Idioms of the World

Idioms of the World
Photo by Mick Haupt / Unsplash

The World's Idioms & Slang

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An ever-expanding list from the Without Borders community

One of the best ways to learn a language is to get a feel for its culture and vice versa. What I find most frustrating when learning a new language is it's difficult to make people laugh. Finding the right word and timing is integral to a joke, which takes a certain mastery of the language. Fortunately, there's a shortcut to connecting with people and making them laugh—Idioms & slang.

First of all, a foreigner using idioms makes us laugh because it's surprising. They also show people that you've made an effort beyond the average textbook. But best of all, you can get a discussion going. When you ask questions about the expression, you'll learn when it was used, who uses it, why it's used, and how it's used. You'll then start to find the idioms you identify with.

¿Cómo coño hacemos esta lista?

  1. Write down your favourite idioms in their original language.
  2. Write down the direct translation in English.
  3. Write down what it means in English plus any other cultural context you find interesting.
  4. Make sure to #tag the language so people can easily search it. With 7'100 languages, putting each idiom in a category didn't make sense to me.
  5. Upvote your favourites.
  6. Comment and discuss.

Translations are in English because it's the most universal language. If you're struggling to explain it, reach out to others in our Without Borders community.