How do you say this in your language? (Game)

Hi! This is a learning game about expressions around the world.

Each Wednesday I will post a new english expression here and we will each say how this expression is translated in our language. Does the equivalent exist or did you have to find a similar expression? Then give the literal translation of your idiom in english, so we can all understand it :blush: If you want, you can also give an example on how the expression is used in context, so that it helps learners of your language to understand how it’s supposed to be used.

:pushpin: The expression of this week is “to beat around the bush”, which means taking time to avoid saying something, usually because it’s uncomfortable or because the speaker wants to tell a big, long story leading to an event.

Here’s an example of how you can answer:

  • In French :fr: it’s “tourner autour du pot” - which literally means “to turn around the pot”
  • An example of this would be “Lucas est énervant, il n’arrête pas de tourner autour du pot quand il raconte quelque chose, il ajoute toujours 3000 détails, et c’est long et ennuyant ! Nous on veut juste savoir ce qu’il s’est passé à la fin!” Ou encore “Arrête de tourner autour du pot et dis-moi si cette robe me va bien ou pas !”.

:eight_pointed_black_star: I know that expressions can have several versions, so if you know more than one, you can also give them :slight_smile:

How do you say “to beat around the bush” in your language?


In German we say “um den heißen Brei herumreden” which literally translates as “to talk around the hot porridge”.


And while Germans talk around the hot porridge, Czechs walk around it:

Chodit kolem horké kaše.

It is equally pointless but at least we burn some calories in the process :slightly_smiling_face:


Well, the Dutch do it with more style than the Czech as they dance around the hot porridge: om de hete brei dansen.


Very classy. Next time someone accuses me of walking around hot porridge, I’m going to say “I’m actually dancing. That’s how the Dutch do it.”


In Portuguese we have the expression “falando em círculos” which translates literally to “talking in circles”. We use the verb “enrolar”, that could be translated to “to wind up” I guess, but it literally means “to curl” or “to roll”. There may be other expressions to :slight_smile: but these are the ones I know in PT-BR!


In Dutch it’s the same as in French: om de pot heen draaien (to turn around the outside of the pot)


In Arabic we say:
!بلف وبدور
Transliteration: bilof wa bidor.
The literal meaning is: wraps and revolves :grin:
It’s definitely the Arabic equivalent of “to beat around the bush”!

It’s used a lot when you want to describe someone who doesn’t have a frank personality (always hiding something that must be told), or someone who usually lies. It’s always used negatively in my community :sweat_smile:


Hi everyone
In Swiss German one possibility to say “to beat around the bush” is “läng und breit verzöue”, which means “using all the length and all the breadth of a topic without mentioning the centre”. The impatient public will then say “Chumm uf e Punkt!” which means “Come on, get to the important message!”


In Brazil there’s also “ficar dando voltas” (something like “going around and around”, I guess).

  • Para de ficar dando voltas e diga logo o que aconteceu!
    (Stop beating around the bush and tell (me/us) what happened already!)

Hey everyone! Thanks for participating to this first week :slight_smile: I think that my favorite is the one from @ceci , falando em circulos.

This week, we are NOT pushing granny into the nettle :laughing:.

It’s one of my favorite french expression: “faut pas pousser mémé dans les orties”, or “do not push granny into the nettle, which means that you shouldn’t exaggerate when you’re telling a story.

Is it also about avoiding cruelty to your family in your language :joy:?


That’s a good one. I’ve been trying hard to come up with something but I don’t think we have anything like that. We say “nedělej z komára velblouda”, which means “don’t make a camel out of a mosquito” but that’s more like “don’t make a mountain out of a molehill” so really it’s about how you look at issues rather than how you tell a story.

In Germany we don’t push grannies into nettles but we can sit down in nettles ourselves.

“sich in die Nesseln setzen” [to sit down in nettles] means “to get into hot water”, i.e. putting yourself in a spot where you can get criticised.

One idiom that could have a similar meaning to “faut pas pousser mémé dans les orties” could be maybe “vergackeiern”. It means “to pull somebody’s leg”. “Don’t pull my leg!” translates to “Versuch nicht, mich zu vergackeiern!” Or “Du willst mich wohl vergackeiern!”

“Vergackeiern” is a very interesting word. “Ver-” is a prefix, “gack-” is the stem of the word “gackern” which means to “cluck” (the sound that chickens make) and “eiern” is “Eier” (eggs) turned into a verb. So, basically we say “Don’t forcluckegg me!” :wink:

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In Filipino it is Wag ng Magpaligoy-ligoy pa. literal translation Don’t go around (“something” in a conversation)