Very British English expressions translated to Catalan
Here are 22 common British English expressions translated to Catalan. As a matter of fact, they sound very idiomatic in both languages, so if you ever go to Catalonia and you use these Catalan expressions, you will probably blow people’s minds!
By the way, you may have wondered what the name of this blog, “tocat del bolet” means. It is a Catalan idiom that can be translated into English as cracked; crazy; potty; round the bend; nuts; crackers; bonkered or (as) nutty as a fruitcake .
This is our first post in English. However, if you visit the section in Catalan, at least you’ll be able to translate them with google translate. We know it’s not the same, specially with idioms, but it can give you an idea about this blog.
Let us however, without further ado, take a good look at the list of genuine British expressions.
I’m knackered means “I’m very tired”. In Catalan, “Estic fet pols” (literally, “I’m dust”) or “Estic fet caldo” (literally, “I’m broth”). Both “Estic fet pols” and “Estic fet caldo” are what Catalan native speakers would naturally say when they are really tired.
It’s not my cup of tea
“It’s not my cup of tea” means “I don’t like it very much” or “I’m not very fond of sth” or “It’s not my type”. In Catalan, “No em fa el pes” (literally, “It doest make the weight”). I know, it doesn’t make much sense, but you know, idioms not always have a literal meaning. It is a very common Catalan expression. If you want to say that someone is not your type, you can also say “no és el meu tipus” .
Fancy a cuppa?
It is an invitation to have tea together. In Catalan, “Fem un te?” (literally, “let’s have a tea (together)”) . You can actually use the verb fem with coffee, beers…
☕ Fancy a cuppa?
It means that you are drunk. In Catalan, “Vaig pet” . Literally, “I go fart”.
Maybe the quintessential British word. It is slang for “friend” . It is very common in Australia too, and although it is not used in American English, it is understood by English speakers all over the world. In Catalan, “company” . You can also use the word “amic” (friend), but it has slightly different connotations.
It means “nonesense”. In Catalan, “I què més?!” (literally, “And what more!?”, or “Au, vinga!” (literally, “C’mon, you can’t be serious!” ). On the other hand, “Bollocks!” can be translated as “Collonades!” (literally, “bollocks!”).
It is a swear word that refers to the male organs contained in the scrotum. In Catalan “Collons!” if you are cursing and “collonades” if you are referring to information deliberately intended to mislead or nonsense. “Collons” is one of the first swear words a foreigner learns in Catalan.
Bob’s your uncle
Bob’s your uncle is added to the end of sentences to express “and that’s it” . In Catalan you can say “i llestos” (literaly, “and ready”) at the end of a sentence to convey the same meaning. In Catalan there’s also another possibility, which is “tal dia farà un any” (literally, “any day, a year will have passed by”) and it is used to downplay an issue.
Primarily heard in UK. Usually said when someone is surprised to hear or see something. In Catalan, you can say “Ves per on!” . It is a very Catalan expression quite difficult to translate. It literally means “Go along where!” or even, in not such a literal way, “I didn’t expect that coming!” .
See the meaning in the picture below. In Catalan, “un bluf” (literally, “a flop”).
It means “Go away” . In Catalan you can say “fot el camp!” (literally, “fuck the field”. Yes, we know, it sounds kind of weird, but in Catalan it sounds very natural, although, come to think of it, it is quite rude).
It also means “Go away” . In Catalan you can say “fot el camp“(see previous entry)
Fancy a few sherbets?
That’s an invitation to have some beers or spirits together. In Catalan, “Fem unes birres?” (literally, “let’s have some beers?”. The word sherbet apparently has a comedic effect when pronounced in a South London accent.
Can’t be arsed
It means “Cannot be bothered”, or that you don’t feel it worthwhile to make the effort of standing up and doing something. In Catalan, there is the slang expression “No em ratllis” (literally, “Don’t grate me”). This implies that you don’t feel like being bothered by someone.
What a cock up!
It means “What a mistake!” . In Catalan, you can say “Quina cagada!” (literally, “what a shit!” or “what a blunder!”) o “Quina ficada de pota!” (something along the lines of “Ooops, I’ve really put my foot in it!”).
I have to spend a penny
It means “I have to go to the toilet”. In Catalan “vaig a canviar l’aigua de les olives” (literally, “I’m going to change the water of my olives”).
What are you going on about?
It means “What are you talking about?”. In Catalan slang is “Què t’empatolles?” .
(S)He’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic
It means “(S)He is not very smart”. In Catalan, “és una mica curt/a de gambals” .
You’re a ledge
This is a shortening of the word “legend.” A legend is someone who is very good at something, even well-known, often for doing something great or incredible. In Catalan, “Ets un crack!” . Messi is a ledge! El Messi és un crack.
It is a curse to show that you are angry. There are many ways to translate this expression in Catalan, such as “Maleït sia!” (literally, “Damn it”) or “Em cago en tot!” (literally , “I shit on everything”).
Give me a tinkle on the blower
It means “Give me a call” or “ring me”. The phrase is often shortened to “give me a tinkle” . Many Catalans say “Fes-me un truc” (literally, “make me a call”). But watch out! If you ask a magician “Fes-me un truc”, you are actually asking them to do a magic trick for you.
It’s swings and roundabouts
This idiom has to do with life’s ups and downs, with gains and losses that offset each other. In Catalan there is an idiom that reads “Una de freda i una de calenta” (literally, “A cold one and a hot one”) which has the same meaning.
Tocat del Bolet is a blog that aims to promote and share Catalan language and culture throughout its most typical expressions, in a fun and informative way.
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