a cat” and be careful because “a simple worm can ruin the whole soup” and “eating slowly is good for the stomach and plowing bottom is good for the fields “.