Step away from the dictionary

One aspect of the English language which non-native speakers find difficult, as

Stuck up cow?

there is not generally something similar in many other languages, are phrasal verbs and verbs with prepositions.  Even people with a good level of English seem to have difficulty with this form of English and need extra work at it.

A stuck?

One example this morning was the story of the Scots Guard ‘sacked’ from Royal wedding duties after referring to Kate Middleton as a ‘Stuck-up cow’ on his social media site. A report on the French media this morning had the soldier saying she was a ‘vache coincé’.  Coincé is the first translation you find in the dictionary for ‘stuck’ – making the translation a ‘stuck cow’. You have to look below it for stuck-up which my dictionary has as ‘snob’ so the correct translation would be ‘vache snob’, showing the problem of a hurried look at the dictionary by someone not aware of the phrasal verb.

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2 Responses to “Step away from the dictionary”

  1. To have a look of hell « The Flashing Blade Says:

    […] in my occasional series about the use of language following the first about the mistranslation of stuck-up cow. This time it is from a poster in a window of a shop in […]

  2. Sherrill Says:

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by
    searching for limewire

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